This week you can explore art inspired by online forums, learn backpacking basics, talk zine culture with fellow lit lovers, and learn more about women brewers. Here’s a look at the best live and virtual events happening around metro Phoenix, along with a friendly reminder that organizers are requiring masks and social distancing for in-person happenings.
Inspired by online forums, human psychology, contemporary politics, and eclectic spiritual philosophies, artist Mary Wilhelm reconceptualized Aesop’s Fables for her MFA thesis exhibition titled “Fable.” Wilhelm’s work elevates questions of moral ambiguity amid consideration of animal and human relationships. It’s on view this week at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery in Tempe, where the hours are noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday. Admission is free. You'll need a timed-entry ticket to attend the opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.
When you’re feeling weary from all that hunkering down in pandemic mode, consider expanding your mental and physical horizons with some nature time in backpacking mode. Arizona Hiking Shack is offering an online class from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, when you can get tips on everything from budgeting and gear to making plans to eat and sleep outdoors. The class, which is designed for beginners, includes live demonstrations, hands-on exercises, and more. Space is limited. The cost is $20.
Last summer, Megan Greenwood opened Greenwood Brewing in Roosevelt Row. Now she’s bringing her perspective on women-owned breweries and the history of brewing to an online happy hour presented by the Arizona Historical Society. The free event runs from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 18. By the way, Greenwood is one of many women featured in the “Still Marching: From Suffrage to #MeToo” exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (admission is $12).
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is holding a virtual opening for its spring season from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 19, when you can hear museum director and curator Jennifer McCabe talk about exhibited artworks. New exhibits include works created and curated by Arizona-based artists M. Jenea Sanchez and Gabriela Muñoz, who consider experiences of Latinx women in the Southwest, as well as textile pieces by L.A.-based Diedrick Brackens, who explores African-American and queer histories. (Brackens is doing a virtual artist talk at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 18.)
Ballet Arizona is presenting a one-hour mix of contemporary and classical ballet called “Energy,” which includes new work by artistic director Ib Andersen, an excerpt from a classical ballet by Marius Petipa, and the premiere of Nayon Iovino’s Abrazo. It’s being performed with social-distance seating inside the Dorrance Theatre at Ballet Arizona at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19, 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 21. Tickets are $50.
Let those Valentine’s Day vibes linger for a while over at Alwun House, where the backyard garden will be transformed into a performance space for storytellers, musicians, comedians, spoken word poets, and other creatives inspired by erotic fare. The Erotic Poetry and Music Festivus is happening from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 20. Tickets are $25 per person (but sold by the table). While you’re there, you can check out works by 25 artists in the “Exotic Art Show.”
Maybe you’ve got stories to tell, but you’re not sure how to get them out there. Connect with the local zine community, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration for sharing words and images through zine-style publications. Wasted Ink Zine Distro is hosting a free online Zine Club from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 21. It’s a chance to talk about zine culture, work on your own zine project, and share ideas with other creative types. The club meets (virtually) on the third Sunday of the month.
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