This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, January 22
Artist Scott Snibbe uses deceptively simple wall projections and interactive computer programs to convey a sophisticated idea: emptiness, the Buddhist concept that everything defines and is defined by every other thing, that nothing exists independent from reality. In "Interdependence," his exhibition opening at Arizona State University's Computing Commons Gallery, viewers not only experience the installation, but engage with it. Snibbe lectures on his work from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, January 22, in the Computing Commons Auditorium; a reception immediately follows. For more information, call 480-965-0964.

Friday, January 23
A new wave of Phoenix talent flaunts its creativity with the Urban Underground Fashion and Music Extravaganza, which kicks off a 10-city tour on Friday, January 23. Local designers Alexis Franks, Morseller Ector, Beatrice Dixon, Griselda Avalos, Galina Mihaleva, Swiyyah Shamsid-Deen, Betsy Thompson, Robert Lavarr, Susan DiStaulo, Warren Smith and Mateo Montanto provide the visuals, with streetwear, casual and upscale clothing for men and women. On the sonic side of the show, the lineup includes live rap, pop and R&B performances from Total Eclipze, David Hernandez, Soal, Rated E, Xclusive, James Henderson, Foot Klan Dancers, Rock-Well, The God Chaser, Sherie Amor, Mr. Woods, Melinda, Finesse-n-Mecca, Dice, and V.J. and Mikstro. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with a catered reception and art show, and runs until 1 a.m. at the Glendale Civic Center, 5750 West Glenn Drive. Tickets are $30 at the door, $20 in advance, or $10 for high school and college students with ID. For more details, call 602-741-2870.

Saturday, January 23
From antique firearms and horse-riding accessories to rare Navajo rugs, the High Noon Western Americana Show and Auction lassoes up the largest array of cowboy collectibles in the world on Saturday, January 24, and Sunday, January 25. More than 250 dealers offer the best of the Old West to serious collectors and casual hobbyists alike at Centennial Hall, 201 North Center in Mesa. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, and conclude at 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $7 on Saturday and $6 on Sunday. To find out more, visit www.highnoon.com.

It's been open for a little more than a year now, but Saturday, January 24, finally marks the official dedication ceremony of Ro Ho En, more commonly known as the Japanese Friendship Garden. The wait was worth it, because now a number of officials from sister city Himeji, Japan -- including Mayor Toshikatsu Iwami -- will be in town to honor the occasion. Initiated in 1987, the lengthy project required Japanese landscape architects to make more than 60 trips to the Valley to oversee all the details of the garden's construction, from selecting plants to handpicking rocks. From 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission is free. Just outside the tranquility of the garden, in Hance Park, a Japanese cultural festival offers displays, food and live performances. The Japanese Friendship Garden is located at 1125 North Third Avenue, just north of Portland. For information call 602-256-3204.

Sunday, January 25
Ten bucks is a small price to pay for a live chamber music performance in the comfort of your own living room. But since symphony members aren't making house calls, try the next best thing: The Downtown Chamber Series on Sunday, January 25. In the intimate gallery setting of Modified Arts, experience string quartet works by Ravel and Schubert performed by the Phoenix Symphony's Mark Dix, Jan Simiz, Anna Kim Kazepides and Levon Zarasian, plus special guest Maria Simiz. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Seating is limited, so advance tickets, $10, are recommended. Call 602-254-1491 for details.

Founded in Minneapolis in 1998, Garner Gutierrez-Garner Dance performs the Arizona première of "Continuum: A Celebration of the Persistence of the Creative Impulse" Thursday, January 22, through Sunday, January 25. Directed by the husband-and-wife team of Brad Garner and Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, both winners of this year's AZ Choreography Competition, the show includes both new and repertory works of modern and jazz choreography. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Dance Theater 132, located inside the Physical Education Building East on the ASU main campus in Tempe. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students; call 480-894-2060 to purchase.

Monday, January 26
Award-winning writer, veteran yoga instructor and Tucson resident Amy Weintraub's personal experiences with depression -- and the yoga techniques that helped ease her troubles -- are at the core of her new book, Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga. Combining anecdotes and heartfelt advice along with poses, breathing techniques and meditation methods, the book offers a practical approach to finding emotional well-being. Weintraub conducts an experiential lecture and signing at 7 p.m. Monday, January 26, at Borders Biltmore Fashion Park, 2402 East Camelback. Call 602-957-6660 for details.

Tuesday, January 27
From her witty comics in the Midtown Messenger to events she coordinates for Artlink, artist Shari Spears Bombeck (formerly Boulanger) usually lets her work speak for itself. But on Tuesday, January 27, Bombeck gets vocal as the featured guest at this month's Poetry in the Park, where she'll read some of her short fictional pieces. Hosted by Carl Hogan on the fourth Tuesday of every month, the event is Phoenix's longest-running poetry gathering. Admission is free, and everything happens from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Boathouse in Encanto Park, 2605 North 15th Avenue. To find out more, call 602-942-3060

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