7 Cool Things We Saw at Canal Convergence 2015 in Scottsdale

Truth be told, the coolest part about Canal Convergence 2015 was seeing people of all walks of life converge along the canal and surrounding parts to explore works of art and other cultural gems. For four days, from February 26 to March 1, the streets of downtown Scottsdale came alive with a steady stream of locals, tourists and part-timers who split the year between Arizona and colder parts of the country.

Art galleries with open doors and the new Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West, all located within walking distance of the event held along the Scottsdale Waterfront, added to the pulse of Scottsdale Public Art's four-day celebration. We hit the canal early and often, and found many cool offerings. These were our favorites.

More »

5 Cool Things We Saw at February's Third Friday in Downtown Phoenix

Rossitza Todorova
One of our favorites from "Onloaded: Alexis Duque" at the Hot Box Gallery in the Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market.
When in doubt, start your First and Third Friday art adventures with the trio of shipping containers turned gallery spaces at the Roosevelt Row A.R.T.S. Market, where interesting work and opportunities to talk with a diverse assortment of artists abound. That's our take home from this month's Third Friday, where Halt and Hot Box galleries continued to serve up fun and interesting fare.

Modest but energetic crowds infused spaces that were harder to navigate during First Friday, when crowds sometimes streamed through spaces like parades of ants rather than pausing to engage with the arts and culture that has made these events, and the Roosevelt Row arts district, such a draw.

More »

7 Must-See Third Friday Art Shows in Phoenix on February 20

Courtesy of Halt Gallery
Work by Nora Hartlaub featured in the new "Kid Stuff" exhibition at Halt Gallery.
There's lots of good stuff to see this month, especially as galleries and studios ramp up for next month's Art Detour event. See as much as you can during Third Friday, so you'll have more time for other viewings once Art Detour, taking place March 7 and 8, is upon us. Third Friday options include art inspired by childhood themes and materials, art exploring our relationship to birds, and art celebrating the ways we move from place to place.

More »

10 Best Costumes from Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2015 at Phoenix Convention Center

Categories: Geekery, Top Lists

Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
Local cosplayers at Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2015. See more photos here.
If there's one thing that's become abundantly clear to us while covering geek culture in the Valley, it's that everyone nerds out for something, no matter who they are. That's especially true with members of the cosplay crowd, who put their particular passion on display for the world to see at local geek extravaganzas like the annual Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2015 this past weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Cosplayers were everywhere during all three days of the convention, whether they were roaming the aisles, checking out comics, dropping some coin for cool shwag, gathering for the event's costume contest on Saturday night, or just geeking out.

More »

25 Best Wedding Venues in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

Image courtesy The Icehouse
Who knew there were so many options?
Love is in the air, and weddings are right around the corner. While we can't tell you what dress to wear, who should be on the guest list, or whether you should write your own vows, we can point you in the right direction of where to put it all together. Between museums, resorts, and art galleries, there are plenty of prime places to put a ring on it in metro Phoenix. Here are our top 25.

More »

5 Cool Things We Saw at Phoenix's First Friday in February

Lynn Trimble
Soul Matrix installation by Tara Logsdon at Frontal Lobe Gallery and Community Space.

Artwork, street performers, food trucks, and super-size boom boxes made this month's First Friday an especially lively affair. Folks visiting Roosevelt Row had fun with way-finding, thanks to towers of arrows pointing the way to local art venues and local businesses, and signs signaling nearby sources of artwork, coffee, beer, and little black dresses. We found our February favorites in a fun assortment of places from a pop-up gallery to a photography studio.

Soul Matrix by Tara Logsdon

We were drawn by a rainbow of cascading colors to Tara Logsdon's Soul Matrix, an installation featured in her solo exhibition "Bearial Ground" at Frontal Lobe Gallery and Community Space -- where 10 repurposed teddy bears mounted on gallery walls are dressed according to social justice themes such as race, torture, money, and poison. While making our way from a teddy bear sporting a white hooded KKK robe to a teddy bear attached to a mock torture device, we spotted various gallery-goers interacting with Soul Matrix, going inside the circular space for a bit of conversation or meditative time. The installation really drew people in and kept them engaged with the exhibition.

More »

13 Must-See Dance Performances in Metro Phoenix This Spring

Rosalie O'Connor
Ballet Arizona performs Napoli in Phoenix this season.
It's an especially exciting season for dance lovers in metro Phoenix as local, national, and international companies present diverse offerings that incorporate everything from architecture to spoken word performance. With all these choices, even folks who rarely hit the dance scene will find a little something that strikes their fancy.

More »

5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Categories: Events, Top Lists

Courtesy of Arizona Science Center
Super Bowl XLIX isn't the only football fun to have in metro Phoenix.

"Gridiron Glory"

If you're an NFL fan living the Valley, you're in hog heaven right now. Well, pigskin heave anyway. Aside from forgoing costly airfare to catch the big game, 2015 also marks only the third time that the Pro Bowl is being played in the same city as the Super Bowl. So you can stash those frequent flier miles for next year's trip to Honolulu. As if that weren't enough, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is bringing its largest traveling exhibition ever to downtown Phoenix's Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, just in time for the festivities.

More »

7 Cool Things We Saw at January's Third Friday

Mikey Estes
Part of Patricia Sannit's ceramic installation at Halt Gallery's shipping container

The first round of Third Friday exhibitions in 2015 is setting the bar high for the rest of the year. It was a pretty quiet evening on the streets, but most of the galleries were filled with work and people to view it. Most of these exhibitions will be around for February's First Friday, so don't miss out. We're sure that with the cold beginning to dissipate, it'll be a busy year on Roosevelt Row. Here are some of our favorites.

More »

10 Coolest Churches in Metro Phoenix

Katie Johnson
Valley Presbyterian Church can by eye catching from several angles but our favorite is the east side.
We don't know if you worship on Sunday or sleep in the like the rest of us. (And frankly, we don't care.)

But chances are, you can appreciate good design when you see it. While we've taken the time to pay tribute the coolest buildings in metro Phoenix, from hospitals to banks, auditoriums to office high-rises, churches in the Valley deserve a category all their own. Whether you're looking to drive by or drop in, here are 10 structures that scream, "Holy moly."

More »