Scottsdale Public Art

Temporary Art

Frankenstein in the 21st Century: The Waking Dream, 200 Years Later

This exhibition is co-curated by Frank Gonzales and Wendy Raisanen and will be on view September 20 to December 30, 2017, with an opening reception September 21.


The exhibition will feature artwork that celebrates the bi-centennial of the groundbreaking gothic novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, which was published anonymously in 1818.


In 1816, Mary Shelley was vacationing in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, with Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori during an unusually cold, rainy, dreary summer. To counteract their boredom, they devised a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Mary Shelley had a terrible waking dream about a scientist who created life and was horrified by his creation. This is the inspiration for her novel.


Our challenge to these artists: Create your response to our current state of unknowingness. What is our Frankenstein story? Consider our current conditions, both human and environmental. What story, through visual work, will reflect our current conditions, societal, and environmental, and induce our fascination, remorse and horror, and captivate future generations? 



Joe Willie Smith is the creator of the installation Frankenstein's Brain housed in the Gallery.  Frankenstein’s Brain is a performative installation and personally meaningful contribution to the exhibition, full of symbolism. The character Smith created for this performance is named Dacta DACA, a reference to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Be sure to stop by to see the artists bring his piece to life.


The next performance will be held on December 14 at 7:00 p.m. If you can't make it, check out this video of his perfomance on our Facebook page.


Cut and Paste PHX Collage Workshop: November 9, 2017 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Gallery @ The Library


Exquisite Corpse Puppet Making Workshop: December 14, 2017 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Gallery @ The Library

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