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.
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.
READ 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.
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.
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.
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, asuartmuseum.asu.edu/exhibitions) 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.”
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.”