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The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Jasper Johns, Flag, Committee Against the War in Vietnam, 1969. ©
Jasper Johns, Flag, Committee Against the War in Vietnam, 1969. ©
Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
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It's time to get a little crafty. This weekend you can DIY on the creepy side at the Demented Doll Make and Take, make jewelry with gems, or learn about letterpress. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“The Blurring of Art and Life”
It’s been more than six decades since artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns met in New York City where they became creative collaborators and, ultimately, romantic partners. For their “The Blurring of Art and Life” exhibit, Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, is showing works on paper that reveal ways the artists influenced each other, even as they reflected the neo-Dadaist sensibilities of their time. Hit up the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, August 17, to explore lithographs, silkscreens, screen prints, and collages that spotlights their mutual influence, both on each other, and their era. The exhibition is included with museum admission, which is $20 for adults, and continues through November 11. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Trees Matter Workshop
To experience our urban heat island problem, just step outside after the sun has set, when heat is still radiating off the blacktop and the temperature refuses to dip below 100 degrees. Planting trees can help alleviate the urban heat island effect, and public utility Salt River Project (SRP) is offering two free trees to any customer who completes a two-hour training on desert tree planting and maintenance. The latest workshops, hosted by local organization Trees Matter, will be held on Saturday, August 18, at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Marcos de Niza High School, 6000 South Lakeshore Drive, Tempe. Budding arborists can pick up their free trees from SRP in September, once the temperature finally cools. For more information, visit the Save with SRP website. Joe Flaherty

A few of Alex Ozers' creations.
A few of Alex Ozers' creations.
Alex Ozers

Jewelry Making with Gem Stones
Phoenix artist Alex Ozers, founder of an artisan jewelry line called The Reliquary, often makes hand-wrought pieces using mixed metals and stone accents. Now, you can see how he does it and try making some of your own jewelry inspired by Ozers’ signature style. Ozers is teaching a Jewelry Making with Gem Stones class from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. You’ll learn how to texture, stamp, and emboss discs made of copper or brass, then embellish them with gem stones, before adding a final touch using a patina bath and steel wool. The class costs $50 and supplies are provided. Visit the Practical Art website. Lynn Trimble

Anticipate the most wonderful time of year at HeatSync Labs.
Anticipate the most wonderful time of year at HeatSync Labs.
Courtesy of HeatSync Labs

Demented Doll Make and Take
Never mind all those fancy effects in your favorite horror movies. There’s something therapeutic about going low-tech and making your own disturbing, horror-infused objects. Now that Halloween is nearly upon us, you can give it a try at HeatSync Labs, 108 West Main Street in Mesa. A free Demented Doll Make and Take kicks off at 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, and runs through 1 a.m. the next morning. They’ll have some dolls and supplies, which could run out quickly. So rummage through your junk closet or favorite thrift shop before you head over to wield all those fun tools like glue guns and fat needles. Visit HeatSync Labs on Facebook. Lynn Trimble

Love your letters the old-fashioned way.
Love your letters the old-fashioned way.
Courtesy of Hazel & Violet

Letterpress Class
Surround yourself with fellow word nerds at Hazel & Violet, 1301 Grand Avenue. That’s where Nancy Hill holds her letterpress printing workshops, where people learn to ink metal or wood type, then press it onto paper. Participants can also choose a vintage cut or two, and make their own coasters, posters, or stationery. It’s a chance to try your hand at working a vintage press while surrounded by walls filled with creative letterpress designs. The next class runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. It’s $50, and reservations are required. Visit the Hazel & Violet website. Lynn Trimble

Basic Canyoneering Course
The cooler weather will be here soon, without all those pesky flash-flood warnings brought by the summer monsoon season. Once you’ve taken the Basic Canyoneering Course hosted by Arizona Hiking Shack, you’ll have the skills to squeeze more adventure out of your weekends. Canyoneering’s a risky endeavor, and this two-day class won’t be cheap. But here, you’ll learn the ropes and techniques to help you have fun safely. Cost is $295 per person. Class starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 18, located at North Mountain Visitor Center, 12950 North Seventh Street. Call 480-888-6953 or email contact@azrockandcanyon.com for more information. Ray Stern

Beer today, gone tomorrow.
Beer today, gone tomorrow.
Melissa Fossum

The Van Beer’n
What’s the best way to combat the Phoenix heat? Drinking lots of beer, duh. On Sunday, August 19, at 1 p.m., 20 Phoenix brewers, including Four Peaks, Elysian, and Modern Times, will be offering tastings at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, for The Van Beer’n indoor beer festival. Non-drinkers, don’t fret: Designated drivers will still be able to enjoy live music by Elvis By Noon and all the barbecue fare that you can eat. Admission is free, but you will need some money for beer tastings. For more information, visit The Van Buren website. Lindsay Roberts

Free Griner WHAM Blox for the first 2,500 fans.
Free Griner WHAM Blox for the first 2,500 fans.
Courtesy of Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury vs. New York Liberty
The New York Times recently referred to the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi and Brittany Griner as “the WNBA’s iconic duo,” leading the team’s charge toward another playoff appearance. You can see them in action for the final time during the 2018 regular season at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, August 19, at 3 p.m. against the New York Liberty. It’ll also be the last regular season game for Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, who is 36, but fans need not worry: She told the Times that she plans on returning next season. The game will also feature a free Griner WHAM Blox for the first 2,500 fans, signifying her role as the league’s most dominant shot-blocker. Tickets start at $9 via Ticketmaster. Stuart Warner

The Cool Down
Engaging in an hour of guided yoga while peeping a mountainous backdrop is one way you can relax to the max at The Cool Down, an event focused on inspiring some inner peace. Attendees can stick around after the stretch session and get involved with the pool, whether that’s a lazy lounge or diving in to get splashy. DJ Soloman provides a soundtrack of chill tunes to keep things on the mellow side. And yes, there’s booze. Craft cocktails, including the Blue Lagoon signature option, enhance the serenity. Organic juice samples quench non-alcohol thirsts. Healthy snacks available for purchase.

Get loose from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, at Mountain Shadows Resort, 5445 East Lincoln Drive, in Paradise Valley. Admission is $35. Call 855-485-1417 or visit the Mountain Shadows website. Amy Young

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