When Jonathan Swift suggested in his famous work A Modest Proposal that the Irish eat their own young, he was being sarcastic. So when comic Ryan McKee began a local humor magazine in January and called it Modest Proposal, he knew he had picked a title that would welcome comedy and sarcasm. According to McKee, "We like to cover comedy like a music magazine would cover local music." On Saturday, August 30, at 9 p.m., the Paper Heart Gallery in Phoenix hosts the Alternative Comedy and Music Show to launch McKee's 'zine, providing one helluva lineup. Local comedians warm up the crowd, and then bands round out the evening. Admission is $5 at 222 North Fifth Avenue. Call 602-262-2020 for more information. - Maidi Terry
Glass artists showcase their works
Transparent as their efforts may be, glass artists are hotter than ever -- and a colorful collection of works blows into Scottsdale for a September show at Danela Gallery at the Borgata. Comprising vases, bowls, platters and candleholders by some of the most celebrated blowers in the U.S. and Canada, "Hot Glass" also showcases the hand-blown flowers of Tucson's Tom Philabaum. Arizona's best-known glass artist, Philabaum recently installed 210 of the flowers in South Mountain Community College's new performance hall. The exhibition continues through September 30 at the gallery, 6166 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 505. Call 480-922-1801 or see www.danelagallery.com. - Jill Koch
Ritual de lo Habitual
New pieces focus on the past
Remember how simple, common items -- dolls, Pez dispensers, a favorite pair of shoes -- became your precious childhood treasures? And how certain moments, like hearing a particular song for the first time or visiting a special place, turned into pivotal events that shaped your identity? These are the things that artist Jeff Falk taps into.
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"Childhood is a place that all adults pass through," says Falk. "But in memory, that period of our lives takes on an almost mystical significance."
Using textbook pages, diagrams and old toys, Falk creates 2-D and 3-D works that not only reference memories of his youth, but also evoke the viewer's own personal meanings.
Exploring the way children find magic in everyday things connects to Falk's broader interest in mystical belief systems. "The theme of sacredness and mystery of life occurs again and again in the course of human experience," he explains.
A collection of new work by Falk, titled "Beyond Words," is on display at Burton Barr Central Library's @Central Gallery starting Tuesday, September 2. Call 602-256-3521 for details. - Michele Laudig