Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)
7374 East Second Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
SMoCA is a 4 room museum of exhibits designed to engage thought. Sometimes it will be exhibits of artists from the past that relate to present day concerns and ideas. Other times it's current day Contemporary Artists that will interest, perplex, and engage your mind. Contemporary Art is defined as art produced post World War II, and includes Modern and Post modern movements. However, most of us think of it as more abstract pieces of art and sculpture, dance that is independent of music and uses unpredictable movements, and the more vaudeville versions of theatrical expression.
While this SMoCA is not nearly as grand as Phoenix Art Museum, we love that it's free 12-9 on Thursdays, and 5-9 on Fridays and Saturdays. From 12-5 on Tues, Wed, Fri, and Sun it's only $7 for adults, $5 for students. Youth ages 15 and under are free. Some of the exhibits were surprising and captured us, others felt like a 70's drug trip and were easier to pass by. None the less, it was entertaining and amusing. Especially for free!
On Friday and Saturday nights, make sure to hit the SMoCA Lounge, and "active laboratory" where real people converge to share ideas, stories, and their art through music, spoken word, and visual elements. Don't forget to play in the gift shop - we found the books and gadgets for sale almost as interesting as some of the exhibits! By itself, the museum may just take 2 hours max, and we love the idea of pairing it with walking the other art galleries on Main East of Scottsdale Rd or with a painting class at the Brush Bar or Art of Merlot. There are several great restaurants in the Old Town Area and around Fashion Square Mall of varying prices if you wanted to make a dinner date or girls night out of it.