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Named after the bird of myth because it was built on the remains of an early village, the nation’s sixth largest city is itself a vision rising out of the desert. Phoenix, Arizona’s state capital, sits in the Salt River Valley on the edge of the Sonoran Desert and is a unique amalgamation of urbanity and raw desert beauty. Called Hoozdo, or "the place is hot" in Navajo, the city has seen continued growth in both population and available amenities. However, many people are finding their way to the great city of Phoenix for its thriving art scene. Most notably, Phoenix credits itself as the home of the First Friday, and who can argue given the unbelievable turnout of 20,000 strong each month in the city’s downtown area? The galleries open their doors, the restaurants their ovens, and the taverns their bottles all for a celebration of local artistry that typically reveals the undeniable influence of the desert, the surrounding Indian heritage, and the Mexican flavor just over the nearby border. Hop on the shuttle buses specifically run for this night and enjoy any of the innumerable galleries, such as Central Gallery, 515 Arts, 8, and especially Art One Gallery, a space devoted to showing the works of area art students. Other events include the Arizona Fine Art Expo, a ten week festival in Scottsdale, and, on Sundays, Music in the Garden at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Additionally, an art student can take advantage of other points of interest, including the Shermer Art Center and Museum, the Tovrea Castle, the Heard Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum, which happens to be the largest museum in the Southwest. In a city that boasts an average of 211 days of yearly sunshine and somewhat close proximity to one of the most breathtaking wonders of the modern world, the Grand Canyon, Phoenix is a great place to study and live.