Got a weakness for good wine? Then flight for your right to party starting Thursday, August 14, when Furio hosts Flight Night, a new wine event featuring flights of three boutique wines and chic eats prepared by executive chef Jagger Griffin. A different local wine lover hosts the event each week. For the 7 p.m. kickoff party, connoisseur Jodie MacKenzie Carstens is the grape goddess of the evening. "I'm really happy that Furio has decided to do this," says Carstens, who's currently working toward a sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. "A lot of young people are interested in wine, but they just don't know where to start, and wine education is always associated with snobbery. But there's no room for snobbery," she says. Carstens will be on hand throughout the night to chat about wine, answer questions and discuss how to pair wines with different foods.
Flights are $10 every Thursday at Furio, 7210 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Call 480-239-1753 for reservations. - Michele Laudig
Modern dance troupe performs a preview
Make a rain date: On Sunday, August 17, "The Gallery Affair" mixes wine, food, music and a silent auction benefiting the Valley's new Rayn Dance Theatre. The nonprofit modern dance troupe is on tap to provide a preview performance of its inaugural concert, set for September 27 at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. This weekend's Affair runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Scottsdale's Rima Fine Art Gallery, 7077 East Main. Tickets -- $10 per person, $15 per couple -- are available at the door. Call 602-228-5756 for additional details. - Jill Koch
Arist exhibits his unique sculptures
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After spending 35 years as a counselor at Phoenix College, Emil Kass decided that he needed to take a welding class. Kass spent years looking at good and bad public metal art in the Valley, and always had a sense that he could do as well or better. So he did.
He began scouring junkyards for subjects and quickly found a market for his yard art and sculptures. Consisting mainly of cowboys, Native Americans, spirit figures, chimeneas and religious icons, Kass' sculptures are equal parts metal and elbow grease.
His creative process develops naturally from his medium. "I just get a unique piece of metal, fall over it a few times, and then I decide what it will become," he explains. "I don't have any preconceived ideas." Kass exhibits his work from Monday, August 18, through September 10 at Phoenix College's Art Gallery, on 11th Avenue, north of Thomas. The show is free, and Kass' items, ranging in price from $50 to $400, are available for purchase. Call 602-285-7277 for more information. - Maidi Terry