How low can LoDo go? Lower than you'd expect from a cutting-edge gallery: 100 smackers. To celebrate its new name and nonprofit status, downtown's Studio LoDo/Phoenix Center for Contemporary Art greets the fall arts season with "The $100 Show." Launching with a 7 p.m. reception on First Friday, September 5, the fixed-price, multimedia exhibition showcases works by 30-some artists, including such local standouts as Glen Allen, Gregory Schaffer, Denis Gillingwater, Judith Miller and Greg Esser.
"Our community has a wealth of artistic talent, and The $100 Show' is a great way for the art-viewing public to experience and individually support the rich diversity of local work," says gallery director Kathleen Thomas.
It's that wealth of talent, in fact, that prompted the gallery to shift gears.
"Studio LoDo opened in 2001 and has operated as a contemporary art gallery representing 17 or so Arizona artists," Thomas explains. "The shift to Studio LoDo/Phoenix Center for Contemporary Art better represents the entirety of the mission, which is to become the nexus for Arizona's contemporary art world.
"LoDo/PCCA will coordinate with other arts organizations, such as Artlink [organizer of First Fridays], to unify our efforts and together create a stronger and more cohesive art community."
The Boys perform for charity
The Beach Boys are back in town, Wednesday, September 10, stirring up excitation at the third annual "Beauty of a Bonzer," which benefits some good, good, good, good foundations. Set for 8 p.m. at America West Arena, the Bonzer -- Aussie for "mega party" -- supports a handful of local charities, from the Alzheimer's Association to W. Steven Martin's Police Toy Drive.
Tickets -- $20, $30 and $40 -- are available through the arena ticket office, 201 East Jefferson, and Ticketmaster, 480-784-4444. Get in on dinner from Outback Steakhouse and a live auction by reserving a center-stage table at www.beautyofabonzer.com. - Jill Koch
Boutique offers homegrown style
Downtown's latest crop is completely organic. The debut of Passage, the first local boutique devoted entirely to original, often one-of-a-kind creations by Valley fashion designers and artists, adds to the natural energy of the store's neighbors, Lux coffee bar and Pane Bianco. Owners Sarah and Charles Walker got the idea for a clothing store/art gallery after a trip last fall to Sarah's hometown in Newfoundland, Canada, where small, funky retail shops have flourished in an old neighborhood. In a casual chat with their friend Sloane McFarland, a local artist who owns the building where Passage is housed, the Walkers learned that McFarland, too, had ideas for a boutique.
"Our visions really jelled," says Sarah.
Passage is located at 4400 North Central (entrance is at the rear). For details call 602-423-3069. - Michele Laudig
Adults take to the art trail
The folks at the Arizona Science Center have devised a formula for making science fun. Not surprisingly, free food and a cash bar are the vital variables. This Friday, September 5, the center's Adults' Night Out program moves to the first Friday of each month to coincide with Artlink's Artwalk, which draws legions of art lovers to downtown's galleries and studios. This month's Night Out emphasizes the Science Center's "artful exhibits," engaging guests in an interactive art trail and, at 7 p.m., rolling the giant-screen film Pulse: A STOMP Odyssey. Open to adults 18 and older, the science affair runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the center, 600 East Washington. Admission is free, and film tickets are $5. Call 602-716-2000 or see www.azscience.org. - Jill Koch
To Sur, With Love
Sur La Table sets cooks on course
If setting foot in the kitchen is a recipe for catastrophe, step up to the plates at Sur La Table, 7122 East Greenway Parkway in Scottsdale. Offering courses year-round, the culinary store's "Classes for Confident Cooking" program covers concepts elementary (knife-handling) to elaborate (hosting a dinner party). On Thursday, September 4, students master "Healthy High-Energy Snacks," including cashew protein nut spread. Game day goes gourmet Friday, September 5, as couples learn to prepare bock beer cheese soup and blackened Buffalo quesadillas for a "Monday Night Football Dinner." Other options: "Fast Entrees for Weeknight Dinners" on Monday, September 8; and "Rosh Hashanah in the Southwest" on Wednesday, September 10. Fees range from $45 to $140. Call 480-998-0118 to register; see www.surlatable.com for a schedule. - Jill Koch
A Grand Old Time
Music fills the Grand Canyon
When the founders of the Grand Canyon Music Festival went hiking through the famous canyon, an incomparable event was born. Set against America's most scenic backdrop, this nine-concert series provides a perfect excuse to get out of the heat. The festival kicks off at the Shrine of Ages auditorium on the canyon's South Rim on Friday, September 5, with events September 6, 9, 12, 13, 17, 19 and 20. Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for children. The festival moves to the Flagstaff Orpheum Theater for a September 16 concert; tickets are $15. For more information, visit www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org. - Quetta Carpenter
Benefit fashions dessert oasis
- Jill Koch
Resistance is futile: Desert the diet and savor sweet surrender. This Sunday, September 7, Getting Our Just Desserts, the fourth annual fund raiser feting the female chef, comes to the Orange Tree Golf & Conference Resort, 10601 North 56th Street. From 5 to 8 p.m., 24 of the Valley's premier pastry chefs dole out bite-size portions of their signature desserts; indulgences include blueberry white chocolate bread pudding with brandy cream sauce, created by Mary Sue Fowler of Sam's Cafe. "It's to die for!" promises event organizer Paula Cullison. (So the lifetime on our hips will be blessedly short.)