Can't tell the difference between a Renaissance and a Baroque painting? Be not afraid. The ASU Art Museum happens to own some of the best examples of art from both periods, and, beginning Saturday, August 23, brings them out for all to see. "The Painters' Craft: Renaissance and Baroque Paintings in the Permanent Collection" displays 12 of the collection's 22 paintings. These include Bicci di Lorenzo's Nativity (1420-1430), an excellent example of a "predella panel," a horizontal band of small narrative scenes that usually sat under an altarpiece. Other works include L'Ortolano's Presentation in the Temple and Domenico Puligo's Madonna, Child and St. John.
Renaissance art was known for its examination of the human body and celebration of science. Proper proportions reigned and eventually led to the great Michelangelo's mapping of the human body in stone. Baroque art was a reaction against the Renaissance, in a sense. The Catholic Church, unhappy with the cold science of the Renaissance, urged artists to inject more spirituality and emotion into their art -- thus the Baroque period was born.
Jean Makin, curator of the exhibition, says, "These works are very, very fragile. They've been conserved and stabilized, but we try not to change their environment very often -- this is an extraordinarily rare chance to see some 15th- and 16th-century art."
For more information, call 480-965-2787. - Maidi Terry
History through the eyes of a participant
History vividly comes to life when it's told by someone who was really there, but we don't always get such a privilege. Get a unique, personal perspective on World War II on Friday, August 22, from Masaji Inoshita, one of many Japanese-Americans relocated to an Arizona internment camp during the war.
Inoshita describes his experiences living in the camp as well as serving in the Army, where military intelligence work took him to Southeast Asia. The free presentation is part of the Faces of Diversity brown bag lunch series, held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 West Jefferson. Call 602-261-8242 for details. - Michele Laudig
Taming of the Brew
Get your cup filled in Mesa
Mesa Contemporary Arts' latest exhibition is fit to a tea . . . party. "Steeped in Tradition: The Contemporary Art of Tea II" opens Tuesday, August 26, and features teapots, cups, saucers, creamers, bowls, spoons and related imagery in a variety of media, created by 21 artists from around the country. Leslie Ferrin, the show's juror, is owner of the Ferrin Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object. Mesa Contemporary Arts is located in the Mesa Arts Center at 155 North Center in Mesa. Admission is free. For details call 480-644-2056. - Michele Laudig
For Whom the Art Bell Tolls
Discuss it and they will come
The Mutual UFO Network is the clan with the plan -- the UFO Crash Retrieval Contingency Plan, that is -- and this weekend, the Arizona chapter of Earth's largest civilian UFO research organization spreads the stealth. The group's seventh annual UFO Awareness Fair invades Phoenix Spectrum Mall, 1703 West Bethany Home, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 23, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 24. Folks with pertinent information are encouraged to come and share their experiences, and MUFON reps will have membership info on hand (club credo: "They are out there, we just need to find out who they really are"), as well as photos and literature detailing sightings in Arizona and throughout the U.S. Admission is free; see www.mufonarizona.org. - Jill Koch
Jazz soars in mile-high Prescott
A slate of jazz greats blows into Prescott this weekend for the city's third annual Jazz Summit, commencing at noon Friday, August 22, with a free concert at Courthouse Square. Continuing through Sunday, August 24, an array of events -- concerts, workshops, panel discussions, a meet-the-musicians dinner and Sunday jazz brunch -- tout the talents of Terry Gibbs, Lennie Niehaus, Mike Vax, Roy Wiegand and Gary Hobbs, among others. Event tickets range from $10 to $100; the nonprofit fest benefits local school music departments, jazz camp scholarships and the Clare Willey Memorial Scholarship Fund. For tickets or more information, call 1-928-771-1268 or e-mail Vaxtrpts@aol.com. - Jill Koch
Red Wine, Red Planet
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Celebrate the fourth planet's low flyby
Be it a wedding, a first date, or the fact that Mars is the closest it's been to Earth in 60,000 years, some people know that any occasion is the right occasion for a fine glass of wine. In the case of the Junior Astronomers at Fleming's Steakhouse in Scottsdale, a close fly-by of the red planet is reason enough to merge telescopes and wineglasses for an evening of great tastes and even better viewing.
Take flight with a glass of red or white at Wine Flights to Mars at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 27; Friday, August 29; and Saturday, August 30, at Fleming's Steakhouse, 20753 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Entertain a variety of Fleming's award-winning wines while learning about Mars from astronomy buff Greg Healy, and top off an evening of celestial pleasure by viewing the planet up close through Mr. Healy's 12.5-inch electronic telescope. Reservations are $25 per person. To RSVP call 480-538-8000. - Craig Wallach