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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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Now presenting your guide to arty events in Phoenix this week. Have at 'em.

Art Unraveled

Arizona artists, get ready to converse over canvas. The 11th annual Art Unraveled comes to Phoenix with more than 125 day and evening workshops in all manner of media including painting, jewelry, metals, books, fibers, and sculpting. This convention of creatives will feature local and international artists sharing their right-minded talents with other skilled creators.

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Art Unraveled 2014 runs from Monday, July 28, to Tuesday, August 5, at Phoenix Embassy Suites, 4415 East Paradise Village Parkway South. Daytime workshops run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with lunch breaks from noon to 1:30 p.m. Evening workshops run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Workshop prices range roughly between $50 and $300 plus a one-time $50 registration fee. Walk-in registration begins at 7 p.m on Monday, July 28, during the artist meet and greet. For more information, visit www.artunraveled.com. -- Katie Johnson

Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland

Somewhere between skinny jeans and facial hair, bicycles became, arguably, the most essential hipster accessory, and it might just be Portland's fault. In the new documentary Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland, filmmaker Joel Biel explores Portland's storied history with cycling both as a mode of transportation and as a social movement.

In addition to screening Biel's work, FilmBar also will hold a special digital Q&A with the filmmaker to discuss how places like Phoenix could one day follow in Portland's footsteps in terms of city planning and bike integration.

Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland comes to FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, for one night only on Tuesday, July 29. The bike mania begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $9. The run-time for the showing is approximately 75 minutes, with a Skype Q&A session with Biel scheduled to take place post-screening for no extra charge. For more information visit www.thefilmbarphx.com or call 602-595-9187. -- Katrina Montgomery

Two Shots

Double trouble meets the double feature with Actors Theatre Phoenix's Two Shots. This two-for-one theater event will offer a single evening of original plays from Ben Tyler and David Barker. In part one of this two-part theater production, The Sperm of Ten Men, Tyler tells the story of being a sperm donor for his brother and sister-in-law, and on a larger scale, looks at the lasting impact of our actions in life. Continuing this conjoined creative performance is Dodging Bullets, a play in which Barker recounts the tale of his midday attempted murder by a brain surgeon in a Boston suburb.

Actors Theatre Phoenix will present Two Shots at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the Black Theatre Troupe building,1333 East Washington Street. General admission is $20. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.actorstheatrephx.org or call 602-888-0368. -- Katie Johnson

Hal Sparks

It took Hal Sparks awhile to catch fire, but quirky commentary helped him find his true sense of comedic timing.

The 44-year-old made a name for himself with his role as comic-book loving Michael Novotny on the stateside version of Queer as Folk, a British-developed drama about the interwoven lives of a group of gay men and women living in Pittsburgh. But not everybody had Showtime to see the award-winning series, and Sparks became better known for his pop culture sound offs on VH1's drawn-out I Love The... series -- discussing everything from Jon Bon Jovi's acid wash to Furbies and back again -- and a hosting stint on E!'s Talk Soup in the late 1990s.

Catch the well-coiffed comedian at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Additional shows are slated for Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17 with a two-drink minimum. Call 480-921-9877 or visit www.tempeimprov.com for more. -- Janessa Hilliard

"Garden Delights"

Jennifer Gross's latest solo exhibition "Garden Delights" on view at Practical Art this month may or may not be a reference the infamous Hieronymus Bosch triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. But Gross and Bosch do share a slight inclination towards the bizarre and an ability to bring their visions to life by paying special attention to detail.

Gross is primarily a ceramicist, but her background in drawing and painting is immediately evident looking at her work. The surfaces of her ceramic pieces pop with colorful illustrations that really make the three-dimensional objects come to life.

The opening reception for "Garden Delights" will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on First Friday, August 1, at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. The exhibition will remain on view through Sunday, August 31. For more information, visit www.practical-art.com or call 602-264-1414. -- Katrina Montgomery

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