See quilts by Linda Engstrom and several additional artists at Chandler Center for the Arts.
See quilts by Linda Engstrom and several additional artists at Chandler Center for the Arts.
Linda Engstrom

The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

This week you can get your fill of artsy events with a curator chat, an astronomy-inspired exhibition, and Phoenix Festival of the Arts. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“Art Quilts XXII: As Close to the Edge as I Can Go”
If you pop over to Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue, for an exhibition called “Art Quilts XXII: As Close to the Edge as I Can Go,” odds are, you’ll walk away with a fresh take on quilts.

The exhibition includes 23 works, created by 21 artists, including Denise Currier, Janet Hiller, and Ann Turley. It features a wide range of quilts made with various techniques, from hand-embroidery to digital printing on cotton fabric. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, December 4. The free show continues through January 5, 2018. Visit the Chandler Center for the Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Tomorrow’s Stars Today
Discover the newest voices in YA literature as the ASU Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing presents Tomorrow’s Stars Today at The Poisoned Pen bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Award-winning LGBT YA author and teacher Bill Konigsberg (Out of the Pocket, Openly Straight) will host the event, which will feature several graduating students from the Piper Center’s “Your Novel Year” program, reading excerpts from their final manuscripts. Among those scheduled to read are Donna Berry, Steve Smith, and Cheryl Padden. Who knows, you might see the next John Green or Susan Collins before they hit the New York Times best-seller list?

The reading will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5. Admission is free. Call 480-947-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website for more information. Michael Senft

Get the lowdown on land art during a curator chat with Brittany Corrales at ASU Art Museum. Photo: Alan Sonfist, Views of New York City: Ancient and Contemporary. Serigraph, 26.25 x 26.25 in. Gift of Kimberly Cramer.
Get the lowdown on land art during a curator chat with Brittany Corrales at ASU Art Museum. Photo: Alan Sonfist, Views of New York City: Ancient and Contemporary. Serigraph, 26.25 x 26.25 in. Gift of Kimberly Cramer.
Courtesy of ASU Art Museum

Curator Chat
Currently on view at ASU Art Museum is an exhibition called “Terrestrial.” The show explores important works of land art, a movement that emerged in the mid-20th century and found artists using natural materials like dirt and rocks to form site-specific pieces. Comprising diverse art from the museum’s permanent collection, “Terrestrial” also addresses the movement’s ongoing impact on contemporary artists — including Arizona creatives Mark Klett and Matthew Moore.

Want more insight? Brittany Corrales, curatorial assistant for ASU Art Museum, will discuss the land art movement during a free Curator Chat from 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, at 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. “Terrestrial” continues through February 3, 2018. Visit the ASU Events website. Lynn Trimble

One of many performances during last year’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts.EXPAND
One of many performances during last year’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts.
Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Picture outdoor holiday shopping amid palm trees and green grass. That’s what you’ll find at Phoenix Festival of the Arts, when more than 100 artisans and cultural organizations fill booths with original art, handmade wares, and information about cultural resources in the Valley. It’s a relaxing way to cross more names of your gift list while catching some rays, mingling with fellow art lovers, learning more about the city, and supporting local arts and culture.

The free fest will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 8, and continue through Sunday, December 10, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street. It’s a chance to explore fresh art, diverse performances, food trucks, and live mural painting. You’ll have plenty of great choices, as featured artists work in ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, and textiles. Get details at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Keep your arms inside the vehicle in general, including for The Light Rail Plays.
Keep your arms inside the vehicle in general, including for The Light Rail Plays.
Courtesy of Rising Youth Theatre

The Light Rail Plays
About once a year, Rising Youth Theatre introduces itself to new audiences and expands the definition of public art with The Light Rail Plays, a collaboration between adult professional theater artists and young artists from Valley schools. Metro passengers are taken by surprise as short original plays in diverse genres burst onto the scene. Meanwhile, other audiences have planned ahead to witness the offbeatness and those witnessing it.

Performances will take place on selected light rail platforms in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa through Sunday, December 10. The timetable for Friday, December 8, indicates scheduled arrivals at the Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street stop at 6 p.m. and again at 7. Admission is free, but you can reserve a spot and get more info at the Rising Youth Theatre website. Julie Peterson

Get ready for cosplay at LibCon West hosted by the Glendale Public Library on Saturday, December 10.EXPAND
Get ready for cosplay at LibCon West hosted by the Glendale Public Library on Saturday, December 10.
Steven Goldstein

Libcon West 2017
Pop culture fiends already might have Libcon West 2017 marked on their calendars. The all-ages library and comics convention at the Glendale Public Library, 5959 West Brown Street, will have vendors, panels, and of course, cosplay.

The second annual edition of the event will offer a slate of things to do, including the Author Chat (a panel of graphic novel and science fiction writers, including Nate Evans, Amy K. Nichols, Beth Cato, and more) and the interactive show, Syndicate Saber Presents: The Jedi Trials. Other to-dos include Storytime with the (Drag) Queen, the Retro Trivia Challenge, and a DIY Cosplay Cape Demo with the Southwest Costumers Guild. There will also be food trucks, cosplay photo ops with Phoenix Ghostbusters, and plenty of shopping.

The free con runs from11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. For more information, call 623-930-3537 or see the Libcon West website. Lauren Cusimano

This Santa's got a six pack.EXPAND
This Santa's got a six pack.
Benjamin Leatherman

Santarchy
Santa Claus is coming to town this weekend — and he’s in the mood to party. Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick won’t be alone, however, as he’ll be rolling through the streets of downtown Phoenix in search of drinks and merriment with a ho-ho-horde of Christmas-inspired costumed characters, including countless Kris Kringle look-alikes.

It’s all a part of Santarchy, the annual costumed bar crawl that’s inspired by the Santa Claus mythos and features hundreds of participants dressed as reindeer, elves, snowmen, or anything else holiday-related. After taking place in Old Town Scottsdale the last several years, the 2017 edition of Santarchy on Saturday, December 9, will occur in downtown Phoenix and will include stops at more than a dozen different bars in the area starting at 9 p.m.

As always, it’s free to participate in the crawl, which is a little bit kooky, creative, and chaotic, not to mention a whole lot of fun. Costumes, however, are mandatory. For more info, including the starting location and participating bars, visit the Facebook event page. Benjamin Leatherman

Ford/Robert Black Agency’s Holiday Party
Looking good for a seasonal get together is one thing. When it’s the Ford/Robert Black Agency’s Holiday Party, you might want to crank it up a few notches. To add some extra sparkle to the bash, the talent and modeling agency got the team from the Scottsdale formalwear boutique Glam Squad Couture in on the action. That crew will present a fashion show featuring designs by Sherri Hill, whose creations have been worn by celebs like Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande.

Doors to this stylish soiree will open at 9 p.m., and the fashion show will begin at 10 on Saturday, December 8, at the W Hotel Scottsdale, 7277 East Camelback Road. Admission is free, but VIP tables are available. Call 602-405-0099 or visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young

It's out of this world.
It's out of this world.
Kathryn Maxwell

“Halfway Between the Earth and Stars”
“Halfway Between the Earth and Stars” opens at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum on Sunday, December 10. The astronomy-themed exhibition features the work of artist Kathryn Maxwell, and explores the far-reaching topic of humans’ connection to the larger universe. Maxwell drew inspiration from the structure of DNA and maps of constellations when creating her series. The ASU professor is known for creating nature-based, spiritual, and scientific artwork addressing the deeper issues of existence.

Sunday hours are from noon to 5 p.m., and the exhibition will run through March 25, at 1 East Main Street. Members of the public will have a chance to meet the artist during an opening reception at the museum on Friday, February 9. For more information on the free show, call 480-644-6560 or visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Laura Latzko

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >