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Five Must-See Events This Week

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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...

"Ballerina" @ Mesa Arts Center It's been almost six months since Bob Carey's world completely changed. The photographer, who grew up in Phoenix but now works in New York, had been working on a series of self-portraits, each featuring Carey wearing only a large tutu in landscapes and backdrops across the country. Images from his project, called Ballerina, had been showcased in galleries and museums and caught the attention of a few foundations that approached his with an opportunity to raise money for breast cancer research.

He says the series wasn't always about breast cancer, but when his wife was diagnosed, he threw himself into his work and quickly saw the connection. In the last six months, Carey's been on national television, in publications around the world, and has traveled around the country sharing his project and self-published book, also titled Ballerina, that collects his Tutu Project and includes a forward by Amy Arbus and backstory by New Times contributor Kathleen Vanesian.

Photographs from his tutu project (as well as his tutu) are also on view at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, through Sunday, December 2, in the exhibition "Ballerina." -- Claire Lawton

Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze @ Tolmachoff Farms Yeah, it's sort of cooling off out there. But we're still sporting shorts and flip-flops. And that means the main tell-tale sign of fall is the return of the pumpkin spice latte. Jack-o-lantern supplies are sprouting up, too, almost as quickly as temporary Halloween shops. That measn the time's right to buy a nice, ripe pumpkin. Tolmachoff Farms celebrates the gourd with Pumpkin Days, a fam-friendly event featuring a corn maze, petting zoo, train ride, and, of course, pumpkin picking. Guests can also race pedal carts and play around in a hay pyramid. Tickets are $8.00 each ages 2 & up. -- Melissa Fossum

Phoenix Fashion Week 2012 @ Talking Stick Resort Although K-pop viral sensation "Gangam Style" likely has permanently/obnoxiously wedged itself into your memory, South Korean rapper PSY's acerbic, snappily-suited take on upper class fashion and stuffy attitude, complete with bizarre cowboy-roping dance moves, is fun, stylish, and quasi-inspiring in a "wear your weirdness proud" way. Bottom line: Fashion is for fun and shouldn't take itself too seriously.

That's what we'll keep in mind during Phoenix Fashion Week. 29 designers who are emerging, established, and specialize in accessories will show styles for winter and spring, including ready-to-wear, evening, sportswear, and resort collections. Trunk sales, workshops, and a shopping villa round out the runway revelry that gets goping on Thursday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. Celeb designer to pop divas Katy Perry (partially responsible for the "Gangam" takeover) and Shakira, Furne One will present a 31-piece collection as the event's grand finale on Saturday, October 6. Tickets are $25-$100. -- Becky Bartkowski

Monsters, Mutants and Other Tales of Love @ Space 55 Theatre It's that monstery season. If you aren't already mutated, deformed, or more machine than human, and you can't wait for the post-apocalyptic hellscape to get you there, the leadup to Halloween is when you get to transform or, at least, appreciate those who have. Think of the five short comedies that comprise Monsters, Mutants, and Other Tales of Love as five groups of disgusting trick-or-treaters who will give you something through Saturday, October 20.

Monsters comes from the brain grapes of local playwright Carrie Behrens, whose Night of the Chicken series illuminated the life of a teenage girl turned were-poultry. Enjoy the opening night of Monsters -- a little blood, a little guts, a couple laughs while you sit on your butts. -- Julie Peterson

"Chaos Theory 13" @ Legend City Studios The lineup for the annual "Chaos Theory" at Legend City Studios takes local artist Randy Slack nearly a year to put together. Local artists have been invited by Slack to show their work in the past, but as the event has grown in popularity and attendance, his inbox is filled almost constantly with requests to participate.

Slack insists he's not curating. He asks a handful of artists who bring whatever artwork they choose and he hangs it all a night or two before the show. "Chaos Theory 13" will take over 521 West Van Buren Street on Friday, October 5, from 6 p.m. to midnight (ish).

Participating artists include the painters of 3CarPileUp crew (Slack, James Angel, and David Dauncey) along with fellow local painters Casebeer, Colin Chillag, Abby Messmer, Brian Boner, Colton Brock, Carrie Marill, photographers Dayvid LeMmon and William LeGoullon, sculptors Mike Prepsky and Pete Deise, and mixed media artists Steve Gompf, Tara Logsdon, and Lori Fenn (to name a few). -- Claire Lawton

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

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