Welcome distractions? Phoenix is full of 'em. From floral courses and art shows to an inside look at Outlander and an evening of comedy from Natasha Leggero — not to mention more options on New Times' calendar, there's enough to keep you busy each day of the week. And then some.
"Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist"
As Americans grapple with issues of race, identity, and national history, the Heard Museum presents an exhibition exploring these very themes. It’s called “Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist,” and the show originated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
WalkingStick was born in 1935 to a Scotch-Irish mother and Native American father, and her work reflects her hybrid cultural identity. Through 39 works in diverse media including gouache and collage, the exhibition traces her decades-long career and key influences from feminism to minimalism.
See the exhibition, which continues through January 8, 2017, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, November 7, at 2301 North Central Avenue. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Visit heard.org. Lynn Trimble
Being a top-notch host is no small feat. You have have to create a welcoming environment, provide delicious apps, and keep the drinks flowing. And those are just a few of the obvious tasks. Really, it’s the details that can take your gathering from ho-hum to awesome. One detail that’s sure to wow guests is a stunning, homemade centerpiece. The floral masters at Camelback Flowershop, 4108 East Indian School Road, will teach you how to create a beautiful focal point during the Centerpiece Class from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8. The workshop costs $195 and includes teaching design techniques, a take-home centerpiece, and some snacks and wine. To purchase tickets and get more information, visit camelbackflowershop.com or call 602-840-4646. Evie Carpenter
"Desert River/City River"
One might not expect an artist hailing from the lush and green New York to accurately portray the drought and dam-nation of the desert, but that’s exactly what Tony Winters does in “Desert River/City River.” The award-winning landscape artist captures such city oases as pools and canals alongside the flowing waters of the Salt River and Bartlett Lake in his could-be-photographs paintings.
Visitors can see them for free from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, and through Saturday, November 26, at the Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 West Washington Street. For details, visit www.azlibrary.gov/azcm or call 602-926-3620. Janessa Hiliard
Summer Sales Screening
Aside from hyper-motivated Girl Scouts, the art of door-to-door sales is mostly a thing of the past. Still, the occasional rap on the door does occur, and someone winds up hiding behind the curtains in their underwear. Well, local writer and musician Matthew Rodgerson thought such a premise was primo mockumentary material. Apparently, so did Netflix. Rodgerson’s comedy series Summer Sales was recently picked up by the streaming giant, but locals can catch an advance screening of the pilot at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. Along with the screening, cast members of Summer Sales will be on hand to proselytize the show without any pesky doors to block them. Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $15. Visit standuplive.com or call 480-719-6100 for details. Rob Kroehler
The Making of Outlander
You’ve read the novels, you’ve watched the TV show, now you can read about watching the Starz hit Outlander.
The Poisoned Pen welcomes TV critic and blogger Tara Bennett to the Hilton Resort, 6333 North Scottsdale Road, where she will talk about her new book, The Making of Outlander. Series creator Diana Gabaldon will host the event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, leading the discussion of the TV adaption, how it has stayed true to her vision, and how good Sam Heughan looks in a kilt.
Pre-signed copies of The Making of Outlander will be available for $50. Purchase includes a spot in the signing line, where Bennett and Gabaldon will personalize your copy and sign one additional book per person. No posed photos will be allowed, though staff will take pictures while the authors personalize books. For more information, call 480-947-2974 or visit poisonedpen.com. Michael Senft