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 Art Museum Announces 2013 Contemporary Forum Award Winners

On Wednesday night, Phoenix Art Museum's Contemporary Forum awarded eight local artists who've made a mark in the contemporary scene.

The annual event recognizes emerging Arizona artists with $1,500 grants to purchase materials and one mid-career artist with $5,000 plus a special exhibition of his or her work alongside past award winners.

Here are the winners.

--Claire Lawton

Flashbang: The NRA's Bra Gun Holster That'll Keep Your Cans Close to the Trigger

Fresh out of the gun show/NRA Convention comes good news for every gun-toting woman with a need to keep her business under wraps.

Introducing the Flashbang.

Available for purchase (for a cool $39.95) on the NRA website, the Flashbang joins the ranks of Thunderwear and is designed to attach the the middle of the bra and clip on just under the under-wire.

--Claire Lawton

Tempe's Gringo Star Street Bar Opens Today -- Here's a Sneak Peek at its Art and Arcade Games

When members of the college-aged party brigade or recent ASU grads looking to celebrate their milestone stroll into Gringo Star Street Bar, they'll encounter a few things that are a bit foreign to the Mill Avenue nightlife scene. Namely, arcade games, skeeball, and street art.

Gringo Star, which officially opened to public consumption last week, boasts all three of these in abundance, and Jackalope Ranch was allowed a sneak peek at the place on Wednesday during its soft opening.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Great Gatsby Fashion: The Good, The Bad, and The Must-Avoid Looks

Baz Luhrmann's highly anticipated film adaptation of The Great Gatsby hit theaters Friday, May 10. With sparkly, soirée-ready costumes designed by Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin, the decadent flick has spawned a slew of Daisy- and Jay-inspired fashions that range from glamorous to downright gaudy.

While it may sound appealing, draping yourself in velvet, fringe, and patterns galore, some Prohibition-style restraint is in order -- if solely to save you from looking like a costumed clown. Here are the good, the bad, and the must-avoid looks.

--Becky Bartkowski

Tania Katan to Host "The Most Of" Lit Lounge with a Must-See Lineup

When Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art announced it was bringing performer, author, and kickass entertainer Tania Katan on board to mix things up a year ago, we knew we were in for something good.

Almost a year later, we've sat in a sold-out SMoCA Lounge a number of times to experience a number of Katan's programs, including Lit Lounge. The event, billed by Katan as "a little rock'n'roll, a little This American Life," is a monthly opportunity to listen to selected authors and performers from Arizona and across the country. These lineups have shared their stories, paired with live music, to a live audience in the SmoCA Lounge.

And this month, Katan's taking Lit Lounge to a whole new level.

--Claire Lawton

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