Free Things to Do This Week: MFA Summer Show, Karaoke, All-Women Improv

See the light with this work by Lily Montgomery and Krista Davis at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery.
See the light with this work by Lily Montgomery and Krista Davis at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery. Lynn Trimble
Art comes in various forms. Artist Anthony Mead uses wood with curry powder, and the Iglesias sisters visually capture the ingenuity of resistance. Even karaoke counts. No matter how you define creativity, you can experience a lot of it for free. Here's your guide. For more things to do, visit our curated calendar.

“MFA Summer Show”
Harry Wood Gallery is showing works by graduate art students in its “MFA Summer Show.”

Participating artists include Lily Montgomery and Krista Davis, whose work blends neon, sound, and video projection. Over a dozen additional artists are part of the show, including Anthony Mead, who works with wood and unconventional materials such as coffee beans and curry powder. The exhibition also includes ceramics, fiber art, painting, photography, drawing, and prints.

The free exhibition was juried by Sara Cochran, director and chief curator for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. See it on Tuesday, August 8, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. inside the ASU Art Building, 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe. It’s on view through Friday, August 11. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Las Hermanas Iglesias, Competitions: Round III, 2015
Courtesy of Maria Guex for 601Artspace
Art meets resistance in the work of Lisa and Janelle Iglesias. The duo create work that disrupts borders, embraces absurdity, and fosters collaboration. Working together as Las Hermanas Iglesias, the sisters explore their relationship and take on acts of resistance rooted in optimism rather than nihilism. The Iglesias’ art has filled a gallery space at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe, for the “Re:Sisters” exhibition.

The show includes prints, sculpture, and mixed-media work created with found and made objects that reflect five weeks spent in the desert Southwest and Phoenix-area communities.

See “Re:Sisters” between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9. Museum admission is free, and the exhibition continues through Wednesday, September 6. Visit the ASU Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Happy Hour Karaoke
Here's something to sing about. Self proclaimed "The Place for Karaoke" Kobalt Bar is hosting two great things all in one night: Happy Hour Karaoke. This is an early edition of karaoke kicking off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 10 followed by late-night show tunes. So grab a mic and a few beers, and head down to 3110 North Central Avenue, #125, for a night full of amateur Whitney Houston covers. Admission for this 21-and-over event is free. Visit the Kobalt Bar website for more details. Lindsay Roberts

click to enlarge
Constance McBride, Between Two Worlds, 2016. Ceramic, iron oxide, steel, wood.
Courtesy of Shemer Art Center

“Annual Student & Instructor Exhibition”
See the latest iteration of Shemer Art Center’s “Annual Student & Instructor Exhibition” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, August 11. It’s a chance to explore works by emerging and established artists working in diverse media, including ceramics, sculpture, painting, colored pencil, and mixed media.

Featured Shemer instructors include Constance McBride, Turner Davis, and Danielle Wood. More than a dozen Shemer students will also be showing their work. The show continues through Thursday, September 7, at 5005 East Camelback Road. Admission is free, but Shemer suggests a $7 donation or $10 per couple. Visit the Shemer Art Center website. Lynn Trimble

SoWest: Killer Nights

Three decades ago, Sara Paretsky noticed a lack of diversity in crime and thriller genres. So the creator of famous female detective V.I. Warshawski and a group of fellow authors founded the organization Sisters in Crime. The group’s mission is to fight discrimination and “raise the level of awareness” about women writing in the mystery genre, while pushing to see more women nominated for awards recognizing their literary contributions.

The Desert Sleuths chapter of the organization will celebrate 30 years with the release of SoWest: Killer Nights, the next edition of a locally set anthology series, with New York Times best-selling authors Clive Cussler, Lee Goldberg, and Robin Burcell. Desert Sleuths’ 30th Anniversary Celebration is at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 11, at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

Funny gals.
Torch Theatre
Riot Jam: All Female Improv Jam
Calling all hilarious ladies who can deliver off-the-cuff humor and are on the hunt for a little mic time. There’s a Central Phoenix stage with your name on it. Riot Jam: All Female Improv Jam is the regular event hosted by the Torch Theatre, where Arizona’s improvisers show off their skills. Torch education director Jacque Arend says their group sees the event as a great way to showcase and celebrate the wealth of female talent that exists in our local improv community. Participants show up, drop their name in a bucket, and then names are drawn to form the teams. The performances start immediately.

Watch this impromptu hour of fun from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at 4721 North Central Avenue. Admission and participation are free. Visit the Torch Theatre website. Amy Young

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young