Free Things to Do This Week: “Optical Control,” Pub Trivia, Martin Limon

See how community members honor loved ones at Appaloosa Library.
Scottsdale Public Art
See how community members honor loved ones at Appaloosa Library.
Whether you are broke or just frugal, you can make your way to the “Optical Control” exhibition at the Harry Wood Gallery, learn the true tradition behind Dia de los Muertos at the Appaloosa Library, and hear from author Martin Limon about his new book The Nine-Tailed Fox. Best part? It won't cost you a cent. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

“Our Stories Live On: Día de los Muertos Community Altars”
Ever notice how the real history of Mexican holidays gets buffed over during American celebrations, like when Cinco de Mayo goes from celebrating Mexico’s battle win over France to living out Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville dreams? It happens during Día de los Muertos, too. That’s a celebration of friends and family members who’ve passed away, not the Mexican equivalent of Halloween.

Consider its traditional meaning while exploring “Our Stories Live On: Día de los Muertos Community Altars” between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, October 2, at Appaloosa Library, 7377 East Silverstone Drive in Scottsdale. The free exhibition includes small-scale altars created by community members and is on view through Thursday, November 30. Visit the Scottsdale Library website. Lynn Trimble

To drinking and to thinking. - MOLLY SMITH
To drinking and to thinking.
Molly Smith
Pub Trivia
Whether you can’t live without your Monday Night Football or you love to hate it, the Cardinals are not even playing on Monday, October 2. So you’re out of excuses. It’s time to start the week off right by showing off your big brain at SunUp Brewing Company’s Pub Trivia. Go head-to-head with other know-it-alls on topics ranging from the nerdy and cinematic to, yes, even the athletic (they have to level that playing field somehow). There will be $5 appetizers as well as popular craft beers on tap, including the 2017 Oktoberfest.

Win it all at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 2, at SunUp Brewing Company, 322 East Camelback Road. Admission is free. For more information, visit the SunUp Brewing Company website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Explore light in all its glory at Harry Wood Gallery. - ELIZABETH TABER
Explore light in all its glory at Harry Wood Gallery.
Elizabeth Taber
“Optical Control”
Louise Fisher, Anthony Mead, and Lizzy Taber take what they see and turn it into art. In a free exhibition called “Optical Control,” the trio of graduate art students at Arizona State University “melodically illuminate light as an object.” It’s all about exploring “the wonder, necessity, perceptions, and causality of both natural and artificial light.”

Courtesy of Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Mead works with salt, burnt wood, tread, and gold. For Taber, sunlight is a medium. And Fisher works with video, photography, and printmaking. See how their work comes together at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery, 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe. Gallery hours on Tuesday, October 3, are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble

Martin Limon
Do you have to be on drugs to think you’ve seen a nine-tailed fox? Not necessarily. The shape-shifting creature also known as known as a gumiho from ancient Chinese mythology could appear to you in many different forms.

For instance, the lead suspect in The Nine-Tailed Fox, Martin Limon’s new “Sueño and Bascom” mystery, looks like a woman, but is rumored to be a 1,000-year-old fox in disguise. The detectives think she’s involved in the disappearances of three American soldiers in South Korea.

Find out if the lady is a fox after you grab a signed copy from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free; books for the signing are $26.95. Call 480-947-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young

A blast from the “Chaos Theory” past. - LYNN TRIMBLE
A blast from the “Chaos Theory” past.
Lynn Trimble
“Chaos Theory”
One night each year, Legend City Studios becomes the epicenter of the metro Phoenix art scene. It’s happened every First Friday in October for nearly two decades, thanks to a trio of artists who started the free “Chaos Theory” exhibition that’s become an annual must-see.

The show is named for a mathematical principle that says small changes can produce large effects. Today, “Chaos Theory” is organized by Randy Slack, who helped launch it. He chooses dozens of artists to participate, mixing up the roster just enough each year to keep people coming back for more.

Make your way to 521 West Van Buren Street anytime after 6 p.m. on Friday, October 6, to check it out. You’ll see works by some of Arizona’s best-known creatives, and get the chance to rub elbows with fellow art lovers, collectors, and creatives. Visit the Facebook event page. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Help Charlie Welch relive his childhood at Shortcut Gallery. - COURTESY OF SHORTCUT GALLERY
Help Charlie Welch relive his childhood at Shortcut Gallery.
Courtesy of Shortcut Gallery
“You Can’t Go Home Again”
Brooklyn artist Charlie Welch is fascinated by the concept of home, in part because he moved a lot during childhood. “I was always the new kid, a stranger, or just strange,” Welch says in press materials. Two traits have long served him well: a powerful imagination and a knack for creating with whatever materials he can find.

See what Welch came up with when he decided to make architectural models of his many childhood homes, then photograph them as part of his larger body of work exploring identify formation and related themes.

Welch’s photos are featured in the free “You Can’t Go Home Again” exhibition at Shortcut Gallery inside Phoenix General, 5538 North Seventh Street, Suite 120. Sunday hours on October 8 are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the Phoenix General Facebook page. Lynn Trimble