Nerd Culture

13 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, January 2 to 8

Courtesy of Foto Forum AZ
Picture actually knowing how to work your camera.
Happy New Year, Phoenix. As tempting as it is to curl up at home post-partying, there are things to do. From photography classes and anime conventions to the return of Bar Flies (and more events on New Times' curated calendar), here's a look at how to spend your first week of 2017.

One Button Simple
So, you’re peeling back the wrapping when you glimpse a corner of the box you’d hoped to see. All of your holiday dreams are coming true as you pull your new digital camera from the rubble of ribbon and paper. But now, how do you work the damn thing? Thankfully, Greg Berlucchi of Foto Forum AZ will share all the answers during the One Button Simple class at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 2, at 4834 North Seventh Street. The class is specifically for beginners looking to capture the perfect moment — meaning things won’t get too technical. Berlucchi just asks that students “bring your camera, a fully charged battery, and an open mind.” The class costs $49.99, and you can reserve your spot and find more information at the Foto Forum website. Evie Carpenter

click to enlarge The one where the gang crushes trivia. - NBC
The one where the gang crushes trivia.
The Office and Friends Trivia Tuesday
Are you more of a Rachel or a Joey or a Michael or a Pam — or a Phyllis with Chandler-ish tendencies? Don’t think too hard on it. The question probably won’t come up during Casino Arizona’s The Office and Friends Trivia Tuesday. Instead, bring your deep knowledge of the two hit NBC sitcoms based on British shows, your favorite Phoebes and Stanleys to build a team of up to six people, and Monica levels of competitiveness for a chance to win $1,000. Signup will start at 6 p.m., food and drink specials will be available, and the questions will fly starting at 7 in the Arizona Room at 524 North 92nd Street in Scottsdale. See Casino Arizona's website or call 480-850-7777. Becky Bartkowski

click to enlarge Survey an array of work from Cranbrook. - JOSHUA R. CLARK, SUNDAY AFTERNOON ISLAND, 2016. CERAMIC, 21 X 21 X 10 IN. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
Survey an array of work from Cranbrook.
Joshua R. Clark, Sunday Afternoon Island, 2016. Ceramic, 21 x 21 x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist.
"Crankbrook Ceramics +/- 25 Years"
Maybe your parents hauled out all your preschool pinch pots so you could reminisce over the holidays. By now, you’re ready to see some serious ceramics.

The ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery, 699 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, can help make it happen. It’s showing works by 25 artists affiliated with Cranbrook Academy of Art, a renowned center for ceramics located in Michigan. The art show is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4.

The free “Cranbrook Ceramics +/- 25 Years” exhibition features fun twists on the flower vase, paper weights, and porcelain dinnerware — plus video and more conceptual works. Unexpected materials, from cardboard to moving blankets, abound. Participating artists hail from many countries, including Germany, Japan, and the U.S. Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Peter Bugg, Courtesy of SMoCA
Slow Art Tour
Designed for those who prefer to stop and smell the roses, slow art tours give participants the opportunity to take in pieces at a more deliberate place, allowing for more thoughtful exploration and consideration of the work before them.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s first guided Slow Art Tour at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 5, will take patrons through the museum’s current collections and fall exhibitions, including “Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power” and “Architecture + Art: Everything Falls Into Place When It Collapses.” The idea is to spend at least five to 10 minutes with each designated piece, absorbing everything from the big picture to the tiniest detail. Afterward, participants can discuss the experience over light refreshments in the SMoCA Lounge within the museum at 7374 East Second Street.

Space is limited for this free event; reservations are encouraged. Visit SMoCA's website or call 480-874-4666 to register. Janessa Hilliard

click to enlarge Game on, Phoenix. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Game on, Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman
Body Talk x Cobra Arcade
If there’s anything better than beating your high scores at Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga, it’s beating your high scores at these classic games while drinking a beer and listening to some sick, sick beats. Well, get ready for a full night of that during Body Talk x Cobra Arcade Bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on January 5. On this first Thursday of the year, special guests Dungeon Destroyer and Sigh will spin tracks alongside resident DJs Pickster, Hartbreaks, and Ellery. There’s no cover for this night of “Beats, Vibes, & Life” at 801 North Second Street, #100. Which means you can ride the beats all night while you become the master of Street Fighter II and Super Mario Bros. For more information about the event, visit the Facebook event. Evie Carpenter

Bar Flies: Station to Station
Many things in this world are open to interpretation, and in the case of Bar Flies, the monthly reading series put on by New Times, the prearranged theme is, too. For the event’s 2017 premiere, the theme is “Station to Station,” and whether that means world travel or public transport or David Bowie’s 10th studio album, you’ll find out starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 5. Doors open at 6 at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, 
Joe Abbruscato aka Mr Anathema
and tickets are $5 at Call 602-368-3121, and invite pals at the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

We Are: Celestial
Pop quiz: What do you get when you combine lasers, visual art, an ambient soundscape, and performance? No, we’re not talking Daft Punk. The answer’s We Are: Celestial, a collaborative, one-night-only event featuring Francisco Flores, Katharnie Leigh Simpson, and Gabriel Gold, along with several other local creatives outside Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Viewers can expect a feast for the senses that travels “into a new land of the imagination.” Sounds like a pretty good Friday, tbh. Performances run continuously from 6 to 9 p.m., and there’s no cover. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Becky Bartkowski

Read on for more things to do this week.