“Mechanization, Material, and the Matrix”
Artists have always relied on diverse materials to bring their creative visions to life. But today’s technology affords new ways of formulating ideas — and creating and sharing work.
Explore how creatives mesh technology with more traditional approaches in the new “Mechanization, Material, and the Matrix” exhibition at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery, 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe.
Participating artists include Sydney Allendorf, Kimberly Callas, Madison Creech, Miranda Clark, and Stephanie Gonzales.
Collectively, these artists’ work reveals how technology is used and addressed by contemporary artists, and it explores the infinite possibilities for dialogue between technology and material. The exhibition is on view through September 29. Hours on Thursday, September 21, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble
The Melrose shopping district along Seventh Avenue shares its name with a popular Los Angeles retail destination. But theirs doesn’t have Charlie’s Phoenix or Wag ’n’ Wash.
That gay country bar and pet goods store are just a couple of the interesting local businesses on this strip. For a closer look at what the area has to offer, the monthly Melrose Third Thursday event offers extended hours at many of its shops and restaurants, as well as some added live music, family-fun events, outdoor vendors, and food trucks.
Kick off your weekend a day early at this neighborhood party from noon to 8 p.m. on September 21 in the Melrose District, which runs along Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback roads. Admission is free. Visit the Melrose Third Thursday website. Amy Young
A breakout star of the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Tatianna proved you could be “sweet in the streets and a freak in the sheets” as she sashayed her way to stardom. The 28-year-old diva proved again and again she was a threat to her fellow competitors. Her scarily accurate portrayal of Britney Spears during a round of “Snatch Game” won her the hearts of judges (and the internet) and drew contempt from her competitors.
Now you can see the Washington, D.C., native and All-Stars 2 queen take the runway in person, alongside Nevaeh McKenzie, Coco St James, and Claudia B.
You better work starting at 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, at Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 West Camelback Road. There is no cover charge, but a meet-and-greet photo op costs $10. For more information, visit the Charlie's Phoenix website. Jason Keil
Fall home decor typically falls somewhere between two extremes: the decked-out Halloween home with spiderwebs, jack-o-lanterns, and skeletons; or the quaint autumn look featuring orange leaves, scarecrows, and everything pumpkin spice.
Wherever your taste lands on that spectrum, you can find all things fall at the Wicked Faire. Visit Sweet Salvage, 4648 North Seventh Avenue, on Friday, September 22, to see what’s in store. But don’t delay: The themed vintage sale is only open through Sunday, September 24.
The shop opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. For more information on the free-to-attend marketplace, visit the Sweet Salvage website. Lindsay Roberts
If you’re the nosy sort who loves to hear personal reveals that make people tick, find a seat at one of the many storytelling events happening around town.
The Storyline Collective’s Storyline Slam will give you a deeper look at storytellers’ lives as they give personal accounts tied to a central topic. Friday, September 22’s show theme is “Fresh,” and it has storytellers performing in a slam-style competition. You can get involved, too. Anyone with a story to share based on the theme can have six minutes to run their mouth. The audience does the judging, and the story with the most points at the end of the show is the winner, taking home a cash prize.
Share or judge at 7 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is $8 at the door or $6 in advance. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website. Amy Young
When talking about Tempe as an arts and culture hub, you’ll often find yourself speaking in past tense. Mill Avenue’s long been a stretch dedicated to clubs and restaurants instead of venues where musicians can pour their hearts out.
But the collective Unity Through Community wants to prove that artistic expression isn’t dormant in the college town. To jump-start their mission of providing the tools creatives need to connect, they’re putting on the Unity Kickoff Festival, a showcase of Tempe talent. Scheduled performers for the two-day event include national electro-funk musician Marvel Years, Japhy’s Descent, Banana Gun, painter Deon Doughty, and burlesque performer Ana Marie Bendova.
Everything comes together on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, at Shady Park, 26 East University Drive. Admission is $15 for a single-day pass and $20 for both days. For more information, visit the Unity Through Community website. Jason Keil
Visiting The Hive Gallery will put you smack in the middle of the Calle 16 mural scene — and a neighborhood that’s filled with creative types.
That’ll be especially true when the Hive presents the 2017 edition of its annual Coronado Art Show. It’s designed to showcase work by artists who’ve lived or worked in the Coronado neighborhood, located north of McDowell Road between Seventh and 16th streets. This year’s lineup features 30 artists working in diverse media, including Christine Cassano, Phil Freedom, Janel Garza, Maggie Keane, Ed Taylor, and Mykil Zep.
Check it out on Friday, September 22, during the free opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. The show continues through Sunday, October 15, at 2222 North 16th Street. Visit the Hive Facebook page. Lynn Trimble
Music geekery meets science nerdiness when the Arizona Science Center hosts Lasers and Liquor on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23. During the events, songs by Pink Floyd will sync up with multicolored laser projections. Saturday’s event will toss some Led Zeppelin into the mix.
Along with two laser shows each night, the Center will offer trivia and karaoke in its planetarium. The first laser show starts at 8 p.m. and the second at 9:30 p.m. at 600 East Washington Street. During the event, the concessions area will have beer, specialty cocktails, and snacks available for purchase. Tickets to each show are $10, and you get $2 off for the second show if you buy tickets to the first. To find out more, call 602-716-2000 or see the AZ Science Center website. Laura Latzko
“Free ballet” is not a rallying cry to spring the dancers from their brutal captivity, appealing as that proposition may be. It’s an annual treat from your friends at Ballet Arizona, which presents Ballet Under the Stars at Valley parks through Monday, September 30, free of charge. This year’s fully staged program includes two George Balanchine-choreographed works from the 1950s: Western Symphony (featuring cowboys, horses, and saloon girls) and Square Dance.
On Saturday, September 23, the tutus will shake at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road, beginning at 7 p.m. The family-friendly event may be under the stars, but it’s over nothing but lawn, so bring a blanket or a chair. Visit the Ballet Arizona website or call 602-381-0184. Julie Peterson
World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment
Most of us are already plenty awkward, but if you’re hoping to welcome even more awkwardness into the mix, look no further than the World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment.
In an effort “to rebuild our sense of shared humanity,” the event’s organizers — The Liberators International — have put together a worldwide event in which strangers gather to stare unflinchingly into one another’s eyes for a minute at a time.
Perhaps it will serve its purpose of instilling peace and unity. It could also reinforce precisely why we go to great lengths to avoid eye contact with complete strangers in the first place. You be the judge starting at 10 a.m. at Encanto Park, 2605 North 15th Avenue, on Saturday, September 23. Visit Eye Contact Experiment website for details on this free event. Rob Kroehler