Time to get a little more cultured this week — and on a budget. Check out taxidermy art in “Dead, Dead, Live, Dead,” see stickers make a feminist statement in “Bait and Switch," and try your own hand at art-making by learning to draw with local painter Rachel Bess. Best part? They're all free. For more things to do, check out our curated calendar.
Laurie R. King
What kind of people share a new principal’s excitement to give her school and its students a brighter future? Creeps with lots of secrets, that’s who.
Laurie R. King signs Lockdown, the story of principal Linda McDonald’s career day that brings together a mix of students and adults with a lot to hide. The event goes from inspirational to terrifying when a classroom is held hostage by someone with revenge on the brain.
The best-selling author has penned her share of mysteries — 25 of them — including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories. She’ll sign copies of her new thriller from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 12, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free, and the book costs $28. Call 480-947- 2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young
There’s no singular experience of autism. Instead, people’s experiences fall along a broad spectrum. It’s a fact reflected in artwork, as evidenced by the diversity of pieces currently on view at Art One Gallery, 4130 North Marshall Way in Scottsdale. Visit Art One between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 12, to see work by students of the Autism Academy of Phoenix.
While you’re there, you can also check out hundreds of works by Arizona artists, including up-and-comers studying at Arizona universities, colleges, community colleges, and high schools. Some heavy hitters on the local scene show their work at Art One — including Luster Kaboom, Logan Larkin, Kyllan Maney, and Kazuma Sambe. Exhibitions are free to see, and works are reasonably priced. Visit the Art One website. Lynn Trimble
Learning to Draw from Observation
We can’t draw — it’s excruciating. But someone once told us to sketch merely what we see, without telling ourselves it’s a person or tree or whatever. That’s been surprisingly helpful.
Local superstar painter Rachel Bess, who successfully depicts the human hand and uses oil paint and the whole nine yards, visits Desert Broom Library on Tuesday, June 13, to lead a free class in Learning to Draw from Observation. We literally can’t tell the photos from the paintings on Bess’ Facebook page, and their haunting beauty surpasses their faithfulness, so any wisdom she can impart is valuable as all hell.
See the world from 4 to 5 p.m. at 29710 North Cave Creek Road. Registration is required at Phoenix Public Library website. Call 602-262-4636 for more info. Julie Peterson
“Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Design”
Humans are glorified copycats, drawing inspiration from the world around them and replicating it for personal use. Consider Velcro, a fastener that works like tiny plant burrs. It’s one of many ways the natural world plays a part in modern life. And that’s the focus of a new exhibition at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway.
See “Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Design” between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, inside The Gallery at TCA. The free show is a mix of art and science, addressing the ways humans incorporate elements of the natural world in their designs.
Participating artists include Jose Benavides, who creates cactus-shaped sculpture using discarded license plates, and Christine Lee, who uses wood scrims to create elaborate, large-scale designs. The free show is on view through Saturday, August 26. Visit the TCA gallery website for workshop info. Lynn Trimble
“Dead, Dead, Live, Dead,” Chances are, you’ve seen artwork made of unusual materials before. But taxidermy animals take it to another level. That’s why you should visit ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 15.
The museum is showing art by Gabriel Rico, an artist who works with such diverse materials as taxidermy animals, neon, and found natural objects. He’s the first artist-in-residence for a new program called GDL>PHX Residencias Artísticas, which chooses artists to develop new work in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Phoenix. It’s a joint venture of CALA Alliance, ASU Art Museum, and Programa Anual de Open Studios.
Rico’s first museum exhibition in the U.S., “Dead, Dead, Live, Dead,” explores the relationship between nature, architecture, and the future ruins of civilization. Museum admission is free, and Rico’s exhibit continues through Saturday, September 2. Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
“Bait and Switch”
Think stickers are just cheap, easy ways for kids to decorate their stuff? For Phoenix artist Malena Barnhart, they’re an art medium. Barnhart uses stickers, along with other elements of contemporary culture — from YouTube videos to party decorations — to explore the messages society sends women and girls about their worth.
See her unique twist on stickers as Eye Lounge, 419 East Roosevelt Street, presents the opening for Barnhart’s “Bait and Switch” exhibition, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 16. It’s a chance to see Barnhart’s work, and talk with the artist about how and why she chose stickers as a vehicle for questioning the idea that beauty and perfection should be women’s ultimate goals.
Lest you think stickers don’t make for serious art, consider the fact that Barnhart’s work has been shown at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. “Bait and Switch” continues through Sunday, July 17. Visit the Eye Lounge website. Lynn Trimble
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So maybe you can fry an egg on a Phoenix sidewalk this time of year. Honestly, though? Your time would be better spent exploring the local art scene, where dancers with vastly different styles are performing inside shipping-container galleries during this month’s Third Friday.
Look for the free “Sizzle Series” from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on June 16. Held in a trio of shipping containers on Roosevelt Street just east of Fifth Street, it’s an evening of art and movement presented by [nueBOX] and Rhetorical Galleries, featuring works by Valley-based choreographers Felix El Cruz, Grace Gallagher, and Jordan Daniels.
Also, look for a collaborative work by visual artist Daniel Funkhouser and dancers Nicole L. Olson and Daniels. Visit the Nue Box website. Lynn Trimble