ARTIST OF THE MONTH: During Phoenix artist Christine Cassano’s senior year in 2001 at Old Dominion University in Virginia, her professor-mentor told her she had reached her apex as a painter. So, with a lot of cussing and finger injuries, she made the transition to producing three-dimensional art.
READ IT: “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” When it comes to Valley lifestyle guru Cheryl Najafi and her Missouri-bred “mama,” poet Robert Browning’s tribute to mothers might be edited to say, “Motherhood: All good food begins and ends there.” Najafi’s new cookbook, Mother Daughter Dishes: Reinventing Loved Classics ($19.76, CherylStyle Publishing), celebrates the mother-daughter bond with updated (and healthier) versions of Najafi’s down-home childhood favorites, from her granny’s buttermilk biscuits to Najafi’s beloved coconut cream pie.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: “Everyone can relate to my paintings, because we all were kids,” Michael Maczuga says.
The Cleveland, Ohio transplant began painting scenes in the life of children back in 2000, after attending art workshops in Scottsdale, where his family had moved when he was a young boy. But though Maczuga’s childhood was spent in a desert metropolis, his paintings portray Midwestern, Rockwellian environments with an impressionist touch: a little girl walking through fall foliage, or a boy enchanted by something he found in a garden, rendered in soft strokes with an ethereal, almost watery-looking aesthetic.
SEE IT: When it comes to presidential defeats, Arizona lays claim to one of the most historic: Republican Barry Goldwater’s 1964 slaying at the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. Revisit Goldwater’s campaign and get a candid look at his personal life in Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater, the acclaimed 2006 documentary told through the eyes of Goldwater’s granddaughter CC. Featuring interviews with former “Goldwater Girl” Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sandra Day O’Connor, the documentary demonstrates how Goldwater electrified the Grand Old Party and established his legacy as one of the Beltway’s most powerful legislators. The film screens for free at 6 p.m. November 2, at Harkins Shea 14 Theatre, 7354 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, 480-948-6555.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Celebrity chefs know a good dish when they see one.
That’s why folks like Food Network chef Marcela Valladolid and Silvana Salcido Esparza from Barrio Cafe collect Valley artist Gennaro Garcia’s handmade plates. The ceramicist paints thick black brushstrokes outlining his hands – cupped as if serving a meal – on beautiful, bare white dishes.
READ IT: There’s an old saying that all poetry is about one of three things: sex, death or poetry. Valley scribe Shawnte Orion bucks that stereotype with his new book of poetry, The Existentialist Cookbook (NYQBooks), in which his muses range from television show Project Runway to vintage Japanese films to tie-dye. Orion, whose work has appeared in publications including New York Quarterly and the Georgetown Review, hosts monthly poetry readings around the Valley, and will be participating in a reading at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 4, at Phoenix Public Market, 721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Visit batteredhive.blogspot.com for more information.
5th Annual Reader Photo Contest
Avert your eyes! For our fifth annual reader photo contest, titled “Illumination,” you submitted your most blindingly beautiful images of fireworks, starlit desert flora, radiant neon and – of course – that trustiest of Sonora...
*Warning: This story contains harsh and profane language. The fearless founder of Phoenix-based pirate radio station KWFUCC goes global online while hijacking Valley airwaves. Last December, strange transmissions on the 87.9 FM frequency star...
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: “What's my favorite piece?” Lalo Cota repeats, settling in at Jobot coffeehouse in Downtown Phoenix. “The next one.” Less than a mile away, his most recent mural – depicting an iconic skeletal bicyclist taking a leisurely c...
READ IT: In Monte and the Magnificent Star: An Arizona Tale, a children’s book by Jennifer Hecker DuVal (wife of former Democrat gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal), a young boy named Monte (based on the DuVals’ son) and his dog stumble upon a lost s...
In Case of Emergencies
In Case of Emergencies An autism diagnosis might seem like an unlikely muse for a book of poetry, but when ASU professor Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski’s son was diagnosed with the neurobiological disorder and developmental disability as a toddler, ...