2014 Big Brain Award Winners to Be Announced at Artopia Friday, April 25 (VIDEO)


Get ready to mix and mingle with some of the Valley's most compelling up-and-coming creatives in the fields of performing art, culinary art, visual art, design, and urban vision at New Times' Artopia on Friday, April 25, at Bentley Projects.

Those creatives? They're the 2014 Big Brain Award finalists. We've been profiling them here on Jackalope Ranch and on our sister blog, Chow Bella, over the past few weeks.

At Artopia we'll announce the five winners who will go home with $500 each to support their creative endeavors. Of course, we have a few more things planned for the annual evening of art, food, cocktails, and entertainment.

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"Rhythm and History" Is Just Out of Reach at Tempe's ASU Art Museum

Categories: Review, Visual Art

Katrina Montgomery
"Rhythm and History" exhibition view
After my first visit to see "Rhythm and History" at the ASU Art Museum, I returned home and immediately began Googling. As its name explicitly states, the exhibition is entrenched in history. Yet I left feeling the gaps in my own historical knowledge exposed rather than filled, as I might have hoped.

In the 1990s under the direction of former museum director and curator Marilyn Zeitlin, ASU Art Museum established one of the most extensive collections of contemporary Cuban art outside of Cuba, culminating in an exhibition entitled "Contemporary Art from Cuba: Irony and Survival on the Utopian Island" in 1998. The current show marks the first time this truly impressive collection has been revisited since then. The 19 diverse pieces showcased in "Rhythm and History" barely scratch the surface of the extensive collection, which brought together 17 of the most prominent artists working in Cuba at the time.

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50 Signs You're Dating a Basic Bitch

Paramount Pictures
For the record, Audrey Hepburn is not a basic bitch. But basic bitches love her.
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

By now you've probably heard about the basic bitch. (Oh you haven't? Better watch this Funny or Die PSA). The basic bitch is hardly something we women aspire to be -- though, in truth, we do cross into basic territory every once in a blue moon (case in point, drinking Blue Moon). But there are definitely some pros for any guy who wants to date one.

Pro: She's loyal, albeit bordering on needy.
Pro: She's malleable, like silly putty or tofu. If you're looking for a predictable sidekick to live out your cookie cutter existence with, the basic bitch is your girl.

Con: She's basic.

Here are 50 signs that you are dating the most vanilla girl in the Valley.

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Phoenix's Bunky Boutique to Release Sentrock T-Shirt Collaboration

Categories: Events

Mr. Phx
A model shows off the new Bunky-Sentrock collab.

When artist Joseph "Sentrock" Perez and Bunky Boutique owner Rachel Malloy first met in 2007, Perez was on the hunt for a shirt to wear to his first art opening and took his search to Malloy's recently opened downtown Phoenix boutique.

Flash forward about seven years, and the two are collaborating on a shirt that embodies a shared creative vision.

"The design represents looking to the future and envisioning something better and being inspired to create that," Malloy says via e-mail.

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Game CoLab to Launch Gaming Incubator in Phoenix

Categories: Morning Buzz

Game CoLab
Well, we've got some good news and some great news.

The good news is that Game CoLab, the independent co-working organization dedicated to developing the local gaming community, has just received a good chunk of change: a one-time $33,798 grant from the City of Phoenix, plus a $4,000 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Now for the great news: it could help aspiring gamer entrepreneurs land their dream jobs.

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Two Pence's Ayo Skeete Disapproves of Your Flip-Flops

Andie Flores
Ayo Skeete has done everything from jewelry to branding.

When Ayo Skeete was 10 years old, she had a make-your-own-jewelry birthday party. When she was in middle school, she made her own jewelry and sold it. In college, she began making pieces she loved and sold them in her very own Etsy shop, Ayo Femi Jewelry.

At 25, the Phoenix native has used her knowledge of branding her past jewelry business to launch a new creative studio, Two Pence.

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Mookesh Patel: 2014 Urban Legend Award, Design

Janessa Hilliard
Mookesh Patel, associate professor in the Department of Visual Communication Design at Arizona State University.
In honor of the fifth annual Big Brain Awards, New Times is recognizing five Urban Legends, established creative pioneers who have made Phoenix a better, cooler place.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will profile the legends. Up today: Mookesh Patel.

When Mookesh Patel was growing up in India, a career in graphic design was unheard of. There were only three choices when it came to work for young men.

"Medicine, medicine, medicine," he says with a laugh.

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10 Art Classes for Adults This Summer in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Visual Art

Image by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons
Contrary to popular belief, you have to be neither an artist nor a child to take an art class. You might not be the next Monet, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun honing your painting technique. From sand casting to alternative printing, the art classes in metro Phoenix this summer span an array of artistic disciplines. There are literally hundreds of classes to choose from, but we've selected 10 of the most interesting ones to get you started.

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Phoenix Is One of the Best Cities for Recent College Grads, Study Shows

Categories: Morning Buzz

Alan Stark via Flickr
Between the pool parties, the creative mingling, and the growing bike community, we can totally understand why Phoenix is a great place for Millennials. Now, as if those weren't enough, Time magazine has just given up-and-comers another reason make a trip to the Valley of the Sun: jobs.

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Here's Your Guide to Spa Week 2014 Deals in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events

Denise Cross Photography via Flickr
Get ready for some serious relaxation.

For a seven-day stretch every spring, Spa Week cuts beauty buffs' wallets some slack while ensuring that their faces are anything but.

Running from Monday, April 21, through Tuesday, April 27, the event offers an array of $50 treatments, ranging from pedicures to body wraps, at spas across the Valley. Here's the complete rundown on what's available where in metro Phoenix and how to make your appointments.

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