Selections: Our picks for the week's best events (12/14-12/20)

Selections: Our picks for the week's best events (12/14-12/20)

Thursday, 15

Artborne Annual


As this hellscape of a year draws to a close, we want to take stock of the good things that happened, few and far between as they may have been. One of them was the arrival on the scene of Artborne, the local art magazine that, as we wrote in August, "we didn't know we needed, but are so glad to welcome." Now Artborne launches what they hope will be a tradition each year, the Artborne Annual show. This year work by seven artists featured in the magazine will be installed at the Gallery at Avalon Island – in the future, they hope to raise that to 12. With a degree of (unintentional, perhaps) modesty, publisher Jonathan Yubi told us, "Having the art in front of [you] is so much more appealing than print." Whether you prefer your art in the flesh or as a movable feast between covers, this promises to be one of the best gallery shows of the year, with work by Lesley Silvia, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Terri Witek and Matt Roberts, Hannah Spector and Jacob Bailes, Gary Bolding, Kyle, and Scott Scheidly. – Jessica Bryce Young

opening 6-9 p.m. | through Jan. 14, 2017 | Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave. | | free

Thursday, 15

TWMT x TMD: Counterweight


Forward-thinking young groups Time Waste Management (TWMT) and TMD have each been doing exciting things in the art and music scenes. Now, they've joined to synergize those forces and create an intriguing launch of a potentially extraordinary collaborative series, Counterweight. The audiovisual serial will give a stage to more ambient and cogitative forms of music and visual art. And instead of the usual nightclubs, Counterweight will seek alternative venues more conducive to this state of mind. For the inauguration, they've chosen the sanctuary at the decidedly non-rock Audubon Park Covenant Church. The featured acts are very notable Orlando musicians in new guises: Ubik is the ambient project of Fortune Howl brain Bryce Linde and Temperament is the drone vehicle for Ad Nauseum guitarist Glenn Ritchey. The featured visual artist is local filmmaker Kate Shults, who projects new video works created especially for this show. In concept, setting and talent, this live-streamed debut promises to be an immersive experience. And as with all TMD events, cover is only a dollar. – Bao Le-Huu

with Ubik, Temperament, Kate Shults | 8 p.m. | Audubon Park Covenant Church, 3219 Chelsea St. | | $1

Friday-Sunday, 16-18

Orlando Zine Fest


The tired trope that "print is dead" is, like, so over. Young, forward-looking artists and writers know that there's no more exciting way to put your work in someone's brain than by putting it in their hands. And if you aren't swayed by the artistic argument, think about this: Many of the most important philosophical and ethical battles in our nation's history, from the American Revolution to the Civil War to the fight for equal rights, have been fought via pamphlet or zine. So a visit to at least one of this weekend's Zine Fest events would be more than worthwhile, citizen. From 2-5 p.m. Friday, the fest organizers host an afternoon of zine-making for young adults at the Orlando Public Library's award-winning Melrose Center; 1-5 p.m. Saturday finds more than 30 Floridian zinesters – spanning an incredible thematic and aesthetic range – selling their wares at Will's Dirty Laundry Amphitheater and hosting a live, on-air reading broadcast on WPRK 91.5-FM. Sunday they troop over to hustle at the Grandma Party Bazaar. Print is alive and kicking, make no mistake. – Jessica Bryce Young

2-5 p.m. Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-sunset Sunday | various locations | | free (registration required for Friday workshop)

Saturday, 17

Sweater Fest X


Now a decade strong, the annual holiday soiree Sweater Fest mixes Christmas kitsch with serious sonic cred for one glorious night that just gets bigger and bigger in terms of taste and scope. This year's event crams a whopping 17 distinct musical acts into the intimate confines of the Spacebar across all manner of musical genres; the place is gonna be packed to the gills like an only child's overstuffed Christmas stocking. Some of the names that jumped out at us immediately include Gainesville's DJ groove/noise master Ironing, the lush dark psych of Sarasota's Pleasures, Fiona's outsider R&B jams, the infinite loop lullabies of Tiger Fawn, and RV's downcast indie swoon alongside a host of worthies from all around the state. There's something terribly endearing about bringing together likeminded creative people from all over Florida and jamming them into close quarters in an atmosphere of audio adventurism and seasonal revelry. Let's not lose this feeling, OK? – Matthew Moyer

with Pleasures, Case Work, Ironing, Tiger Fawn, Fiona, RV and more | 7 p.m. | Spacebar, 2428 E. Robinson St. | 407-228-0804 | | $10

Saturday-Sunday, 17-18

AKC National Championship


Dogs, as the old saying goes, are man's best friend. But they're also our most cherished genetically modified organism. Millennia of selective breeding has resulted in a rainbow of canine shapes, sizes and intrinsic behaviors. And throughout those thousands of years, the eternal question has persisted: "Who's a good dog?" The AKC National Championship is an attempt to answer the question using a lot of rubrics and pageantry. During the day, dog enthusiasts can check out the breed-specific competitions, meet the breeds and check out a diving dog competition. The evening shows are more like what you see on television, with the Best in Group competitions and the illustrious Best in Show award. More than 400 different breeds in seven different categories trot around the ring to see which dog conforms best to an ideal standard. If that seems unfair to you, remember that the judging, though done by experts in the breeds, is entirely subjective. So if your opinion of who's a good dog differs from the judges, don't fret. Just go home, open the treat box and let your best friend know that they're your pick for Best in Show. – Thaddeus McCollum

8 a.m.-4 p.m. (daytime judging), 5 p.m. (evening judging) Saturday-Sunday | Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive | | $10-$25

Saturday, 17

Sci-Fried Star Wars Show


Most of us are excited about Rogue One, the new prequel to A New Hope that comes out this Friday. But chances are you're not nearly as excited as the members of Sci-Fried. The local nerd rock outfit, famous for metal jams centered around sci-fi and gaming fandom, has created a Star Wars-themed set just for the occasion. In addition to some new tracks from the band, the audience gets to hear unique parodies and original compositions from a galaxy far, far away. (And hopefully a metal version of everyone's favorite sex jam, "Cantina Band.") Plus, there's a Star Wars costume contest for all of the cosplayers and a raffle for prizes including Rogue One tickets (like everyone there won't have seen it already), Star Wars collectibles and merch from everyone playing the party. As for us, we'll just wear our custom "Luke Is Snoke" T-shirt and get ready to get yelled at by strangers. – Thaddeus McCollum

with EyeQ, Jackson of Random Encounter, RoboRob | 7 p.m. | The Geek Easy, 114 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park | | $5

Sunday, 18

Grandma Party Bazaar

EVENTS Aside from smelling a little bit like mothballs, a grandma's closet has always been a trove for one-of-a-kind knickknacks, like jewel-encrusted cat-eye sunglasses or a handmade seashell hair comb. Grandma Party Bazaar 2016 doesn't have quite the same funky smell as your grandma's closet, but it's got local unique finds that make for a perfect gift this holiday. Organizers have picked Orlando's best artists, makers and vintage dealers for one of the coolest shopping experiences in town. Vendors include Lollibean, Secret Society Goods, Gold Dust Weaving, Sweet Six Candy, Clay Curiosities, Etoile Boutique and many more. Besides the booths, there's live music, a silent auction, a raffle (a portion of the auction and raffle proceeds will be donated to the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council), and food and drinks. Bring some cash to this party and get there early for good parking, or better yet, hitch a ride-share with your grandma. – Monivette Cordeiro

10 a.m.-sunset | Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road | 407-623-3393 | | free

Sunday, 18, and Tuesday, 20

Amahl and the Night Visitors


As local arts organizations get into the thick of the holiday season, with recent performances of the usual Christmas fare and the indefatigable Nutcracker, the smaller-scale but courageous Opera Orlando has its sights set on something different: Gian Carlo Menotti's family-friendly short opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. Inspired by a Renaissance depiction of the Adoration of the Magi, the Italian-American composer wrote the first opera ever commissioned for TV broadcast. "This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood," Menotti recounted in his notes for the original 1951 recording. "When I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead." Amahl tells the story of a fateful encounter between a shepherd boy and the Three Wise Men as they follow the star to Bethlehem. Starring Dalton Joseph and Tyler Kreusch in the title role and Polish-American mezzo Ola Rafalo as the Mother, this production by Eric Pinder includes a collaboration with the Orlando Ballet for the two performances at the Pugh and a five-piece music ensemble conducted by Robin Jensen. With a story full of surprises, a memorable and tuneful score, and a miracle thrown in for good measure, Amahl and the Night Visitors is a fitting addition to Orlando's holiday offerings. – Esteban Meneses

2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday; Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave.; 844-513-2014;, $65 | 2 p.m. Tuesday; Central Christian Church, 250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd.;; $15

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