Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Checking out James Muir’s Truth sculpture in downtown Mesa.
Checking out James Muir’s Truth sculpture in downtown Mesa. Lynn Trimble
Looking for something to do? This week, you can find some fright during Better Read Than Dead, browse zines created by local artists at “Desert Dwellers III,” or get some fresh air at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Exploring the ages of clickbait. - CHRISTOPHER JAGMIN
Exploring the ages of clickbait.
Christopher Jagmin

Christopher Jagmin

Curious gallery goers zoomed right in on Christopher Jagmin’s artwork exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum last year as part of a show recognizing artist award and grant winners. One piece in particular, made with long strips of black embossed labels and a man’s belt, gave people pause. It’s part of his larger body of work comprising a modern-day folk language steeped in contemporary concerns, including fear and anxiety wrought by the dominance of the digital landscape. Now, Jagmin is showing several of his newest works at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, where you can see his work between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, July 29. Lynn Trimble

Debate Night at Paz Cantina

The first Democratic presidential debate had a few breakout moments (Senator Kamala Harris’ takedown of Joe Biden was a highlight) and some questionable ones (almost anytime Marianne Williamson opened her mouth). The next two-night event hosted by CNN, which takes place in Detroit, features a randomized lineup of the top 20 candidates. If you want to see what the Democrats do for an encore, come to Paz Cantina for the tastiest viewing party in town. There will be food and drink specials all night long.

You can enjoy talk and tacos at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31, at 330 East Roosevelt Street. Admission is free. Jason Keil

Better Read Than Dead

Horror fans, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Phoenix has a book club for you. Each month, Better Read Than Dead will discuss a novel that will scare the pants off you. July’s selection is Dean Koontz’s breakthrough page-turner Whispers. When a screenwriter kills her stalker, she thinks she can finally move on with her life, until he mysteriously returns. The scares begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, at 8034 North 19th Avenue. This is a free event, but email [email protected] with the subject line “Horror” to reserve your seat. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Look for Carrie Marill's work at Chandler Museum. - VISION GALLERY
Look for Carrie Marill's work at Chandler Museum.
Vision Gallery

'Inspired by History'

Artist Carrie Marill has been keeping busy lately, painting a new mural at Practical Art and showing artwork at Lisa Sette Gallery. Now, she’s exhibiting a piece called Packed, which was inspired by a historic valise from the Chandler Museum’s collection. It’s part of the “Inspired by History” exhibit that runs from July 30 to October 12, which includes works by more than two dozen artists, including Sarah Hurwitz, Saskia Jorda, Jacob Meders, Ann Morton, and Rembrandt Quiballo.

Participating artists created works in various media, inspired by objects in the museum’s collection, for this collaboration with the city’s Vision Gallery. Meet the artists and see their work during the free opening reception at the museum, 300 South Chandler Village Drive, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 1. Light refreshments will be served. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Throwback to 2018 "Desert Dwellers" exhibit. - JOSE ROMERO
Throwback to 2018 "Desert Dwellers" exhibit.
Jose Romero

'Desert Dwellers III'

Big props to the artists from different fields who get out there every day to support each other’s work. If you want to celebrate collaborations between visual and literary artists, and the artists whose talents flow within both realms, head over to The Hive, 2222 North 16th Street, for an art exhibit called “Desert Dwellers III.” The free event is happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, when you can explore art inside The Hive gallery and surround yourself with zines inside the Wasted Zine Ink Distro that’s a hub for zine culture here in metro Phoenix.

Artists will be selling their works, with proceeds helping to support PHX Zine Fest 2019, a day of all things zines coming to Unexpected Gallery on October 20. More than a dozen artists are participating in this exhibit, including Kyllan Maney, whose symmetrical glow-in-the-dark mural was a standout at the recent Chalk Art Festival on Grand Avenue. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Just because we’re in the middle of August doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. REI Co-Op will be guiding beginners through a beautiful evening at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. If you’ve never gone on a hike, this is the perfect opportunity to learn some basics, meet some new people .and get inspired for a bigger adventure when the weather cools down. There will be refreshments served afterward.

Take a walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, at 3902 East Dunlap Avenue. This is a free event, but you must reserve your spot online. Jason Keil

'FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News'

The FRANK Talks series organized by Arizona Humanities has tackled some weighty topics in recent years, from gun ownership to diverse religious beliefs. Now the group is presenting “FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News,” a discussion being led by Gail Rhodes from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Media. The free presentation happens from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, at Desert Broom Library, 29710 Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek.

It’s a beautiful desert setting for engaging in civil discourse about the impact of fake news on community members, the prevalence of fake news across social media platforms, and related topics. Rhodes will also discuss standard journalistic practices, and offer tips for becoming a more savvy consumer of news. It’s all part of Arizona Humanities’ larger effort to promote civic dialogue and community engagement through thoughtful consideration of multiple perspectives. Lynn Trimble
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble