Who said that only the wealthy can appreciate art? Get yourself some culture this week with an artist talk with Claudio Dicochea, check out the Spring Opening Reception at the Mesa Arts Center, or find some shoes that'll touch your soul at the Chingona Soles Annual Art and Fashion Show. Best part? It's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.
Wild Women Wednesday
Just because the famous quote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” has been misattributed to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Eleanor Roosevelt, doesn’t make it any less true.
Raise a toast to the rule-breaking, history-making ladies during Wild Women Wednesday at Pier 54, 5394 South Lakeshore Drive in Tempe. Every week at 6 p.m., Pier 54 offers drink specials like $4 cocktails and glasses of wine or Champagne and a chance to win an interior-design consulting session, a yoga session, nail and hair services, and a LuLaRoe gift card.
Best part? There’s no cover. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
Claudio Dicochea’s "Acid Baroque" is one of this season’s must-see exhibits. It’s filled with poignant yet playful mashups of pop culture with history, politics, science, and a host of human foibles. Now you can meet the artist, who’s represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, and hear him talk about his work. Dicochea is doing a free artist talk at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.
You can explore his work while you’re there, which features real people and fictional characters such as Ronald Reagan, Bambi’s bunny pal Thumper, Michael Jackson, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice. They’re all part of the artist’s exploration of race, colonialism, national identity, and fandom. “Acid Baroque” continues through Sunday, May 20. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble
Spring Opening Reception
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum celebrates figurative art this season, with several exhibitions showing diverse takes on the human form — and the human condition. The official opening reception happens at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 11. The free event includes a large-scale installation of illuminated humanoid figures called Fantastic Planet, created by Australian artist Amanda Parer. But you can also enjoy live music by the Jaime Cortez Band, plus light refreshments and a cash bar.
The exhibition lineup includes “Adventure and Control” featuring works by Rachel Bess, “It Is Important to Be Nobody” featuring works by Colin Chillag, and “Life & Death Portraits” featuring work by Marilyn Szabo. They’re all based in metro Phoenix. There’s also a group show called “We the People,” which includes works in diverse media by contemporary American artists. Plus, you’ll see wry, whimsical ceramics by Patti Warashina. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble
Chingona Soles Annual Art and Fashion Show
See how professional artists and designers transform black stiletto pumps into works of art, as Torres Multicultural Communications presents its Chingona Soles Annual Art and Fashion Show at Luna Culture Lab, 803 East Washington Street. It’s happening from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 11. Admission is free, but wear your nice duds.
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The evening includes an auction of decorated stilettos, including some created by elected officials and community leaders. Proceeds benefit Los Diablos, the Latino chapter for ASU’s alumni association. There’s also a fashion show featuring local designs. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be there (wearing flats, we suspect), as will city councilmember Kate Gallego. Odds are, everyone will want to run home and paint a pair of shoes after the shindig. Visit the Luna Culture Lab website. Lynn Trimble
Coffee & Crime Book Club
True crime has been having a major pop-culture moment, and we are here for it. Mindhunter? Binged in one sitting. Golden State Killer? Fully obsessed. My Favorite Murder? SSDGM is our life motto. And we’re definitely not alone. If anything, it’s become apparent that a lot of other people share our “creepy” interests.
If you’re looking to mix things up a little, consider joining the Coffee & Crime Book Club. Hosted by Scottsdale’s The Poisoned Pen, the monthly gathering assembles voracious readers who very well might have spent hours in the EAR/ONS Reddit, too. On Saturday, May 12, they will meet up to discuss A Curious Beginning, the new novel from Deanna Raybourn, who’s best known for penning the Lady Julia Grey mystery series.
Bring your theories and insights to 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, #101, Scottsdale, at 10:30 a.m. See the Poisoned Pen website for details or call 480-947-2974. Becky Bartkowski