So you got a rock on your finger? Big deal. This season we're skipping the engagement photos and looking at the big picture: outer space. Home to the largest university-based meteorite collection in the world, the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University is a source of new and insightful findings for both academics and the general public. Here at this showcase of space debris, visitors can view acquired samples and learn about the Center's advanced conservation efforts, the origins of meteorites, and, in turn, the formation of our planetary systems.
The Center for Meteorite Studies Collection is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the ASU Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4), 781 East Terrace Road in Tempe. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.meteorites.asu.edu or call 480-965-6511. -- Katie Johnson
In Fahrenheit 451, books get a bad rap as items capable of corrupting the mind and stirring unrest. In reality, many books are capable of doing this. But beyond that, adept storytelling and creative flare can also spark the boundless imagination inside ourselves. As modernity removes the pages in place of tablets, computers and phones, some say our literary sense of being suffers. So what of all those soon-to-be-unneeded tomes? "Boundless: The Book Transformed in Contemporary Art" rethinks the magic of books by morphing them into three-dimensional art pieces. Clearly inspired by the readings themselves, many of these works seem to come to life before our eyes. Exactly as a good book should!
Reading glasses are not needed to view the sculptures presented in "Boundless," which is on view through Sunday, August 10, in the South Gallery at Mesa Contemporay Arts, One East Main Street. Admission is free. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com or call 480-644-6500. -- Glenn BurnSilver
A strong friendship should be able to overcome any obstacles, especially distance and cultural differences. Sometimes, something ever-lasting develops. Hopi Summer: Life, Friendship, and Survival on the Hopi Mesas is a book by Carolyn O'Bagy Davis based on one such enduring friendship that began in 1927 when Maud and Carey Melville of Worcester, Massachusetts, met Wilfred and Ethel Muchvo, a First Mesa Hopi family. The book is the starting point for a 90-minute Arizona Humanities Council program that examines, though Ethel's correspondence with Maud, the changes affecting the Hopi nation in the 1920s and 1930s. Ethel writes of starvation, illness, and daily hardship all while tourists and missionaries visit traditional villages and the U.S. government urges the people to abandon the traditional Hopi way.
This free program runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street. Call 602-495-0901 or visit www.pueblogrande.com. -- Glenn BurnSilver
School may be out, but the summer exhibitions are just getting started. As the academic year comes to a close, artistic hopefuls will be showing off their higher-learning art skills for a chance to feature their work at R. Pela Gallery in Phoenix. The "Summer Juried Graduate Exhibition" will offer such innovative pieces as photographs, ceramics, wood, and fibers by 12 current master's of fine arts students from ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The on-view artwork has been be selected by gallery owner and New Times contributor Robrt Pela.
"Summer Juried Exhibition" is on view now through Friday, August 29, at the Harry Wood Gallery, 900 South Forest Mall, Tempe. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Please note that not all works in the show are suitable for children. For details, visit arts.asu.edu or call 480-965-8521.
People who'd never enjoy pornography (or admit it, anyway) proudly consume erotica with an intellectual sheen. Hence the sophisticated crowds flocking to the first week of Arizona Theatre Company's Venus in Fur, continuing through Sunday, May 18. Wonder what some of 'em had on under those nice suits and gowns.
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David Ives' Tony-nominated two-hander is about power more than sex, though plenty of black leather, exposed milky flesh, and tantalizing threats of domination fly about as Thomas, a contemporary writer/director, conducts auditions for his adaptation of a novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch -- you know, the guy masochism's named after. Actress Vanda, arrives late and flustered, letting Thomas think he has the upper hand. (That's how we get your guard down, guys.) As Vanda wraps Thomas around her finger, when does acting segue into unalloyed seduction? A director-actor relationship's fraught and twisted enough already.
For your seat ($40.50 to $72) to Friday, May 9's performance, 8 p.m. at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, call 602-256-6995 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- Julie Peterson