Phoenix artist Hugo Medina showcases revitalization of downtown Phoenix on new season of “Artbeat Nation” on Eight, Arizona PBS

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(PHOENIX, Ariz.)  Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?  Can art itself help revitalize a city? And in a diverse modern society where cultural influences and identities are continually shifting and melding, how do you define where home is?  You might ponder any of these questions as you examine the Phoenix-inspired art exhibit by Hugo Medina on this Sunday’s new episode of “ArtBeat Nation,” a half-hour weekly arts series from Eight, Arizona PBS that features in-depth profiles of arts and culture from around the country, including the story of local Phoenix artist Hugo Medina, airing Sunday at 5 p.m. on Eight HD.

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One of the program’s missions is to promote the Arizona arts scene to the rest of the country. This season, ArtBeat Nation hits the streets to feature local artists by telling the story of how downtown Phoenix has transformed in the past 15 years, thanks in part to the emergence of a vibrant and growing arts scene.

As a local Phoenix artist living downtown, Hugo Medina has had an influence on making downtown Phoenix the arts hub that it is today. Born in Bolivia, Medina grew up in New York. He moved to Arizona in 1998 and had his first show in Phoenix in 2009. In Sunday’s episode of “ArtBeat Nation,” Hugo tells his story and gives the audience a peek at his new exhibit called “Home,” which is currently on display at monOrchid gallery.

“In this episode of ‘ArtBeat Nation,’ people will see a mix of my murals and some of my canvas work,” said Medina. “My exhibition accomplishes one of the goals I set for myself when I first started showing work in Phoenix in 2009. I wanted to celebrate my 15 years in Arizona. The series is called “Home,” asking the question: ‘What is home?’ With this series I added a lot more to what people have seen in my past work. I hate showing or doing the same thing over and over again. As an artist, I feel I have to keep growing with my work, not repeat myself, but grow as an individual,” said Medina.

The “ArtBeat Nation” series first aired on Eight in October 2012, establishing an innovative practice of sharing video and Web content among major PBS stations across the country. Drawing from the best local arts and cultural stories produced by PBS member stations throughout the U.S., Eight brings together a unique arts experience for viewers every week.

Season 3 launched this fall on Eight HD, and features two to three artist profiles per episode. Upcoming highlights from this season include an art studio and gallery on wheels in Albuquerque, an Ohio artist who creates art using her cellphone, and dumpsters that turn into canvases for works of art in Sacramento, Calif.

“Through a unique ‘virtual’ collaboration with a network of more than 40 other PBS stations, we can bring this spirited program to Arizona audiences for the third straight year,” said “ArtBeat Nation” series producer Jennifer Burke. “Every episode of ‘ArtBeat Nation’ is new, never a repeat. So, if you’re looking for a little inspiration and can’t make it to the museum or the theater on a Sunday afternoon, you can always turn to Eight for a little something different on ‘ArtBeat Nation.’”

Medina’s current “Home” exhibit continues through Nov. 28 with an artist reception Friday, Nov. 21 from 6:30-10:00 p.m. at the Shade Gallery of monOrchid in downtown Phoenix.

ArtBeat Nation covers a wide range of the arts, including theatre, dance, drama, fine arts, music, performance, sculpture and literature, and features a new episode every Sunday at 5 p.m. on Eight HD.  Past episodes can also be viewed along with additional information about the series at

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource.  For over 52 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of non-commercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 80 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit

Eight is a member-supported community service of Arizona State University and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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