Unlike those works of art that can't even be breathed on without a whack on the hand by a beefy security guard, J. DeSanti's creations are meant to be used. They're pretty nice to look at, too. His funky, functional pieces -- which he crafts out of shattered glass, metal, and found objects -- might even be museum-worthy if he cared about such things. "I come from a long line of practical, creative and resourceful men and women who possessed proficiencies for creating the necessary things around them," says the Glendale artist. "They worked with their hands, making their clothing, building their homes and furniture, plus more fanciful things for their personal pleasure and sense of aesthetics."
Thankfully, DeSanti inherited the aesthetic gene. His "Ambiente Collection" includes achingly beautiful wall hangings, sculpture, and living-room tables bathed in midnight-blue LED lighting that makes them glow like liquid neon. Wow.
DeSanti's new show opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 21, at Comet's Corner, 3819 North Third Street. Call 602-248-4453. -- Clay McNear
Art for ArtLink's Sake
Runway for the money
Limited wall space? The solution's right under your nose at ArtLink's Wearable Art Auction, taking place from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, October 22, at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue. Local artists have donated handcrafted apparel to the runway show, hosted by The Originals comedy troupe and featuring dance tunes spun by Hot Pink! DJ Sleazy Sean. "The money that's raised supports First Fridays and other events," says event coordinator Amy Young, "and there's also a silent auction -- a weekend at the Clarendon, a vintage Gucci bag, spa treatments -- all fashion-related and luxury items." The $25 donation earns you a year's membership in ArtLink. Call 602-256-7539 or visit www.artlinkphoenix.com. -- Julie Peterson
We all want to carve up jackasses, but we'll have to settle for jack-o'-lanterns at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, when the gallery hosts a free pumpkin-carving party at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 25. Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools, and munch $1 bowls of spooky cereals like Frankenberry, Boo-Berry, and Count Chocula. Call 602-256-6006. -- Niki D'Andrea
Do ya feel lucky?
Before "punk" became a musical and cultural movement, the term referred almost exclusively to certain "backdoor activities." You could be a punk if you were wearing safety pins and fishnets in New York City, but you didn't want to be a punk in, say, Folsom Prison. Thankfully, it's okay to be a "punk-punk" these days; in fact, it's downright stylish at an event like "Love Shack," taking place Saturday, October 22, at .anti_space, 815 West Madison. The event includes entertainment by U.K. "post-punk power rockers" The King Cheetah; "queer punk icon" Brian Grillo of Best Revenge (pictured); "tranny punk divas" The Insignificant Others; local rockabilly outfit The Rhythm Dragons; The Angry Inch (of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch); and Ken Knox, author of Homocore: The Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Rock. The festivities also feature fire spinners, fetish models, and some "truly twisted surprises." Admission is $15, $10 if you show up in drag. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 602-614-4154 or visit www.bluefood.cc. -- Niki D'Andrea
Ju Ju only live once
If having three Starbucks and four different fast-food restaurants within two miles of your house is not your idea of diversity, then break free from the homogeny of urban sprawl at the African Festival on Saturday, October 22. The fest offers a drum load of African music and dancers, from the traditional Africa Tam Tam to reggae and Ju Ju drumming. More than 30 vendors will dish up a continent's worth of food and sell a variety of African clothing, beauty products, and art. Even the little ones can learn about African culture while playing games in the kid zone. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Heritage Square, 105 North Fifth Street. Admission is free. Call 602-561-4800 or visit www.afasa.org. -- Rebecca Zumoff
Schizophonia at Cone
Many revolutionary musicians were once considered unskilled purveyors of nauseating noise. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring incited riots, police ticketed Sun Ra's Arkestra for disrupting public order, and Jimi Hendrix's sonic hurricanes were initially greeted with cross-eyed curiosity. Hear the next sound revolution on Friday, October 21, during the Experimental NoIzE Jam at Cone Gallery, 1324 Grand Avenue. The noise genre uses expanded algorithms created from acoustic, electrical, analog and digital sounds akin to the complexities found in jazz and classical compositions. Performers of these expanded auditory vocabularies will include master musician Vic Void (of the late art house Metropophobobia), ambient expressionist noise band Spacefly, and abstract female vocalist Insert Tooling. Gallery owner Kathy Cone says the audience "will experience a mental adjustment as their minds accept the range of complex sound." A donation will be requested. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 602-258-3455. -- Steve Jansen