Vanishing Circles. I think you can learn something every time you go to an art gallery. This exhibit is particularly sobering, as each of the animals, plants and habitats pictured in the collection are endangered, threatened or otherwise compromised. The series of paintings and drawings was acquired for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum by the Michael C. and Priscilla V. Baldwin Foundation. It’s strange how sometimes, though we’re surrounded by the beauty of the desert every day, it takes viewing it in an art exhibit to gain a renewed grasp on its beauty and importance. On display May 15 through August 15. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Ironwood Gallery at the Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. Entrance included with museum admission, and tickets must be reserved in advance.
All the Single Ladies: Women Pioneers of the American West. Many depictions of the Wild West include two types of women. There’s the doting farmer’s wife, hair in curls, baby in arms and needlework in hand. And there’s the seductress, who strolls into saloons in sexy black boots and a low-cut dress to “keep the fellas company.” Of course, the experiences of the early pioneer women were far broader than this. Many were married, but some chose to come out West single! This exhibit at the Tucson Desert Art museum tells their stories: the boarding house owners, the teachers, the madams, the entertainers, the Harvey girls. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Closed Sundays through Tuesdays. Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road. $10 GA.
Ready to Launch: Arizona’s Place in Space. The Arizona History Museum is launching a really neat new exhibit this week, all about the role that Arizona and Arizonans have played in space exploration. Arizona has several claims to fame, but things like sending multiple missions to Mars and helping capture the first image of a black hole have got to be among the coolest. The exhibit includes objects from NASA, Lowell Observatory, the UA and—in the spirit of galactic neighborliness—even ASU. Come be inspired, whether you’re 2 years old or 102. Opens Thursday, May 20, and ongoing through Nov. 30, 2021. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Arizona History Museum, E. Second St. $10 GA, with discounts for students, seniors and youth (free for kids 6 and under). Ask about free admission for veterans.
Hacienda Del Sol Pop Up Drive Through Sculpture Show. It’s exciting to be re-entering a time in our lives when we can attend events where we actually leave our cars, because it’s safe to be near other people. But it’s unfortunate that we are also re-entering a time in our lives (summer) where we’d really rather not leave our air-conditioned cars. That makes this art display at Hacienda Del Sol a perfect fit for our lives right now. Just drive through the front entrance of the resort and follow the signage to see a gorgeous array of featured art displays—all against a background of lovely desert scenery. On display through Sunday, June 13. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road. Free.
I’ll Follow The Sun. Shelley Lawrence Kirkwood, who earned her MFA in photography at the University of Arizona, has spent most of her life in either the Sonoran Desert or the forests and meadows of western Massachusetts. This exhibit takes a close—like, really close—look at bits of debris and foraged plants from both of these areas. She blows up photos of these little objects to huge sizes, to be proportionate to both their significance in her personal history and their echoes through a larger system. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the country, and you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see it at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. On display through Sept. 6 at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $15 GA.