Your guide to arty haps in and around Phoenix this week is here.
Thanks to a cutesy movie currently in favor with most young kids--Legos are again all the rage among the pre-teen set. However, as "Build! Toy Brick Art" an ongoing exhibit (through September 28) at the Heard Museum reveals, Legos are hardly child's play anymore. The display includes dozens of works by "brick artists" that go way beyond anything in the Legos Star Wars set. Check out the 55,000-piece, 10- by 3.5-foot replica cover of Action Comics No.1. or the Angry Birds, coyotes, and bicycles made from tiny plastic bricks.
Get ready to "Build!" at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 27. Admission is $23 for adults, $18.50 for seniors, $12.50 for students and ages 6 to 12, and $5 for ages 1 to 5. Visit www.heard.org or call 602-252-8848. -- Glenn BurnSilver
Human beings are voyeuristic by nature. That's the beauty of seeing a film with long close up shots, we can observe from a distance without the risk of a rebuke for staring too long. The same applies to life drawing -- the artist gets to study his or her subject in an intimate setting for hours. In college, it may have been a little awkward to see your classmates pose nude, but the human body is a fascinating subject. Anti-Art School offers a different spin on the practice by featuring costumed and tattooed models in a group art session that is part art class and part cocktail party. Whether your medium is pencil or paint, artists of all skill levels are welcome to attend.
Test your mettle at Anti-Art School at The Lost Leaf, 914 North 5th Street on Tuesday, July 7. Admission to this 21-and-over event is $7. Call 602-258-0014 or visit www.facebook.com/phoenixlifedrawing. -- Melissa Fossum
We learned a lot from frequently viewing the Jim Carrey movie The Mask as children. But the main takeaway? We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking.
That's a direct, quasi-deep quote from the film, spoken by Carrey's much-needed therapist. Of course, Carrey wore a very literal mask (with ancient magic powers) that allowed him to express a very obnoxious, pop culture-literate side of himself. Similar, though more serious and subtle, were the masks used in Japanese Noh Theatre, a performing art form that found actors wearing handmade masks in their portrayals of characters from myths and historical events. With fixed expressions on their masked faces, actors had to use body language to further convey emotions. All in all, it was an affair much more restrained than pretty much anything Jim Carrey's ever done.
To learn more about Noh (now that you're nearly as well-versed in The Mask as we are), head to Phoenix Art Museum's exhibition "Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail," which includes 22 Noh masks and about as many prints depicting Noh actors onstage. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, November 16, at 1625 North Central Avenue. Hours Saturday, June 14, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults. Visit www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. -- Becky Bartkowski
The searing heat of the summer makes it easy to take refuge underwater in the backyard pools of the Valley. No Festival Required's presentation of the 1968 film The Swimmer, screening on Thursday, July 10, is a cautionary tale about swimming your life away.
NFR's ongoing mission to spotlight forgotten films meets Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition of "Bill Owens: Suburbia," a 1972 photographic survey of life in the suburbs. The Swimmer, based on a 1964 John Cheever short story of the same name, starts with Neddy Merrill (portrayed by Burt Lancaster) in suburban Connecticut seeking to pool hop through his neighbors' backyards until he reaches home. As his journey goes on, it gets stranger and farther away from the cookie-cutter life Neddy presumed he was seeking.
No Festival Required presents The Swimmer at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's SMoCA Lounge, 7374 East Second Street. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the screening starts at 7:30 with $7 admission. For more info, visit www.smoca.org. -- Jose Gonzalez
Geek culture has grown by leaps and bounds and it's about time the Dungeons & Dragons dorks met the theater nerds. The opening night for The Brelby Theatre Company's production of the dragon-slaying off-Broadway hit She Kills Monsters is Friday, July 11.
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Spawned from the mind of chief geek and co-founder of the Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company, Qui Nguyen, the 2011 play sees Agnes Evans return home after her parents and younger sister Tilly are killed in a car accident. Lamenting her barely-there relationship with her sister, she stumbles upon Tilly's D&D module. Partaking in the role-playing game left behind by her sister, Agnes accesses Tilly's world of imagination, angst, and pop culture influences, putting exploration of the past at odds with moving forward.
She Kills Monsters is at The Brelby Theatre Company, 6835 North 58th Avenue in Glendale, through Saturday, July 26. The opening night performance starts at 7:30pm and tickets are $30. For more information and additional dates and times, including weekend matinee performances, visit www.brelby.com. -- Jose Gonzalez