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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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"These Are Some of My Favorite Things"

If you have a box full of Pez dispensers buried in the back of your closet or a book of state quarters discretely hidden between copies of the latest bestsellers, then we have something in common. Peter Held has us thinking about these kinds of assemblages, if you will, for his final exhibition as curator of ceramics at ASU.

See also: 3 Free Events in Metro Phoenix This Week

"These Are Some of My Favorite Things" explores of the human compulsion to collect, with groupings ranging from a wooden shelf full of white objects to a case populated solely by cactus-shaped salt and pepper shakers. The show features eight collections from local artists, collectors, and creatives Cyndi Coon, Emily Long, Gretchen Freeman, Mark Klett, Randall and Katherine Schmidt, Joe Willie Smith, New Times contributor Kathleen Vanesian, and Kurt Weiser.

"These Are Some of My Favorite Things" will be on view at the ASU Art Museum Brickyard location, 699 South Mill Avenue, Suite 108 in Tempe. This fall, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu or call 480-727-8170. -- Katrina Montgomery

"Japanese Cloisonné"

Cloisonné is a French word, but it's used to describe an art-making technique that now exists virtually world-wide. The ancient method of decorating metalwork objects using gemstones, glass, or vitreous enamel originated in the Near East as a jewelry-making practice, but it spread to include wider geographies and more complicated end results.

Art collector Waynor Rogers will give a brief history of Japanese cloisonné and share a bit about the process of creating this work during a lunchtime lecture at Phoenix Art Museum. Using objects from the museum's collection, Rogers will take visitors through a comparison of Japanese and Chinese cloisonné in the 19th and 20th centuries. Though it's origins are ancient, the cloisonné technique is still alive and well today.

Rogers' lecture on Japanese cloisonné begins at noon Wednesday, September 3, at 1625 North Central Avenue. The talk is free with $15 museum admission. For more information, visit www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. -- Katrina Montgomery

T.J. Miller

On a raucous visit to a Midwestern TV morning show this past July, actor and comedian T.J. Miller asserted between bits, "I'm at that level of pseudo-celebrity where people say, 'Hey, we went to high school together.'" Miller's familiar face brings laughs to the opening weekend of Rick Bronson's House of Comedy, starting on Thursday, September 4.

Currently starring in HBO's Silicon Valley, Miller mixes absurdity, storytelling, and an affable sense of adventure whenever he grips a mic. Starting out in Chicago's comedy scene, the comic's stayed true to his roots while still acting in mainstream fare such as Yogi Bear, How to Train Your Dragon, and this summer's Transformers: Age of Extinction. In addition to the weekend's standup shows, there will be a live recording of the podcast Cashing In with T.J. Miller with co-host Cash Levy on Sunday.

T.J. Miller performs at the House of Comedy, 5350 East High Street, through Sunday. Thursday's show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $26.95. Visit www.houseofcomedy.net to purchase tickets or for more information. -- Jose Gonzalez

"Arizona Ghost Towns"

Reach for your car keys, cowboy, because hip historian Marshall Shore is putting on a slide-slinging show you won't want to miss. As part of the exhibition "Arizona Ghost Towns: Photography of Kurt Wenner," which will remain on view through the end of September, Shore is taking a trip through the Wild West of yesteryear with a presentation on Arizona's most notable ghost towns. Shore will tell stories as well as exhibit photographs and artifacts that illustrate ghost town life then and now, including re-inhabited ghost towns Crown King and Vulture Mine.

After the two-hour presentation, guests can enjoy small bites provided by Big Johnson Big Apple and explore the photographic works of Kurt Wenner. Shore's ghost town presentation happens from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, at the Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street. Admission is free. For details, visit www.pueblogrande.com 602-495-0901. -- Katie Johnson

Tricks for Twenties

Normally, turning tricks for cash would be frowned upon by law enforcement, society and your mom, but Adidas and Cowtown Skateboards have found a way to make it okay: Tricks for Twenties. At this free-to-enter contest -- the first of three to be held this year -- reps from Cowtown will descend upon Foothills Skatepark in Glendale with microphones, free pizza, and $1,000 worth of Andrew Jacksons. Throughout the night, they'll call out skateboarding tricks for all skill levels and the first person to correctly perform each trick gets a crisp $20 bill. Land all your kickflips, gingersnaps, and Casper Disasters and you just might earn enough skrilla to make mom proud.

Tricks for Twenties rolls into Foothills Skatepark, located at 5708 West Union Hills Road, at 6 p.m. Friday, September 5. Visit www.cowtownskateboards.com for more. -- Zachary Fowle

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