Whew! It's good to be back. Aside from a brief stint where we tried to revive City Week in the fall, then nervously pulled the plug as we watched COVID-19 cases climb, it's been about a year since I put together an event roundup for the Tucson Weekly. It's been so heartening to find that I'm having no trouble gathering events and activities to try out. Because, as ever, Tucson is full of passionate people who make music, art and magic every day. We hope you get the chance to start safely experiencing it soon.
Art Happenings and Sculpture Event. This art showcase at the Wilde Meyer Gallery is both indoors and outdoors, but, in honor of springtime, it has a special emphasis on outdoor sculpture. If that's not your scene, there will be plenty of paintings, jewelry and mixed media work for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out the artist meet and greets and artist demonstrations as well. The exhibit will be on display from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. But this celebration and event is 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 and 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 25. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 170.
Tucson Museum of Art Spring Artisan Market. It sure does feel good to see events like this one up and running again. This TMA market is a special one, featuring a mix of crafts, pottery, glass, jewelry, textiles and original artwork. It's the perfect place to pick up a gift for Mothers' Day, or a piece of artwork to get your house ready for springtime. As usual, the TMA Docent Council will also be doing a book sale, featuring 150 boxes of books about art and culture. (And books are 50% off on Sundays!) Museum capacity is currently limited to allow for social distancing, so if you want to check out the galleries while you're there, it's best to get tickets in advance. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 23, to Sunday, April 25. Tucson Museum of Art, 200 W. Alameda St.
Emergence. The new exhibit at Untitled Gallery is a celebration of a very special time of year, and in history. After all, not only are the Palo Verdes emerging into a brilliant sea of yellow and the air conditioning emerging from its winter slumber, but it looks like we're starting to emerge from this pandemic. The gallery received 85 entries with more than 250 works of art in response to a call for submissions, and selected 43 to display at the gallery. They're on display from noon to 5 p.m. every Saturday until June 5 (as well as online 24/7). Come see, or even buy, some art from this truly unforgettable time. Untitled Gallery. 101 Sixth St., suite 121. Free.
Paperworks: Forming the Effect, Affecting the Form. In all of the chaos, confusion and downright misery that 2020 brought us, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of one of the things that would have been more noticeable any other year: We hardly got any rain. Seriously, 2020 was the Sonoran Desert's driest year on record. This exhibit, on display at Tohono Chul, features pieces from local artists that reflect on drought and deluge, while ultimately celebrating the resilience of Mother Nature. And it's not just a neat concept – the art really is gorgeous and varied, too. Tohono Chul,7366Paseo del Norte. Galleries are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. $15 GA.
Art in Bloom. Spring has sprung, and the Madaras Gallery is celebrating with this exhibit of Diana Madaras' floral paintings. Sometimes springtime in Tucson, lovely as it is, gets overshadowed by the dread of how hot the summer months are about to get. This exhibit serves as a good reminder to appreciate just how vibrant and beautiful this time of year is. (I mean, have you seen those Desert Mariposas???) Exhibit runs through April 30 at the Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Performances & Shows
Ballet Tucson Pop-Up Performance. There's something about watching a dance performance that just leaves you feeling better. Maybe it's watching the lines blur between sound and movement. Maybe it's seeing some of the incredible feats the human body can accomplish with loads of conditioning. Maybe it's the magic of watching a story unfold. In any case, we're so excited that we have the opportunity with an outdoor, critically acclaimed performance. See five new choreographic works by Associate Director Chieko Imada and Ballet Master Daniel Precup, including a comical relationship duet, a contemporary jazz piece and a beautiful prima ballerina solo by Jenna Johnson. 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Rillito Regional Park, 4570 N. First Ave. Free.
29th Arizona International Film Festival. This iconic local festival is doing a mix of outdoor and online screenings this year. It's been going on since mid April, and you've still got a chance to catch some of the fun this weekend! In addition to a lineup of feature films, you can see a panel about the behind-the-scenes of filmmaking; a Best of the Fest roundup; and groupings of animated, comedic or experimental shorts. Over the years, this festival has shown nearly 3,000 films from 100 countries to 162,000 patrons in Southern Arizona. See filmfestivalarizona.com for details about times, dates and pricing of specific events.
Buccaneers of the Caribbean (or "Don't Touch Me Booty!"). You can always count on the Gaslight Theatre for a good night out and a big belly laugh. In this outdoor show, follow the crew of the Esmerelda on their journey to find a hidden treasure. Of course, along the way, they battle, brawl and get into all sorts of antics. You can order pizza, popcorn and drinks when you buy your tickets, or once you're on site (and you can also order extra goodies when you're on site). Enjoy the show from your car, or check out the new festival seating, with sanitized chairs and tables in the first three rows. Showing at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays through June 6. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway.
Free Time: Building Community for Incarcerated Writers. Are you interested in mentorship, writing or the criminal justice system? This unique program pairs artists from Tucson and surrounding areas with incarcerated writers looking for guidance, mentorship and collaboration through regular correspondence. At this Saturday workshop, Joe Watson will offer advice to mentors on how to best encourage and offer compassionate criticism to their incarcerated friends. He'll also suggest notable works written by incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people and share developments on criminal justice reform and prison abolition movements. 11. a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your first workshop to get instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting.
Tucson Street Rod Association Car Show. The Annual Rodders Days Car Show is going to be the first major in-person event at Pima Community College's Downtown Campus in over a year. And how could you miss something as monumental as that? Come for the hand-built street rods, custom and classic cars, antique engines and mining equipment, and food vendors. And stay for the chance to tour the brand new Automotive Technology and Innovation Center. Masks are required. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Pima Community College Downtown Campus,1255 N. Stone Ave. Free.