When you visit Scottsdale, one of the first things you’ll notice is that we take pride in our art and culture. What springs to mind when you hear the word “art?” Perhaps it’s a famous marble statue or painting. You might think of a classic film or an orchestral piece of music. Maybe you just picture that guy with the afro who painted landscapes on PBS. At the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of our favorite Scottsdale attractions, artists use a variety of media and techniques to challenge and expand the boundaries of their craft.

Sunny ScottsdaleThe Human Touch. Through April 28, come see selections that focus on the human figure. These works come straight from RBC Wealth Management’s corporate art collection, and the vast array of styles and approaches (as well as the nice mix of veteran artists and emerging stars) reflect the complex diversity of society today. These works examine what life is like in a modern world where cultural, racial and sexual identities are constantly evolving.

Mesa City to Arcosanti. Speaking of evolution, this is the second in a three-part series charting the development of Paolo Soleri, a renowned Italian architect who adopted our city as his new home – something you might find yourself doing after you visit Scottsdale. This phase of the exhibit focuses on Soleri’s efforts to wrestle with environmental concerns while conducting large-scale urban planning in the early 1960s. Featuring an illustration over 40 feet in length, an immense three-dimensional model and several sketchbooks, this breathtaking presentation of a city’s creation will conclude on April 28.

MASHup: New Video Art. You’ve probably heard that Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” can be synced up with “The Wizard of Oz.” While that’s merely a popular myth, film and pop music can still be combined in fascinating ways. This exhibition, running through May 19, creates new works by “mashing up” existing film, music, television and even YouTube videos. While the core concept dates back to the early 20th century and Dadaism, the explosion of mass media in the Internet age presents virtually unlimited possibilities for new expression.

These showcases, along with the museum’s own collection and the minimalist architecture of the building itself, make the Museum of Contemporary Art a highlight amongst Scottsdale attractions. Free admission every Thursday (as well as Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 – 9:00) certainly doesn’t hurt. Be sure to check it out when you visit Scottsdale this month.