Cheap Thrills PERFECT PRODUCE: Given the scary pesticides infesting modern produce aisles, it's comforting that most farmers at the Tucson Farmers Markets grow their bountiful harvest sans chemical products.

The result is a resplendent smorgasbord of wonderful--and consummately tasty--fruits and vegetables arriving fresh from regional growers. There are also plenty of other delectables on hand, from barbeque sauces and teas to dips, cheeses and salsas.

Markets are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays in Park Mall, and 7 a.m. to noon Sundays in St. Philip's Plaza, at Campbell Avenue and River Road. For more information, call 743-8063.

SUN-BAKED: Feel the heat when Citizens for Solar host their 17th annual Solar Potluck. More than 50 ovens will be put to the test, cooking throughout the day until chow time at 5 p.m. There will also be displays of solar water distillers, photovoltaics, solar-powered evaporative coolers, and even sun-powered tunes. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own culinary contributions.

The potluck runs from 9 a.m. to sundown Saturday, May 8, in Catalina State Park, on North Oracle Road at Milepost 81. Admission is free, but there is a $5 per vehicle fee to enter the park. Call 575-8013 for information.

TWO-DIMENSIONAL TEST: Steven Parrino continues his habit of pushing artistic boundaries with IT, now showing in Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art.

Parrino is known for his inventive manipulation of the canvas. In the past, his techniques included the use of monochromatic colors in pieces where, for example, the stretcher and canvas are constructed to leave gaps in the surface, as if shapes had been directly taken from the image.

Another signature technique is taking a completed painting, removing the canvas from the stretcher, and then reapplying it in a way that creates large creases and folds on the surface. Such reconstruction leaves his work with a lush, multi-dimensional quality.

This time out he goes for extremes: the removed canvases are balled up like wads of paper, and then arranged on simple tables. Accompanying the work are videos of the artist performing a musical piece entitled "Guitar Grinder," in which he literally grinds guitars together at high volume, in a room wallpapered with aluminum foil. The jolting performance, we're sure, perfectly captures the chaotic nature of the artist's world view.

IT is on display through May 21 in Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 437 E. Grant Road. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For information, call 903-0577.

GOING TO POT: Score some unique pottery and sculpture--perhaps even a delicate offering for ol' Mom--when the UA Art Clayworks Club fires up its semi-annual ceramics sale. Proceeds support educational activities such as visiting artists, field trips and special projects.

The sale runs from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 6 and 7, in the UA Ceramic Annex, 1200 N. Mountain Ave. Call 621-3136 for information. TW

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