Monday, January 26, 2015



David Taylor

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: From small packets of methamphetamine to miles of mountains in southern Arizona, photographic artist David Taylor reads between the lines – the border lines – to capture the complex minutiae that form the bigger picture of undocumented immigration and deportation.


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Pet Project

Gator, Gator, Second Grader, childrens booksREAD IT: Gone are the days when children’s books taught the importance of keeping a tidy room; nowadays, kids are taught the importance of keeping a tidy planet. Conrad Storad penned his latest children’s book, Gator, Gator, Second Grader (Five Star Publications) to promote discussion on how classroom pets and other animals should be treated. When second graders Benny and Jacob bring a baby alligator to their classroom in a cardboard box, their teacher Mrs. Nichols sets them straight on what constitutes a proper classroom pet, which leads them on an extemporaneous escapade as they learn about everything from alligators to gerbils.


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Thad Trubakoff

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Thad Trubakoff  is “carving out” a career as a kinetic-wood sculptor. His display this month at R. Pela Contemporary Art contains several automated artworks, including a vintage phonograph that’s both exquisitely beautiful and surprisingly functional.


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Play On

Valley performing arts groups offer a plethora of productions this season.

What could a Memphis deejay in the 1950s have in common with a cantata based on medieval poems? Probably nothing, aside from the fact that both are components of upcoming Valley stage productions.

Phoenix is getting an A-list of onstage entertainment this fall season. Productions range from a mariachi opera about immigration to the story of two middle-aged siblings whose world is turned upside down when their larger-than-life sister arrives. Here’s a spotlight on some of the stagecrafts coming this season.


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Pop Goes the Easel

SEE IT: Enter the world of pop art at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe this summer.

Six rare screenprints by Andy Warhol were donated to the museum by the late artist’s institution, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The original works will be displayed in the free museum (51 E. Tenth St., Tempe, 480-965-2787, until September, when they will be transferred to the Jules Heller Print Study Room. The prints and 155 photographs by Warhol that the foundation donated in 2008 enliven and continue Warhol’s legacy, says Jean Makin, the museum’s print collection manager and curator. “He wanted his work to be accessible to the public. His work is not limited to one sector of the country or facet of contemporary art, but open to everyone.”


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Tim Rees

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Artist Tim Rees just completed a mission to put the mining town of Miami, Ariz., on the map – or at least on canvas.

Rees moved back to Arizona from Chicago in 2012 and purchased a century-old home in the tiny town, which is adjacent to Globe. He took a look around. After years of painting realist figures, still lifes and landscapes, he became enchanted by the town’s  ramshackle aesthetic and brightly colored, boxy buildings.

“I started seeing these old buildings with chipped paint and wood falling off and everything rusted over,” says Rees, who finished a series of paintings portraying Miami’s old houses in July. “It’s sort of visual candy to see all these different textures and colors and surfaces. I was compelled to paint them.”


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Curly Riser

HEAR IT: “To the things I can count on to keep me going strong / Yeah, I hold on, I hold on.” So croons hometown country hunk Dierks Bentley in “I Hold On,” an ode to the grounding elements in his life – faith, love, family and freedom, as well as his beat-up truck and scratched-up guitar case – and the second single from his seventh studio album, Riser. The Tempe native will hold on to his Arizona roots with a stop at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Saturday, July 26, for his Riser Tour 2014, with openers Chris Young, Chase Rice and John Pardi. Sing along as Bentley belts the album’s other singles, the swingy torch song “Bourbon in Kentucky” and the party-starting “Drunk on a Plane,” and fan favorites from his twangy oeuvre, like “What Was I Thinkin’” and “Come a Little Closer.” Tickets cost $25-$240.


Read more: Curly Riser