Nerd Culture

Free Things to Do This Week: “Sleight of Hand,” WET After Dark, H2Oasis

Cherie Buck-Hutchison, First Women Baptizers at Grand Mesa National Forest.
Cherie Buck-Hutchison, First Women Baptizers at Grand Mesa National Forest. Courtesy of Scottsdale Public Art
Low on funds? This week you can make a splash at the WET After Dark party, settle down for storytelling with Jessie Balli, Brodie Foster Hubbard, and Laine Baker, or let the good times roll at the Good Times: Disco Party For Boys & Girls. Best part, it's all free. For more things to do, visit our curated calendar.

“Sleight of Hand”
Cherie Buck-Hutchison’s art elucidates some of life’s more complicated elements. The Phoenix-based artist blends new media with traditional art to “reorient spatial and social boundaries.”

For her “Sleight of Hand” exhibition at Appaloosa Library, 7377 East Silverstone Drive in Scottsdale, she explores her own personal history, including growing up immersed in patriarchal religious practices. Buck-Hutchison uses dual imagery to create a new perspective on female leadership. It’s her way of discarding archaic traditions, even as she honors the potential change and calls for new cultural narratives.

See her work between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, July 24. The free exhibition, presented by Scottsdale Public Art, continues through Saturday, August 5. Visit the Scottsdale Public Art website. Lynn Trimble

Sonora Cinemas
When glancing over the movie posters at Sonora Cinemas in Desert Sky Mall, you might notice something a little different. Tom Cruise and the creature he unleashed hover behind the title La Momia and Steve Carell’s animated characters battle above the title Gru 3: Mi Villano Favorito. Over the past year, the movie chain has been filling an important void for Phoenix’s Hispanic and Latino population by showing a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters and Latin American films dubbed or subtitled in Spanish. On the occasion of its first anniversary, the theater is celebrating with prizes for the whole family.

The festivities begin at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, at 7611 West Thomas Road. The event is free. Visit the Sonora Cinema website for more details. Jason Keil

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Make a splash.
Michelle Sasonov
WET After Dark
Time to make a weeknight splash with the W Scottsdale’s summer night swim series.

The swanky Scottsdale spot at 7277 East Camelback Road hosts the WET After Dark party every Thursday. From 8 p.m. until midnight, sip a Ciroc Mojito and jam out to the tropical house music courtesy of DJ Circle. Don’t forget that this pool party requires upscale pool attire, and the event is for those 21 and older. To reserve a VIP table or cabana for July 27, call 602-405-0099. Visit the W Scottsdale website. Lindsay Roberts

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Want to hear a secret?
Sarah Marie Rainier
Untidy Secrets
It’s appropriate that Belle and Sebastian, a band steeped in the written word, are the catalyst for new narrative works. “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” is this month’s theme at Untidy Secrets, a storytelling event and ’zine swap. Settle down with stories by Jessie Balli, Brodie Foster Hubbard, Laine Baker, Marnee Burrus, Michael Palladino, and Sari Beliak. You might hear about naive boys that succeed or a tale that sets your mind to wander. Untidy Secrets’ mission is to encourage literature through alternative means, so writers and storytellers are encouraged to swap their printed work and network with others.

The storytelling starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 28, at Ash Avenue Comics and Books, 806 South Ash Avenue in Tempe. The event is free. For more information, visit the Ash Avenue Comics website. Jason Keil

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Compression by Bryan David Griffith, an artist represented by Bentley Gallery.
Courtesy of Bentley Gallery
“Gallery Artists"
Recently, Bentley Gallery announced it’s representing Travis Rice, who holds a fresh master’s of fine arts from Arizona State. Rice’s work fills the gallery’s project space, but there’s more to see than just the new kid in town. Bentley Gallery, 215 East Grant Street, is also showing selected works by several of its other artists in an exhibition called “Gallery Artists.”

It’s a summertime sampling of work in several media by artists who hail from Arizona and other parts of the world. Bentley Gallery’s cadre of more than 50 artists also includes Bryan David Griffith, a Flagstaff artist whose media include fire. See the free exhibition from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 28. It continues through Thursday, August 31. Visit the Bentley Gallery website. Lynn Trimble

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Are you ready to a Gogh Gogh?
Media Tempe
Tempe Art A Gogh Gogh
If you like seeing art in the making and wanna enjoy a cocktail while you’re peeping a masterpiece in motion, there’s a Tempe bar you should add to your Friday night to-visit list.

Live music is also part of the mix at Tempe Art A Gogh Gogh, the recurring art party that is back for another round. On the musical front, the night features performances by members of local jazzy hip-hop act The Stakes, including ZeeDub, Lord Kash, Kevin Phillips, Alan Acosta, and Luis Martinez. I-Dee, Eddie Welz, and Camille Sledge handle the emceeing, while artist Haboobs handles the live painting duty. This multimedia mashup happens at 9 p.m. on July 28 at Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. Visit the Facebook event page or the Yucca Tap Room website. Amy Young

Good Times: Disco Party For Boys & Girls
Get ready to boogie all night long, because Rips is reviving the ’70s for one night only.

Good Times: Disco Party For Boys & Girls starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 28. Get ready to shake your groove thing to the sounds of disco, electro boogie, proto-house, and Italo disco. Expect all-night drink specials and free pizza.

Disco attire is encouraged. So whip out those bell bottoms, pick out that ’fro, and strap on those platforms. There is no cover for this event at 3045 North 16th Street. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

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Water’s what it’s all about.
CityScape Phoenix
Water’s what it’s all about during Arizona summers, and you can confirm as much when CityScape, 1 East Washington Street, hosts H2Oasis. The event takes over a stretch of Central Avenue and Patriots Park with eight giant water slides, all-ages games and activities, and shady spots to stretch out.

H2Oasis is also pet-friendly (though you should consider shoes for your pup), and runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. Admission is free, and the whole shebang is open to the public. For more information, see and the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

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Make some art waves with Jennifer McCurdy’s Coral Nest exhibited at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
“Making Waves”
Catch a wave without heading to the coastline. In a new exhibition of wave-inspired art, four artists share distinct takes on what that means.

Katie Glusica’s work explores the relationship between weaving and wave/particle duality, Lucrezia Bieler’s delicate paper-cutting reflects the balance of nature, and Jennifer McCurdy’s wheel-thrown porcelain addresses the ordered symmetry and asymmetry of the natural world. They’re featured, along with Robert Donne, in the “Making Waves” group exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street.

See the free exhibition between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. The show continues through Sunday, August 6. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

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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