This Friday, Phoenix artist Christine Cassano is shaking up the local art scene in two significant ways.

First, she is holding an artist reception on a Second Friday (not First or Third). For those of us who have bemoaned the lumping of events on First Fridays, this is a welcomed change.

Second, and more importantly, Christine is offering those of us who have had to cut our spending during the economic downturn a unique way to purchase her art: She will be offering a substantially discounted monetary price in return for a commitment to provide five to 10 hours of volunteer service through Hands On Phoenix. Prices and volunteer hours per art piece will be set by the artist. Those who wish to purchase her work in the traditional method (i.e., paying the full monetary price) still may do so.

“I’m hoping people who come to my show look a little different at what they consider an investment,” Cassano says. “By volunteering, you can get so much out of that just by making a personal investment.”

Want to learn more? A full explanation is available here. Here is an overview of the show:

“Invest With Confidence” draws attention to the disparity between how the American people are feeling the economic recession and the extent to which they are understanding it. Each piece contains a host of embedded objects representing free market commodities, as well as a piece of modern paper currency that is sealed within the work but accessible enough to be removed and recirculated by the collector, thus raising questions about the negotiable integrity of the piece and the value of the art as investment.

Image courtesy of Christine Cassano

If You Go: Christine Cassano’s “Invest with Confidence”

Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave. in Uptown (light rail station at Central/Camelback) — 602.264.1414

A free, public reception for the artist will be held Friday, July 9 at 7 p.m. No RSVPs are necessary. Exhibit runs July 1 to 31.