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Homepage / About Town  / 11 Main Events to See in Scottsdale & Phoenix in April-May

11 Main Events to See in Scottsdale & Phoenix in April-May

Photo by Carl Schultz

The Phoenix Home & Garden Annual Garden Tour
April 20
Looking for landscaping inspiration? Experience  some of the most stunning gardens in the Valley in person during this self-guided tour while picking the brains of the area’s leading landscape designers and architects. VIPs get early admission, and an end-of-day reception at a private estate featuring cocktails and catered bites. General admission, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; VIP, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $85-$125. Tour spots will be released to ticket holders on April 19. tickets.phoenixmag.com

NCAA Men’s Final Four
April 5-8
Only four teams will remain when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament arrives in the Valley. You can check out the action even if you don’t have a ticket, including the Final Four Fan Fest and the free March Madness Music Festival downtown. Visit the Tip-Off Tailgate to join the party in the stadium parking lot before the game, or check out the Reese’s Men’s Final Four Friday on April 5, beginning at 10 a.m. You can also catch an open practice for all four teams and watch the NABC All-Star Game at 3:30 p.m. Check the website for ticket prices and schedule information. State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, (602) 379-0102, statefarmstadium.com

Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market
April 26-28
You’re sure to find something you love when this legendary semi-annual vintage market returns to Scottsdale. More than 130 small businesses and artists from across the country will be selling your new favorite outfit or that special something to tie the room together. Fri., 4-9 p.m. (VIP only); Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $8-$10 general admission, $50-$60 VIP admission, WestWorld, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, junkinthetrunkvintagemarket.com

Pat’s Run
April 13
For 20 years, the Pat Tillman Foundation has provided veterans with the education they need to succeed in their field. The organization’s largest source of fundraising is the popular 4.2-mile walk/run, which honors late football legend and Army Ranger Pat Tillman. There is also a virtual option if you can’t make it to Tempe. Check the website for more details, race fees and course information. patsrun.org

2024 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week 
May 17-26
It’s the tastiest time of the year! Grassroots Kitchen and Tap, Mora Italian and SanTan Brewing Company are among the participants committed to this annual event for Arizona foodies. You can try dishes without the huge check of a three-course prix-fixe menu for only $33, $44 or $55 per person. Check for a complete list of participating restaurants and menus at arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Cosanti Tile-making experiences
April 6, May 4 and June 8
In this hands-on class, instructors will guide guests through the exceptional tile-making and design process developed by The Cosanti Foundation and used every day by the artisans of Cosanti Originals. Each tile-making experience begins at 10 a.m. with an introductory tour of the iconic property that was once the gallery, studio and residence of famed Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri. The session concludes at 1 p.m. with a photo session of participants and their clay tiles, which will be lightly glazed and fired, then shipped directly to the attendees. $125 per person. 6433 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Paradise Valley, (480) 948-6145, cosanti.com

The Rolling Stones
May 7
The world’s greatest rock band—consisting of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood— can’t stop, won’t stop touring, and yes, their latest tour in support of their excellent new album, “Hackney Diamonds,” is appropriately sponsored by a senior citizens organization. 7 p.m., $93-$443, State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, (602) 379-0102, rollingstones.com

The Stella Artois Derby DayClub: Presented By Sanderson Lincoln
May 4
It’s that time of year when we put on our Derby best, sip a mint julep and watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. The Derby DayClub event is the next best thing to being at Churchill Downs on race day, with live racing and betting, refreshing cocktails and some of the best food trucks in the Valley. Get your tickets early, as this event has sold out for the last four years. Doors open at 10:45 a.m. Individual tickets start at $45. Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix, (480) 423-1414, thepoloparty.com/derby

Nate Bargatze
April 13-14
After hosting a riotously funny episode of “Saturday Night Live,” the “nicest guy in comedy,” who filmed his hilarious stand-up special “Hello World” at our own Celebrity Theatre, is coming to the Valley with a new show. 7 p.m. $35-$95, Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, (602) 379-7800. footprintcenter.com

FRIED: A French Fry & Music Festival
April 20
French fries aren’t just something to go with your burger. There are french fry tacos, pizza fries, kimchi fries, lobster fries, cheesesteak fries and carne asada fries. Try these and more with your favorite dipping sauces at this local celebration of all things sizzling. A local music lineup will accompany your potato chow-down. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., $16, Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, friedfestival.com

David Sedaris
May 10
Fans of the hilarious essayist might be surprised to know that he did not include “SantaLand Diaries,” the story about his time as a department store elf that earned him a place in the hearts of NPR listeners, in his collection of his favorite works, “The Best of Me.” However, his wit and humor are ideally experienced not on the printed page, but in person. 8 p.m. Check the website for ticket prices. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix, (480) 499-8587, scottsdaleperformingarts.org

ART EXHIBITS

The ARTrageous Gala – Cosmic Crescendo 

April 6
Witness immersive art and performance inspired by the solar eclipse in this outdoor gala celebrating all things celestial. The festivities include a red carpet arrival, living art, silent and live auctions, a coursed meal, and a dessert bar. Proceeds from this event benefit the arts in Scottsdale. 6:30-10:30 p.m. Seats start at $450. Scottsdale Civic Center, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, scottsdalearts.org

Field Studies: Altered Maps & Artist’s Books
Through April 14
Books of maps and art are enhanced by Arizona artist Daniel Mayer’s imaginative flourishes, complete with renderings of atmospheric rivers and surfaces that reflect climate change and other weather cycles. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., 12-5 p.m.; Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, (480) 644-6500, mesaartscenter.com

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960-1980s
Beginning April 17
Between the ’60s and the ’80s, Central-Eastern European creatives were forced to modify how they produced art under the rigid control of the state. The result is genuinely experimental works that show how trails are blazed, even when an artist’s spirit is pressed under the thumb of the government. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, (602) 257-1880, phxart.org

Artistic Vision
Through June 1
Are the answers to the metaphysical questions we continually ask ourselves found in art or nature?  The selections in this exhibition, featuring works by painter Tim Bhajjan and photographer Charlie Gaskill, among others, acknowledge that it might be both. Tues.–Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Desert Artisans Gallery, 6536 E. Tanque Verde Road, Tucson, (520) 722-4412, desertartisansgallery.com

The Sedona Open Studios Tour April 26-28
For firsthand insight into the creative process, check out this open self-guided tour of more than 40 private studios and galleries in the Verde Valley. You can also purchase one-of-a-kind artwork and enter a drawing for a gift certificate from a studio of your choice. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check the website for gallery locations, (503) 789-4437, sedonaartistscoalition.org

Cruising: The Lowrider Art Exhibit
Through June 8
For the drivers behind the wheels of beautifully designed vehicles, it’s more than just a car. It’s an expression of their personality and culture. You can see these airbrushed and pin-striped expressions on display in photos, painted vehicles and graffiti at this celebration of this artistic hobby. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.; Sat., 12-5 p.m., Vision Gallery, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, visiongallery.org

Carolina Aranibar-Fernández: Oleaje
Through August 4
The hidden consequences of exploiting natural resources are depicted in the San Francisco-based artist’s exhibition using intensive processes, including etching, sewing, cutting and printing. The result is colorfully executed artwork featuring beautifully translated cartography and topography. Call for times and ticket prices. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, (480) 874-4666, smoca.org

Sarah Zapata: Beneath the breath of the sun
Through July 24
The Texas-born artist, who wove the works in this exhibition during her residency with CALA Alliance late last year, visualizes the discord between unconventional art and identity and the traditional aspects of design. Call for times. ASU Art Museum, 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, (480) 965-2787, asuartmuseum.asu.edu 

GALLERIES + MUSEUMS

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Focusing on learning through play, the facility offers creative, hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children from birth to age 10, with an emphasis on early childhood education and school readiness. 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, childrensmuseumofphoenix.org,
(602) 253-0501.

Heard Museum
Founded in 1929, this globally renowned museum explores American Indian arts and cultures with comprehensive exhibitions displayed in 12 galleries, interactive learning opportunities and a variety of festivals. The collection of art ranges from historic cultural items to contemporary fine art. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, heard.org, (602) 252-8848.

Lisa Sette Gallery
By consistently seeking out diverse artists working on the edge of aesthetic, social and conceptual investigation, Lisa Sette has shaped a contemporary art space that remains as vital and relevant today as when it was founded in 1985. Visitors will find original paintings, sculpture and photography displayed alongside intriguing installations and performance pieces from its roster of emerging and established artists. 210 E. Catalina Drive, Phoenix, lisasettegallery.com,
(480) 990-7342.

Musical Instrument Museum
Thousands of instruments and artifacts from around the world, plus live performances make MIM a music-lover’s dream. Advanced wireless technology and high-resolution video screens enable a full sensory experience as guests explore five geographic galleries displaying instruments from major global regions, an experience gallery that allows guests of all ages to play instruments from around the world and a mechanical music gallery that showcases unique instruments that “play themselves.” Signature events celebrate musical traditions with live performances, lectures and family-friendly activities. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, mim.org, (480) 478-6000.

Phoenix Art Museum
Top national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, photography and fashion design. The museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages. 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, phxart.‌org, (602) 257-1880.

Pueblo Grande Museum
This national historic landmark is built around a Hohokam mound that overlooks the source of more than 600 miles of canals built by these prehistoric people, with exhibits and hands-on activities, plus full-scale reproductions of Hohokam homes. 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, pueblogrande.com, (602) 495-0901.

Altamira Fine Art
The gallery specializes in exhibition and sale of Western contemporary artwork by more than 40 artists in a range of media. 7038 E. Main St., Scottsdale, altamiraart.com, (480) 949-1256.
Bonner David Galleries
The gallery features the best of both representational and contemporary fine art by more than 30 nationally and internationally collected artists. 7040 E. Main St., Scottsdale, bonnerdavid.‌com, (480) 941-8500.

Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery
An artist since 6 years old, Cyndy Carstens is the visionary behind this working artist studio and gallery. Her paintings focus on elements of light as she strives to reflect the assurance of beauty, hope and tranquility even in our most challenging moments. 7100 E. Main St., Scottsdale, cyndycarstens.com, (480) 946-3217.

Old Town Scottsdale Rodeo Museum
Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum is packed with historic cowboy and rodeo artifacts and memorabilia dating back to the 1950s, including bull ropes, saddles, vintage rodeo magazines and original Parada del Sol posters that boast artwork by the likes of Kenneth M. Freeman. Guests can climb atop El Diablo—one of the winningest bulls ever who is now on permanent display, mid-buck—for a fun photo-op. 3806 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, (602) 616-6901.

On the Edge Gallery
Visitors can interact directly with the artists at this one-of-a-kind Scottsdale gallery, which represents more than 40 professional, juried Arizona makers who own and operate the exhibit space. An array of fine and contemporary art.
7077 E. Main St., Scottsdale, ontheedgegallery.com, (480) 265-8991.

Pejman Gallery 
Artist Bob Pejman is internationally acclaimed for his depictions of European and Old-World vistas. The Scottsdale gallery exhibits his collection of oil paintings and mixed-media works on canvas as well as original paintings by leading American and European artists and sculptures by Gaylord Ho. 7130 E. Main St., Scottsdale, pejmangallery.com, (480) 970-1505. 

Quan’tum Art Inc.
Located in the courtyard at Marshall Square, QAI offers original contemporary art by internationally collected artists. 7077 E. Main St., Scottsdale, quantumartinc.com,  (480) 216-0450.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
SMoCA has four main galleries that showcase changing exhibitions and works from the museum’s growing permanent collection, plus an outdoor courtyard featuring “Knight Rise,” a Skyspace enclosure by James Turrell. 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, smoca.org,
(480) 874-4666.

Van Arsdale Arts
Former three-time NBA All-Stars Dick and Tom Van Arsdale have retired from the “real world” and are enjoying the arts. Tthe twins began creating art and opened their gallery in 2018. The Valley legends invite visitors to drop by and enjoy their oil paintings, pen and pencil works and signed T-shirts with their artsy images. 7077 E. Main St., Scottsdale, vanarsdale‌art.com, (480) 235-3196.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum features Western and Native American art and artifacts that bring the West’s heritage and culture to life.  3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, scottsdalemu‌seumwest.‌org, (480) 686-9539.

Wilde Meyer Gallery
With galleries in Scottsdale and Tucson, Wilde Meyer presents changing exhibits of contemporary fine art, with styles that range from abstracts and contemporary Western to figurative and landscape works. 4142 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, (480) 945-2323; 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Tucson,  (520) 615-5222, wildemeyer.‌com.

Xanadu Gallery
Paintings, sculpture, mixed-media pieces and other works in a variety of media are in the spotlight at this gallery which was established in 2001. 7039 E. Main St., Scottsdale, xanadugallery.com, (480) 368-9929.

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