The standard fare, when exhibiting the horrors of war, includes photos of the dead, pierced helmets, and blood-splattered letters from weary soldiers. But what about the women left behind, whose work is never done -- especially in times of war? ASU's Museum of Anthropology and School of Art explore war through a woman's eyes -- and hands -- in the exhibition "Stitches of War," in which museum curator Deborah Boyer brings together traditional women's crafts to express the impact of war on their lives.
There are Afghan war rugs, weaved during 10 years of hell between 1979 and '89; Hmong story cloths and Mon-Khmer weavings from the Vietnam War; and American quilts and sweaters from World War II.
"Textiles can almost be read as documents," says Kim Arth, a museum studies graduate assistant, who describes the Chilean arpilleras as a "colorful, powerful statement." "Standing back, they just appear to be these aesthetic [patchworks]," she says. "But then you see the bodies, and it makes people lean in and think about what they're seeing."
The free exhibition runs through Friday, May 28, at the museum on ASU's main campus, between Tyler and Cady malls, room 240. Call 480-965-6224 for more information. --Joe Watson
Stimulate your stylus with swap meet shopping
Got a fetish for vinyl? Appease your LP dreams Saturday, May 29, as Really Avid Record Enthusiasts (R.A.R.E.) hosts its bimonthly record swap meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arizona American-Italian Club, 7509 North 12th Street. Tens of thousands of 33s, 45s, and even 78s will be for sale, starting at $1 apiece. Admission is $5 before 10:30 a.m., $1 after. See www.rare-az.org for details. --Joe Watson
Fund raiser mixes Wine, Women and Jazz
It's the mantra of the old-school alpha male. But the Arizona Women's Partnership celebrates "Wine, Women and Jazz" for a more philanthropic cause from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 30, at the Ritz-Carlton, 2401 East Camelback. "My experience has been that 90 percent of the culinary events around the Valley showcase male chefs," says Paula Cullison, president of the AWP. "This is an opportunity to showcase the women. Although men are most welcome to attend."
The event, which benefits charities aiding "underserved women and children at risk," features more than 20 female chefs, wine courtesy of AJ's cellar master Wendy Nadler, and jazz vocalists Margo Reed, Delphine Cortez and Blaise Lantana. Tickets are $60 in advance, $75 at the door. Call 602-863-9744 or see www.azwp.org. --Joe Watson
Dressed in Peace
Celebrate M-Day on hallowed ground
All dressed up in turn-of-the-century garb with nowhere to go? You're not alone -- just pay a visit (along with your respects) to the 107-year-old Smurthwaite House and its seven contiguous historic cemeteries at the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 31. Marge West, a volunteer for Pioneers' Cemetery Association, insists that people need to "come and see this for themselves." Folks donning clothing from the late 1800s and early 1900s will tend to the graves of many of Phoenix's founders, early veterans and local legends (including the Lost Dutchman). West says visiting the cemeteries on Memorial Day is an easy history lesson, and the residents don't mind the attention. "They haven't risen up to [complain] yet," she says. The park is located at 1317 West Jefferson. For more information, call 602-534-1262. --C. Murphy Hebert
Sliders has a blast with the past
Memorial Day is typically reserved as an annual day of remembrance for those who gave their lives in battle. But at Sliders American Grill in the Bank One Ballpark Plaza, at Fourth Street and Jefferson, it's apparently a day to pay homage to a Tempe music scene that died about a decade ago. On Monday, May 31, Sliders' Tailgate Party (minus the small detail of actual tailgating) includes performances from Mill Avenue melodymakers of yore, including Dead Hot Workshop, the Pistoleros, and Gloritone, starting at 11 a.m. Too bad the Gin Blossoms couldn't make the event a complete revival, but that just leaves more eats -- via four barbecues going at once -- for everyone else. Not to mention the Arizona Diamondbacks paraphernalia giveaways, because one can never have enough purple and teal.
Mention the sarcasm and pay no cover (or don't -- admission's free). Call 602-462-3800. --Joe Watson
Cooper captures culture at the "Big Picture"
Welcome to Alice Cooper's dream: an end to the persistent mosquito's whine that "Phoenix has no culture." Of course we got culture, teeming like bacilli in a Petri dish, and Alice is going to prove it. This Saturday, May 29, head down to Cooper'stown for the "Big Picture" -- part block party, part family portrait, all good. Five bucks admits you to all the day's attractions: the group photo, live music, graffiti art and vendors galore. Starting at 12:30 p.m., snake through the crowd at Alice's restaurant for a cocktail party and stay for the 4:30 photo shoot. Join other Valley artists, athletes and rock stars by lugging along a token of your cultural niche -- guitar, baseball glove or boa -- to hold in the picture. Give your love a little muscle -- proceeds benefit the Thomas J. Pappas School for homeless children -- and show some civic pride. For more information or tickets, contact Cooper'stown, 101 East Jackson, at 602-253-7337. --Kim Toms