Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Phoenix Illustrator Kelsey Dake's Mid-Century Modern, Hyper-Organized Studio

Kelsey Dake has a very thick half-wall between her studio and the rest of her home in uptown Phoenix.

The 23-year-old illustrator stresses the importance of a work and home-life balance, which is hard to pull off when both things happen in the same space, but probably necessary when you're juggling personal projects, assignments from big-name publications, and a commission from singer/songwriter Beck (more on all of that later).

Dake describes her space as Mid-Century Modern with a collection of her own finds from ASU Surplus as well as vintage and modern home boutiques including Modern Manor, Modern Lighting, and Phoenix Metro Retro.

Read the full story here.

--Claire Lawton

7 Favorite Tourist Destinations in Phoenix (That Aren't Just for Tourists)

Plenty of tourists are in town for Spring Training -- your aunts, uncles and boyfriend's parents included -- who are often far too excited to see the sun (and faded from a few pre-game pitchers) to make any trips to local attractions.

But it's nice outside, baseball games don't run around the clock, and there's plenty to see in metro Phoenix beyond the ballpark. Here are a few of our favorite Phoenix attractions -- whether you're a tourist, with a tourist, or pretending to be a tourist for a day.

--Claire Lawton

Nine Must-See St. Patrick's Weekend Parties in Metro Phoenix

The wealth of local bars and nightlife hangouts gearing up for Irish-inspired festivities this coming weekend might as well call it St. Patrick's Days, since the partying is happening over more than just a single 24 hour period.

It's a boon for both their bottom lines and liquor sales, as well as for anyone looking for an excuse to overindulge in intoxicants and sport flashing green plastic knickknacks, that kicks off on Friday, March 15, and keeps on going right up to last call on Sunday, March 17. Here's a list of nine St. Paddy's events where you can Erin go bragh, brah.

--Benjamin Leatherman

15 Life Lessons Learned from Lena Dunham's Girls (in GIFs, of Course)

Bless the girls and guys of Lena Dunham's HBO television series Girls. Without them, we'd have far less awkward conversations with our boyfriends, mothers, and coworkers and even less reasons to talk about the seemingly ever-present boobs of Dunham, who's the writer, producer, and star of her own show.

There are countless reasons to love Girls and plenty of life lessons the four girlfriends (and their families, friends, and boyfriends) have taught us through the first and second seasons. As the second season finishes up this weekend, we're taking a look back at a few favorites.

--Claire Lawton

Product Trumps Process in "Creature-Man-Nature" at Mesa Contemporary Arts

The six-foot saguaros dangling from the ceiling in "Creature-Man-Nature" at Mesa Contemporary Arts look like they could descend on you at any moment, so you'll have to overcome the urge to duck while walking through the exhibition.

Up through April 28, the multimedia show features works by Mary Shindell, Carolyn Lavender, and Monica Aissa Martinez. Shindell crafted those ominous (though prickle-free) LED and Lucite Cacti (2013) in three sizes, addressing the nature aspect of the show, while Lavender takes on animals and Martinez portrays man (and woman). The premise is simple, with the three artists bringing trademark styles to their respective subjects.

Read the full review here.

--Becky Bartkowski

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