"Water Lust" at the Tempe Public Librarys Lower Level Gallery: The Tempe Public Library welcomes the summer heat with a theme we all can appreciate. Craig Cheply takes a political stand on water or the lack thereof with his surrealistic acrylic painting Lifelines and Battlelines. In the work, IV tubes siphon water from a glass container that floats in the foreground of a desert landscape. The liquid slowly drips into five Southwestern states. Janet Larson takes a lighter approach with her necklace, Falling Water, which incorporates rust and avocado-colored beads to simulate a string of seaweed. Pretty, but so simple that its a disappointing take on the theme. Dan Collins Flooding Phoenix series offers a bigger challenge with this message: Be careful what you wish for. Using three-dimensional satellite models, Collins digitally manipulates images of the Valley to create a hypothetical 1,000-year flood of Phoenix. These days, thats not such a bad thought. Free admission. Through June 25. 3500 South Rural Rd., Tempe. Call 480-350-5183 or visit www.tempe.gov/library.
"Life in a Cold Place: Arctic Art from the Albrecht Collection" at the Heard Museum: The humble aesthetic of Grandma Moses the self-taught early-20th-century folk artist is beloved because it serves as a simple reminder of quaint, rural life in America, rich with homey traditions and collective practices of survival. This show offers a similar glimpse into the lives of the Inuit people in the Arctic regions of Siberia, coastal Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Kayakers Reflection by Kananginak Pootoogook is a beautiful stone-cut print a straightforward design with stunning use of bold colors. The two-dimensional masses of printed ink tell a quick visual story of everyday life among the Inuit. A man paddling his kayak notes the practices of transportation along Arctic coastlines and waterways. Like a psychological inkblot test, the form offers various interpretations. If viewed vertically, the shapes reveal the silhouette of an Arctic hunter, exposing a force of duality within the image. Admission is $10; seniors $9; $5 for students with valid ID; children 6 to 12, $3; under 5 free. Through July 31. 2301 N. Central Ave. Call 602-252-8848 or visit www.heard.org.
"Connecting Cultures: Art from the Hispanic Research Center collection, Arizona State University" at Phoenix Airport Museum: The title of this show is a turnoff. True, some of it is disappointing. But the sum is not a complete waste. Take Marion C. Martinezs Madre Querida (Beloved Mother), a piece that juxtaposes the Catholic affection toward symbols of religious maternity with the worship and reliance practiced with modern-day electronics. Martinez uses circuit boards, computer discs and cable wire to create the familiar image of the Virgen de Guadalupe. The maternal icon historically has provided a source of wisdom, purity and safety. Using electronic bits to render the Mexican Catholic mother figure exposes a contemporary quandary: Modern humans depend on computers and other electronic gadgets for guidance as much as society once relied on religion. Works are displayed in four cases at Terminal 4, level 3 west, at 3400 East Sky Harbor Boulevard, through July 8. Call 602-273-2105 or visit http://phoenix.gov/skyharborairport.
"Draw Me a Picture" at the Heard Museum: Steven Yazzie the It Boy of the local art scene has a show at a major museum. Too bad its not a show of the work weve grown accustomed to from him, amazing paintings that showcase his true talent. Yazzie took a risk with Draw Me a Picture, so named because he drew pictures while driving a cart. Admission is $10; seniors $9; $5 for students with valid ID; children 6 to 12, $3; under 5 free. Through September 2. 2301 N. Central Ave. Call 602-252-8848 or visit www.heard.org.