First Friday in Phoenix: 5 Things to Do December 6

Rossitza Todorova's Untitled - Tumble (2013) is mixed media on a panel.
Rossitza Todorova's Untitled - Tumble (2013) is mixed media on a panel.
Courtesy of Halt Gallery

Whether you're heading out for the people-watching, partying, or (surprise!) to check out fresh works of art this First Friday, here are Jackalope Ranch's top picks for shows and events not to miss this evening.

Halt Gallery's "Roaming with Abandon" @ Modified Arts Becky Nahom and Julia Bruck have big ideas. The two have worked together and separately as curators, and now they're teaming up to open their own gallery. Well, sort of. Halt Gallery is a mobile curating project the duo co-founded. Essentially, they'll conceptualize exhibitions, aiming to pair work with spaces that aren't always traditional. "Not all art is meant to hang in a gallery," Nahom said in a recent interview with New Times' culture blog, Jackalope Ranch.

See also: Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend They haven't exactly branched out location-wise, as their first show under the Halt banner is "Roaming with Abandon," which features work from Jonathan Cross, Kerstin Dale, William LeGoullon, and Rossitza Todorova, is on display at Modified Arts. But considering the pair's dabbling in public art, we wouldn't be surprised to see them curate a game-changing showstopper soon. "Roaming" is on view through Saturday, December 14, at 407 East Roosevelt Street. Hours Saturday, November 30, are noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visit or call 602-462-5516. -- Becky Bartkowski


The Heavy Pedal's Terrence Patrick, Leonor Aispuro, and Victor Vasquez.
The Heavy Pedal's Terrence Patrick, Leonor Aispuro, and Victor Vasquez.
Benjamin Leatherman

Grand Opening @ The Heavy Pedal The artists behind local cycling company and lifestyle brand The Heavy Pedal have grand plans for their new headquarters -- a combination retail shop, co-working space, art gallery, creative hangout, and study spot near Madison Street and Seventh Avenue, as well as its grand opening party on First Friday.

Local graphic designers and cycling fiends Terrence Patrick and Victor Vasquez, who co-founded Heavy Pedal back in 2008, have spent the past several weeks readying the 2,500-square-foot warehouse space for its debut, including creating an epic-looking mural, a sewing station, room for various art and cycling projects, and a few urbane and industrial décor touches.

Tonight's grand opening will be just as hyphenate-filled as its co-founders and the space itself and will feature DJ sessions, live art from Dumperfoo, live sewing and cycling cap creation by Heavy Pedal fashion designer Leonor Aispuro, new works by painter/illustrator Abe Zucca, and visual projections from the artists of Cornfed. Heavy Pedal will also show off its new Zephyr track bikes and t-shirt designs. The party runs from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Heavy Pedal, 805 West Madison Street. Admission is free. -- Benjamin Leatherman


"Jesus! A December Celebration of the Christ" @ R. Pela Contemporary Art Christ almighty, we are already tired of Christmas crap. Between the endless shopping lists, obligatory party overload, and the unavoidable cookie onslaught, there's almost no escaping baby Jesus and what he, Hallmark, and Coca-Cola hath wrought.

But "almost" is the key word there. One holiday-ish event in particular has screwed up our Scrooge-y outlook to the extent that we have no choice but to attend it. In fact, we're so honestly delighted by the prospect of the juried exhibition "Jesus! A December Celebration of the Christ" that we might need to reconsider our holiday-hating ways. Well, almost.

The lord-and-savior-inspired show features works from Vincent Larue, Kathleen Engstrom, Jeff Falk, and New Times art director Peter Storch, among other local and international artists. Works were selected by a panel of artists, critics, and clergy members.

"Jesus!" is in the house at 6 p.m. Friday, December 6, at R. Pela Contemporary Art, 335 West McDowell Road, which is owned and operated by longtime New Times contributor Robrt Pela. A second reception starts at 6 p.m. Third Friday, December 20. Private viewings can be scheduled by calling 602-320-8445. -- Becky Bartkowski


Bettie Page in Mark Mori's Bettie Page Reveals All, now playing at FilmBar.
Bettie Page in Mark Mori's Bettie Page Reveals All, now playing at FilmBar.
Music Box Films

The Bettie Page Celebration @ FilmBar This First Friday, downtown Phoenix will show a little leg and a whole lot of appreciation for America's most memorable pinup girl, Bettie Page. The raven-haired vixen will be given tribute with a classic car show featuring early atomic American hot rods, a photo booth by Allons-y Media, a DJ set from former New Times music editor Jason P. Woodbury (who, full disclosure, is married to culture editor Becky Bartkowski), and Bettie Page merchandise from Zia Records. The festivities will kick off the week-long screenings of the documentary Bettie Page Reveals All. Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mark Mori, this film exposes one of the most iconic sex symbols in pop culture with a never-before-heard narrative from the late star.

The Bettie Page Celebration begins at 6 p.m. Friday, December 6, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission to the classic car show, photo booth, and DJ set is free. Tickets are $9 for the 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. screenings of Bettie Page Reveals All. Visit or call 602-595-9187. -- Katie Johnson


First Friday in Phoenix: 5 Things to Do December 6
Courtesy of Palabra

"Uno" @ Palabra Hair styling and art may not seem as though they go together, but Jorge Torres would beg to differ.

"I opened up Palabra with the notion of having a hub for everything that I'm into," Torres says. "The hair part is my bread and butter, but I'm able to do so many other things with the space -- music, artwork, poetry readings."

On Friday, December 6, Palabra celebrates one full year of business with "Uno," a group show including a variety of work from the artists involved in the collective.

Currently, the collective is made up of nine artists: El Peezo, Rebecca Green, Spencer Hibert, Mikey Jackson, Tyson Krank, Ashley Macias, Joseph "Sentrock" Perez, Yai, and Enrique Garcia, who goes by Mr PHX. The upcoming show will mark the first time their work has been on display as a collective.

You can catch "Uno" this Friday, December 6, at Palabra starting at 8 p.m. The opening will feature music by DJ Dirtyverbs, Michael Pennington, and Nico. Read more. -- Katrina Montgomery

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Related Locations

Modified Arts

407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004



815 N. 2nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


R. Pela Contemporary Art

335 W. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

The Heavy Pedal

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