Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum hosts anime-inspired First Friday community event

Phoenix Art Museum hosts anime-inspired First Friday community event

Phoenix Art Museum hosts anime-inspired First Friday community event
Oct, 11, 2022

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Phoenix Art Museum hosts anime-inspired First Friday community event

The evening celebration sponsored by Men’s Arts Council features a free public preview of the special-engagement exhibition Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town, along with art activities, food trucks, and more

PHOENIX (October 11, 2022) – On November 4 from 5–9 pm in conjunction with First Friday, Phoenix Art Museum will host a free community event to celebrate the opening of the new major contemporary art exhibition Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town. Sponsored by Men’s Arts Council and UMB Bank, the evening will feature a free public preview of the exhibition at 6 pm, offering community members the opportunity to experience You Can Hear the Song of This Town before it officially opens on November 6. The usual $5 fee for special-engagement exhibitions on First Friday will be waived for all visitors that evening. Tickets can be reserved here.

Festivities will also include in-person programming that will immerse guests in anime and Japanese popular culture, as well as Japanese music and visual traditions. Entertainment for the evening includes:

  • A performance by Ken Koshio (@kenkoshio), featuring taiko drumming and storytelling accompanied by artist Yuko Yabuki (@yukoyabuki6666)
  • A collaboration with Ganbatte Pop-up (@ganbattepopup), featuring activities for visitors of all ages
  • Music by DJ Stoney Pie (@stoneypie)
  • An anime-themed photo backdrop with cosplayers inspired by @misteryanen
  • An art activity by @Loveshinobi
  • A scavenger hunt with prizes (while supplies last)
  • Themed food and beverage, including boba-inspired drinks by Crafti Tea & Mocktails (@crafti.tea)
  • Japanese-inspired street food vendors and anime-inspired drinks by ArtTenders

Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town is the first U.S. solo exhibition in more than five years to exclusively showcase the work of Mr., one of today’s most popular Japanese artists. Spanning the late 1990s to 2022, the exhibition features a large selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and video works, including a recent Museum acquisition and a new 33-foot-long canvas that will enjoy its world premiere at Phoenix Art Museum. These vivid and often chaotic works—many of which were created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—draw influence from anime, manga, and virtual fantasy worlds to examine themes of desire, tragedy, and psychological anguish.

Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town will be on view from November 6, 2022 through March 12, 2023 in Steele Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Ronald and Valery Harrar, Men’s Arts Council, Ms. Isabelle Georgeaux, Kevie Yang, The Japan Foundation–Los Angeles, and the Museum’s Circles of Support and Museum Members. Admission is free for Museum Members; veterans, activity-duty military, and their immediate families; youth aged 5 and younger; and Maricopa Community Colleges students with an active ID. Entrance into the exhibition is included in general admission for the public. During voluntary-donation times, the exhibition is $5 for the general public. Voluntary-donation times include Wednesdays from 3–9 pm, made possible by SRP and supported in part through the generosity of the Angela and Leonard Singer Endowment for Performing Arts, and the first Friday of each month from 3–9 pm. For a full breakdown of general-admission prices and hours, see

High-resolution photography can be downloaded here. To request interviews, contact the Communications Office of Phoenix Art Museum at 602.257.2117 or

About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the leading art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

About Mr.
Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan, lives and works in Saitama, Japan) approaches the visual language of anime and manga as a means of examining Japanese culture, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. Like his fellow Superflat artists, such as Takashi Murakami, Mr. utilizes otaku, the “cute” Japanese subculture that is marked by an obsession with adolescence, manga, anime, and video games. Mr. graduated in 1996 from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2021); Musée Guimet, Paris, France (2019); Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (2014); and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (2006), among others. Select group exhibitions featuring his work include MURAKAMI VS MURAKAMI, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2019); Bishojo: Monsters, Manga and Murakami, Musée en Herbe, Paris, France (2019); and Islands, Constellations & Galapagos, Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2017). His work is in numerous international public and private collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Daegu Art Museum in South Korea.

Image Credit: Mr., Amy—Quiet Before Dawn, 2021. Acrylic on canvas mounted on wood panel, 35.43 x 52.8 x 2.01 inches (90 x 134.1 x 5.1 cm). ©2021 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

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