The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Enjoying some beer at Tour de Fat.EXPAND
Enjoying some beer at Tour de Fat.
Alexandra Gaspar
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If you're looking to save some money, you're in the right place. This week, you can enjoy pizza while jamming out with Gatecreeper, cool off with a brew at Tour De Fat, or celebrate the relationship between water and life with Katharine Leigh Simpson. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

See new works by José Andrés Girón in Chandler.EXPAND
See new works by José Andrés Girón in Chandler.
Vision Gallery

‘Encenas de Mexico’

Phoenix artist José Andrés Girón, whose work you’ve likely seen on a collaborative mural for the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center in downtown Phoenix, seeks to heighten the viewer’s connection to humanity with his colorful paintings conveying the richness of Hispanic and Latino cultures. Through subjects ranging from culinary creations to performance traditions, the artist presents iconic images of daily Mexican life.

See his newest body of work during a solo exhibition titled “Encenas de Mexico,” which continues through Saturday, October 5, at The Gallery at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, September 30. Admission is free. Lynn Trimble

Throwback to a previous Christy Puetz exhibit at Practical Art.
Throwback to a previous Christy Puetz exhibit at Practical Art.
Lynn Trimble

‘who I think it was’

A trio of prickly pear pads sits atop the head of a mythic creature in one of Christy Puetz’s newest sculptures, created using thousands of seed beads that channel her finesse for giving all things strange a playful yet sophisticated twist. It’s part of her latest exhibition at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, which also includes guest artist Carol Saker.

The free exhibit, titled “who I think it was,” includes a series of works based on memory. Puetz says it’s all about remembering and forgetting — and “making stuff up in between.” Your first chance to see it is Tuesday, October 1, when Practical Art is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you’re inspired to see more of Puetz’s work, head to Burton Barr Central Library, where she’s installed several large-scale beaded animals near the entrance to the children’s area as part of a public art project called IN FLUX. Lynn Trimble

Food meets art in this mural by Isaac Caruso.
Food meets art in this mural by Isaac Caruso.
Lynn Trimble

Vital Voices: Food, Identity, and Politics

Discussions of historical and contemporary inequities address a wide range of issues, from criminal justice to the environment. Project Humanities at ASU is taking a deep dive into the topic of food equity, exploring the ways food affects identity, as well as food’s power to unite and divide diverse communities.

Join them at the Sema Foundation, 325 North Austin Drive, #4, in Chandler, for a discussion titled Vital Voices: Food, Identity, and Politics. It’s happening at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3. Bring a favorite dish to share or something else that reflects your “personal, familial, or communal relationship to food,” such as a poem, song, photograph, performance, story, or artifact. The event is free, but you should RSVP online before attending. Lynn Trimble


Sure, metal bands are all about corpse paint and satanic imagery. But sometimes they’re also about love and community. Case in point: Valley death metal band Gatecreeper are holding a pizza/listening party for their latest album, Deserted. Which begs the question, what pizza goes best with screeching vocals and pulverizing licks? Cheese seems like a simple enough accompaniment, but the obvious answer is the death-centric meat-lover’s pizza.

The party runs from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, October 4, at Zia Records, 3201 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. Deserted will be available as a limited-edition deep purple splatter vinyl (500 copies only). Chris Coplan

Get ready to ride.EXPAND
Get ready to ride.
Benjamin Leatherman

Tour de Fat

A word of advice to the beer-loving, bike-riding crowd: You better keep Sunday completely free of any obligations whatsoever. Why? You might be recuperating from all the beer-loving, bike-riding fun that you’ll experience when Tour de Fat 2019 cruises into Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, on Saturday, October 5.

As its tagline of “beer, bikes, and bemusement” indicates, New Belgium Brewing’s annual touring event is a traveling carnival of cycling, suds, and surreal scenes taking place in the great outdoors. It involves an afternoon filled with bicycle-inspired games, activities, and shenanigans. There also will be a variety of New Belgium beers available for purchase. Costumes are encouraged, and an array of live entertainment is planned, including performances by bands like KOLARS, Japhy’s Descent, and The Stakes.

The event starts at 11 a.m. with the annual bike parade. The festivities go until 6 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Katharine Leigh Simpson inside her live/work space in Mesa.EXPAND
Katharine Leigh Simpson inside her live/work space in Mesa.
Lynn Trimble

Katharine Leigh Simpson

Katharine Leigh Simpson, a multidisciplinary visual and performance artist based at Mesa Artspace Lofts, is part of a project called Water = Life, which will culminate in November with a nine-day event celebrating the relationship between water and life, and the indigenous people who created the region’s canals.

She’s one of several artists working with the city of Mesa on a series of free hands-on workshops during which community members can create artwork for that event. The next workshop happens from noon to 3 p.m. at the i.d.e.a. Museum, 150 West Pepper Place in Mesa. It’s a chance to create a small textile piece of artwork that will become part of the larger installation. Lynn Trimble

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