SEE IT: A garbage bag bulging with trash is actually a 250-pound piece of solid marble. A pack of American Spirit cigarettes is really a sculpture composed of foam, plastic, paper, paint and magnets. Such is the mischievous, don’t-believe-your-eyes nature of Lifelike, on view through May 18 in the Steele Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum. Each piece in the exhibition represents an ordinary object recreated through materials like bronze and plastic.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Three giant Chinese finger traps made from miles of woven seat belts dangle from the ceiling and walls in Downtown’s new Grant Street Studios. They point to the propensity for play that runs through artist Bobby Zokaites’ projects. After all, this is the guy that co-created the 20-foot-long “The Machine the Sneetches Built,” based on a Dr. Seuss book, in Kansas City, Mo.
Before you open Jeremy Jackrabbit Captures the Sun (Dandak Publishing, 2014), you get a taste of the colorful art waiting between the pages. Husband-and-wife authors Rodney and Sasha Glassman write the text (in English and Spanish) for their children’s book series, but thanks to a partnership with the Phoenix Public Library to hold illustration contests for K-8 students, all the bright drawings adorning the book’s thick, glossy pages are done by Arizona kids.
READ IT: Some hiking guides are as dry as the Phoenix heat, but local scribe Lilia Menconi's trail tome, Take a Hike Phoenix: Hikes within Two Hours of the City (Moon Outdoors) takes a conversational tone that feels like having a hiking buddy chatting by your side through the switchbacks.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Look up – it's a bird, it's a plane, it's... a fleet of fifty 8-foot wide reflective dragonflies! Art meets aviation and animation in the air above the courtyard at Mesa Contemporary Arts for "Spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity" this month, thanks to Scottsdale artist Jeff Zischke.