When 17-year-old Mountain Pointe High School student Erika Vogt-Nilsen entered a graphically designed image of an evil-looking puppeteer dangling a crucified Christ in her school's winter art show in January, she learned an important lesson on the provocative nature of art. A small group of viewers, including a particular physics teacher, called for its removal, but school leaders allowed it to stay in. When the story went public, it sparked an idea in the minds of the folks at reZurrection Gallery, 601 West University in Tempe, and led to a thought-provoking exhibition, "The Last of the Iconoclasts," which runs Saturday, April 9, through May 11. "TLOTI" features works that incorporate religious symbols and imagery. "What happened to Erika got us thinking that this might be an interesting idea," recalls reZurrection's Darcy Johnson. "The works represented include religious icons of all kinds. The rest is up to individual interpretation." Admission is free. See www.rezurrectiongallery.net or call 480-377-9080. -- Craig Wallach
Artist ponders the art scene
Renowned artist Eric Fischl has had a storied career. Critics and connoisseurs have lauded his realist paintings, which often depict the sordid side of suburbia. He even grabbed headlines in 2002 when his controversial, 9/11-inspired sculpture Tumbling Woman was yanked from public view. So where did he get his start? Phoenix College. Yep, Fischl first found his muse in 1968 at the JuCo, located at 1202 West Thomas, and returns on Friday, April 8, to judge a student art contest and participate in a panel discussion, "Destination 2015: From New York to Phoenix, Vision of the Future Art Scene," in the Bulpitt Auditorium. "I'm at a point in my career where I need to acknowledge my earliest experiences with art, which, in Phoenix, were really positive," Fischl says. Local artists Steven Yazzie, Fatimah Halim, Roman Reyes and others will also participate. The discussion starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is free. Call 602-285-7667. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Dream machines at PIR
Wouldn't it be great to shop for a new vehicle without the hassle of a pusher, er, dealer, trying to tell you what you should buy? And just try walking onto a car lot and saying, "I can't afford a Corvette or a Hummer or an Escalade, but I'd like to test-drive them all today anyway." Well, from Thursday, April 7, through Sunday, April 10, you can take more than 150 vehicles for a spin for free (if you're at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license) at the General Motors AutoShow in Motion, taking place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at Phoenix International Raceway, 7602 South Avondale Boulevard in Avondale. Call 877-843-2746. -- Niki D'Andrea
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