Tuesday, September 16, 2014



Las Marthas

Deb’ll Yell?

Las Marthas captures the real-life story of two Mexican-American debutantes in Laredo, Texas, trying to make their way through uncertain times. Tensions over immigration and economic struggles mount as the two girls prepare for Laredo’s annual Colonial Ball, a century-old society event commemorating George Washington’s birthday. This rite of passage is met with extravagant dresses, hard work and unlikely friendships. The City of Mesa Neighborhood Outreach is presenting Cristina Ibarra’s PBS documentary free to the public (reserve tickets online) on Thursday, February 20, at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.


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Elaine G. Coffee


Foodies flinging forks at Razz’s Restaurant in Scottsdale might not strike most artists as a muse-moment. But it’s gold for Cave Creek painter Elaine Grant Coffee, whose contemporary genre portraits are inspired by such unstaged public interactions. Her slice-of-life scenes can happen almost anywhere, from a bench at the Arizona Biltmore to a cowboy bar in Bisbee.

“Polo Match” showcases people at WestWorld of Scottsdale, and “High Stakes at the Flea Market” takes place at a park in Paris. The aforementioned scene at Razz’s inspired “The Chef Recommends.” Coffee discovered her Rockwellian approach to art while wandering through New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Instead of looking at the art, I found myself looking at the people and how they communicated with the paintings and each other, and that was the beginning,” Coffee says.


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Indigenous Grooves


The Navajo Code Talkers during World War II referred to a bomber plane as a “buzzard,” pronounced jay-sho in their language. That’s just one bit of information to be gleaned from the book Arizona: Nations


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Mark Pomilio


Mark Pomilio wanted to “grow a painting,” a concept he says was inspired by some scary thoughts about single-cell manipulation, cloning, genetic modification and math. Not typical artistic muses, but Pomilio’s work is hardly typical.


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Susan Beiner


As a child in New Jersey, Susan Beiner channeled her energy into art, embracing the influence of her parents’ occupations – her father, a chemical engineer, created hybrid roses, and her mother collected porcelain china. That influence still shows in the ASU art professor’s current work, which is one part pretty porcelain, one part plastic and synthetic materials with screws sporadically set into sculptured collage.


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Pac-Man Louvre


Imagine yourself spastically navigating a simply-drawn spherical creature through a maze of edible dots, all while desperately avoiding the grasp of an equally crudely-drawn ghost. Yes, you’re playing Pac-Man,


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Patsy Lowry


Patsy Lowry is as vibrant and colorful as her paintings. From her turquoise hand-beaded stoles to her hand-painted pink, yellow and lime-green shoes, the wife of former Paradise Valley mayor Ed Lowry is crazy about color. And her canvases capture that.


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