SMoCA Hosts its Summer Opening on Friday

This Friday, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will be a cool place to both see and be seen -- and not just because its proprietors keep the air conditioning at a chilly 72 degrees.

SMoCA will hold its annual Summer Opening Celebration, marking the beginning of the season and offering local art lovers a chance to not only check out two of the museum's newest exhibitions, but also to partake in both crafting and handcrafted cocktails.

The current comic book-oriented showcase IDIOS KOSMOS:KOINOS KOSMOS (featuring the reality-challenging works of illustrators Jon Haddock, Rory Hayes, Joe Sacco, and others) will serve as a backdrop as social sophisticates sip on spirits from a cash bar and local DJs spin up ambient soundscapes. 

Over in two of SMoCA's other galleries, however, a pair of Seattle-based creatives will be bending brains with their particularly surreal showcase. In their joint exhibition Extended Collapse, which makes its public debut this weekend, Emerald City architects Daniel Mihalyo and Annie Han created installations in two rooms that are heavy on deconstructionist design. 

Both parts of the exhibit explore the Valley's overwhelming expansion over the past 50 years, and a tendency towards abandoning old edifices while rampantly increasing the sprawl with endless mini-malls, parking lots, and gleaming concrete-and-steel structures. 

The building that houses SMoCA once served as a United Artists cinema, and Milhaly and Han riff on this fact by utilizing building wreckage from an old theater in either installation.

Like most SMoCA shindigs, there's more to do than just peeping what's being displayed on the wall or in the gallery, and this Friday's event will also feature special crafting workshops put on by newly opened Fashion Square retail spot Splendid.

SMoCA's Summer Opening Celebration takes place at 7 p.m. at 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Admission is free.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.