#ArtLitPhx: Hello Lamp Post at Mesa Arts Center


Hello Lamp Post, a playful work of interactive digital art that invites people to strike up conversations with familiar street fixtures, will be installed in downtown Mesa and on Mesa Arts Center’s campus March 17 through April 16, 2018, marking the second installation of this work in the United States. The public art project by PAN Studios in London will encourage people to pause in their tracks and interact via text message with everyday street objects like lamp posts, benches, buildings, and drains. The objects will ‘wake up,’ prompting a set of carefully crafted questions about what people are doing and how they feel about where they live, work and play.

In the Mesa project, 32 objects including Mesa Arts Center itself will come to life via anonymous text messages. All that is needed to engage the objects is a basic mobile phone. As conversations grow, the objects will develop personalities and engage visitors around what they’ve heard from others. Visitors will be invited to tell the designated Hello Lamp Post objects their stories, give opinions and share observations.

Cindy Ornstein, Executive Director of Mesa Arts Center and Director of Arts & Culture for City of Mesa said of the project, “We love the way Hello Lamp Post encourages visitors to Mesa Arts Center and downtown Mesa to notice and look differently at objects in the environment. We know the installation will surprise and delight, but also hope it helps expose public dreams, and understanding about values, public spaces and community.”

An object map will be available at Mesa Arts Center’s box office and throughout downtown Mesa. Visitors are encouraged to explore and converse with as many of the objects as they like. The project map (and anonymous answers given by visitors) will also be available to view on the project website at https://mesa.hlp.city.

Mesa Arts Center is located at One East Main Street in downtown Mesa, AZ. More information can be found at MesaArtsCenter.com.

View a short video about Hello Lamp Post here.

#ArtLitPhx: Hanif Abdurraqib at Changing Hands Bookstore

Poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib visits Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85013) on Monday, March 26 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm with his acclaimed essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. The collection was named a 2017 book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, The Chicago Tribune, and others.

About the book

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib’s is a voice that matters. Whether he’s attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown’s grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.

In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers—for attempting to enter his own car.

In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others—along with original, previously unreleased essays—Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

About the author

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New York Times, and MTV News, where he was a columnist. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was published in 2016 by Button Poetry and is a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award for Poetry.

#ArtLitPhx: Robin F. Williams: Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series

Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series welcomes Robin F. Williams to discuss her recent work and research, Monday, March 26 from 7 pm to 8 pm at Grant Street Studios (605 E. Grant St. Phoenix, AZ 85004) .

Williams is a Brooklyn, New York based painter who holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Her figurative work explores closely held American mythologies about gender, privilege and the American Dream. Using the fictional nature of the painted image to examine the fictions we tell each other as a cultures.


#ArtLitPhx: spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity

This year’s Festival of Creativity will feature an exhibition of 16 art cars and motorcycles, multiple hot rods, lowriders, and interactive arts experiences for people of all ages.

Spark! celebrates the imaginative spark in all of us, by showcasing Arizona artists and performers and inviting visitors to explore and enjoy live music, aerial dance performances, hands-on experiences, live art-making, installations, demonstrations, a variety of foods, a beer, wine and cocktail area, and more. Spark! Will take place on March 17 from 12 pm – 11 pm and March 18 from 10 am-5 pm at the Mesa Arts Center (1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201). Admission and parking are free!


#ArtLitPhx: Pompeii: the Exhibition After Hours

Experience the city nature destroyed but also preserved in “Pompeii: the Exhibition” and explore the rare types of volcanic eruptions in Supervolcanos. Exhibition and Supervolcanoes Planetarium Show are available March 17 and 18, April 5 and 22, May 6, 17, 24 and 25 from 5 pm to 10 pm, the exhibition will be at the Arizona Science Center from November 18. 2017 through May 28, 2018.

Supervolcanoes explores rare types of volcanic eruptions that marshal the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The story of these big blowouts is a tale of havoc and mayhem: mass extinctions, climate collapses, and violence beyond anything humans have ever witnessed. In this unique immersive experience, audiences will explore the impact of volcanism on Earth and other worlds in our solar system. Can a supervolcano erupt in our own time? The answer is surprisingly close to home.


#ArtLitPhx: Reflections Exhibition

“Reflections” is an undergraduate exhibition that will be held at Gallery 100 March 19 through 23. Opening reception will be held Tuesday, March 20th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The purpose of Gallery 100 has been to provide students, faculty, and academic professionals of the School of Art with exhibition space that serves the needs of the school. In accordance with the overall objectives of Arizona State University, the gallery supports the research, teaching, and public service functions of the school.

The gallery hosts senior BFA group exhibitions in drawing, painting, photography, intermedia, digital art, fibers, ceramics, metals, sculpture, and printmaking and occasionally serves as a venue for larger group curatorial efforts. The gallery is operated by student gallery attendants and maintained by the galleries director, gallery technician, and the BFA students during their group exhibition period.

Established in November 2003, Gallery 100 became the ASU School of Art’s fourth gallery. Located just north of the ASU Art Museum on Mill Ave., the gallery is accessible to the local community as well as ASU’s art students and hosts weekly student art receptions.


#ArtLitPhx: Fernando Pérez and Bojan Louis Poetry Reading

Arizona State University alumni Fernando Pérez and Bojan Louis present their poetry collections at 7:00 pm on Friday, March 2, 2018, at Changing Hands bookstore (6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283). There will be an open reading from each, with possible signing opportunities. Pérez holds an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University, and is a graduate of ASU’s Creative Writing Program. He currently works as an assistant professor of English at Bellevue College. Louis is also a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State, and is currently the poetry editor at RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, and Humanities, a journal established at the University of Arizona in 1989. As of 2013, the journal is now managed at Arizona State.

Each author’s work has ties to identity, family, and the struggles inherent in each. Pérez, a Chicano poet from Los Angeles, explores how divides of generation and distance affect identity and familial ties in his collection A Song of Dismantling. Louis, an Indigenous American writer, (specifically a member of the Navajo Nation-Naakai Dine’é; Ashiihí; Ta’neezahnii; Bilgáana) has previously written nonfiction work on banned books in “occupied territory” in his chapbook Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona, (Guillotine Series, 2012), and further explores topics of diaspora and Native experience poetically in Currents, his collection.

The venue is doubly appropriate for both its location and its mission. Changing Hands is known for its local events, including readings, seminars, Q&A sessions, and book clubs. They host both established and newer authors, and foster an audience for each. The store focuses on building a community of local readers, writers, and lovers of the arts, with a focus on supporting local business, public radio, and schools. They donate to causes that affect the community and remain a fixture of the literary community of Tempe and the surrounding area. As an independent bookstore, they have a commitment to their mission that has stayed true since their establishment in 1974. By showcasing Pérez and Louis, Changing Hands continues the legacy of supporting local authors– specifically, in this case, ones that have attended and graduated from Arizona State.

Though both authors have been featured in literary journals before, this is the first published collection for each. The collections have only been published recently, with A Song of Dismantling released February 15, 2018, and Currents released in November of 2017. Each book is available at Changing Hands both on their website and at their brick-and-mortar location in Tempe. For more information and book ordering, visit Changing Hands’ website or call their Tempe location at 480-730-0205.