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Five Must-See Arts and Culture Events This Week in Metro Phoenix

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We know, the beginning of the work week sucks. But if you take a quick look at the calendar, you'll see we're off to a pretty good week of art events, sports games, dance parties, and more. Here are our must-see events from now to the weekend...

Monday, January 7: "Navajo Code Talkers: Photographs by Kenji Kawano" @ Heard Museum Ni-he da-na-ah-taj ihla, yel khol-go e-e-ah. Day-ne tal-al-tso go enta-she-jah tal-tso-go entas-se-pah.

Did you decipher that? It's not likely you did -- those phrases are a variation on Navajo. While the uncrackable language of the code talkers that was employed during World War II saved many lives, the men who spoke it remain largely unknown and unrecognized. See also: - CO+HOOTS to Host a Grand "Rehatching" Party at New Location in January - Five Must-Attend Lectures in Phoenix This January - Tommy Edison (The Blind Film Critic) Explains How Blind People Use Instagram

The Heard Museum exhibit "Navajo Code Talkers: Photographs by Kenji Kawano" may change that. The collection of poignant photographs of Navajo Code Talkers tells the story of the Navajo people and how they changed the course of history.

By the way, the translation to the sentences above? "From dawn to setting sun, our flag waves. We have fought every place where we could take a gun." Don't feel bad; Japan couldn't figure it out either. Adult admission is $18. -- By Zachary Fowle

Tuesday, January 8: "Architecture + Art: Hector Zamora" @ Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art The Valley of the Sun conjures up images of palm trees, golf courses, and seemingly endless asphalt. But Brazilian-based Mexican artist Héctor Zamora hit the outskirts of town to gain a greater understanding of the intersection of modern life with the native environment in preparation for his current exhibition "Architecture + Art."

While the Sonoran Desert that surrounds our sprawlingly flat metropolis often fades into the background of our hustle and bustle, Zamora brings it to the forefront with his site-specific work Reductio Ad Absurdum. Whether the 1970s travel trailer subsumed by 25 tons of Arizona sand is seen as a relic of a past long left behind or a glimpse at a bleak but possible future, it's affecting all the same. Price: $7 for adults, $5 for students, free for members and those 15 and under, and free on Thursdays -- By Jose Gonzalez

Wednesday, January 9: "Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits: Shoe Fashion" @ Phoenix Art Museum amously shoe-obsessed and unlucky in love, Sex and The City character Carrie Bradshaw mused that she would end up a most literal old woman who lived in her shoes, based on the whooping 40K she had spent on frilly footwear. While women of the 1920s likely didn't have that kind of dough, the fascination with well-heeled hooves can be traced to that period.

Why shoes? Well, for the first time in history, ladies' hemlines rose above their previously scandalous ankles, revealing whatever fashion statement adorned their feet. Bata Shoe Museum curator Elizabeth Semmelhack will discuss the flapper's newfound need for fancy footgear during her talk "Heels, Hemlines, and High Spirits: Shoe Fashion." Price: Free -- By Becky Bartkowski

Thursday, January 10: Contemporary Days: The Designs of Lucienne and Robin Day Screening @ SMoCA Lounge There's great danger in underestimating a powerful pair. Creative duos are responsible for much of the world's progress in politics, science, arts, and culture. While both names may not go down in the history books, both parties know that as much courage goes into presenting and taking credit (and consequence) for the idea as pushing the creative process and getting the idea down on paper.

In British design, Robin and Lucienne Day are household names. The couple took England by storm after World War II with a new, modern perspective on furniture and textile. Many books and films have paid tribute to the Days, but Murray Grigor's Contemporary Days captures the couple's personal and professional relationship and growth, as well as their impact on the design world, for more than 70 years. Price: $7 -- By Claire Lawton

Friday, January 11: "Creature - Man - Nature" @ Mesa Contemporary Arts Carolyn Lavender, Monica Aissa Martinez, and Mary Shindell are no strangers to collaborating with each other. The three artists are all staples in the Phoenix arts community. While their individual styles and media are very different, the imagery they've created for their latest three-woman show, "Creature - Man - Nature," creates a common bond.

According to the artists, Lavender will present her latest drawings of woodland creatures in constructed landscapes, Martinez will show her intricate portraits and studies of the human form, and Shindell will explore the textures and movements of plant forms through sculpture and mixed media. Price: Free -- By Claire Lawton

Check out more things to do today (and everyday) in our Calendar section ...

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