Embrace your inner honky-tonker at the Valley’s newest country bar, The Western. Located at “Cowboys and Indian School” in Old Town Scottsdale, this live-music-deluged watering hole aims to conjure the dirty-fun essence of a vintage Texas roadhouse, complete with an oak dance floor big enough for a legion of line-dancers. Nightlife mogul Tucker Woodbury and music promoter Charlie Levy, who previously collaborated on the Crescent Ballroom,
For Annie Lopez, creating art is a way to neutralize her inner demons. Call it art as exorcism. “If something bad is going on, I put it in my artwork, hang it on the wall and release it,” says Lopez, who took solace in her craft after the death of her first son. “It lightens my burden.”
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
A herd of 14 deer have taken over an empty lot in Downtown Phoenix. The life-sized animals are part of artist Lauren Strohacker’s ongoing attempt to reconnect man and nature by creating imagined habitats lost in the wake of human expansion. The sculptural installation, titled “Encounter,” is located at 408 E. Roosevelt St. and is part of InFlux, a temporary public art project.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Heidi Uotila’s art has always been a bit beastly. As a grade-schooler in Ohio, she was once disciplined for drawing animals in class. The punishment didn’t deter her. Today, the Ohio State University-trained artist focuses all of her artistic energy on animals. Art Gone Wild, an exhibit featuring more than 20 of Uotila’s handcrafted ceramic and bronze sculptures, is on view in Terminal 4 of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport through March 10. Part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Phoenix Zoo, the show includes zebras, tigers, giraffes and more, corralling a mini menagerie for air travelers.
What do you get the art enthusiast who has everything? How about a captivating explosion of backcountry colors from Western impressionist Louisa McElwain? Or a lifelike bronze rodeo bull by sculptor Richard Loffler? Such are a few of the rugged treasures one might bag, tag and take home at West Select, an annual exhibition and art sale that runs through December 31 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Shepherding the work of 33 top contemporary artists into one sensuous stampede, the exhibition reveals an American West unsullied by industrial creep and city-slicker routine. Hey, beats another bottle of cologne. Adult tickets, $15. For more information, visit mensartscouncil.com.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Master framer Richard Laugharn pays the bills by creating hand-milled, custom-finished wood frames for A-list art halls, including the Phoenix Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. But his true passion is for framing amateur or “vernacular” photographs.
Jossy Lownes remembers painting with her aunt as a child in Rhode Island. But it wasn’t until she was in her forties that she embarked on a career as an artist. “I never gave up on wanting to be an artist, but sometimes life takes you in different directions,” says Lownes, who returned to the canvas after stints as a schoolteacher and real estate agent.
From activist pop art to contemporary graffiti basketry, the latest crop of Native American art in Arizona is outgrowing stereotypes.
“Where’s the horses?”
As Thomas Greyeyes hangs his paintings on the wall of Vida E Caffe in Globe, he answers the confused older lady’s question with as much diplomacy as the 23-year-old Navajo artist can muster, considering he’s been answering questions like this for years.
Arizona Country Roads
From the White Mountains to Willcox, Duane Eddy to Dierks Bentley, we take a journey through the Western music of the Grand Canyon State. ...
*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. ...
ARTIST OF THE MONTH:“What's my favorite piece?” Lalo Cota repeats, settling in at Jobot coffeehouse in Downtown Phoenix. “The next one.” ...
Artist Neil Logan creates a Wallace and Ladmo bronze sculpture in public, for the public. ...
Carefree Desert Gardens goes wild for sculptor Ray Villafane's life-size sand sculpture of an elephant. ...