Thursday, March 28, 2013

A birthday, a journey north, and a new venue

I've been wanting to order one of these photo blankets for years, but I never had a good reason. Then Mike's Aunt Jill's 70th birthday gave me one. So here it is -Max (her labradoodle) in blanket form!


 On Sunday we went to Sedona to meet up with them, and we brought the dogs to the dog park, and for a hike.



Sedona is, of course, a beautiful place for hiking.


Oscar and Max got chance to meet, and got along pretty well.


After hiking we stopped in town for a bite to eat.


There was an incredible Merlin statue I just had to get a photo of in the plaza.


Afterwards was we stopped in at the very sunny art fair. Oscar did great on his first trip out of town.  On our way home we saw another dog in the road on a very busy street across town.  We pulled over to try and help, but several other people beat us to it (thank goodness, I'm not sure what we would have done with a car full of kids and a dog).  Unfortunately seeing the other dog terrified in the road made Oscar tremble all the way home.


Today was pick up day at the "Mutant Piñata Show", and Bajumba didn't sell (though 2 different buyers fell through), anyway he has a new venue for the next couple of months.  


He's on display at Madison #1 Middle School in the library.  It's funny he looks so tiny in these photos but he's actually over five feet long.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Red River Radio Production...

Art of The Red River is back for March! This month we have some really interesting guests to talk with....




Our first guest will be sign maker Kevin Freeman. Kevin Freeman graduated from the Maine College of Art with a BFA in Painting and has spent his life pursuing creative endeavors. He met his wife and business partner Sandra, at the Maine College of Art where she studied photography. Together they own and operate Freeman Sign, Freeman Advertising and Divine Chocolate. With years of experience in the sign industry Sandra and Kevin work as a team to produce exceptional signs. Each sign is carefully handcrafted and designed to accomplish the objectives of their clients needs.

Inside the Kooky Krafts Shop


Next on the show is visionary artist, painter and crafter, Beatrice Moore. Born in Dallas Texas but has been a resident of Phoenix since 1986.  Founder of the annual Art Detour and Artlink, Inc.  Involved with the ongoing renaissance of Grand Avenue through multiple adaptive re-use projects.  Currently the proprietress of the queer, quirky, fun, and fabulous Kooky Krafts Shop at 15th Avenue and Grand, and the co-owner of the Bragg's Pie Factory building, with her partner Tony Zahn.  Currently also organizes the Annual Mutant Pinata Show and is the Director of the temporary Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery.



Our final guest will be Vicki Bower, an artist of many talents. She draws, paints, creates quirky sculptures from papier mache and even sews, weaves and crochets fabric works of art. This New York artist has an art management degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, and is the director of the 386 Gallery in Albany.  Her fantastic and whimsical work is for sale in her Etsy store and prints are available on the red bubble website.  Listen in to Art of The Red River for some great conversations in art.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring in the Valley of the Sun

As of yesterday spring is officially here.  The breeze dances with the scent of citrus trees in bloom all over the city, and this is a common sight again....


No,  we're not experiencing flooding and these people don't have a burst pipe.  

This is how many homes, businesses and parks in this region water the lawn.  It's water pumped in from the Salt River that once a week floods the grass.  So, if you're in Phoenix there's no need to pound on anyone's door in a panic about the flood in their yard.

Last Friday I sat at the table again for the Mutant Piñata show.  There was a buyer for my piñata for all of one day, but that fell through, hopefully he will find a home.  Anyway as I sat I spoke with the curator for the show, Beatrice Moore.  She invited me to participate in the "Hanging trees and Woven fences" festival in October down on Grand St., which sounds exciting.  

She also was kind enough to explain "Swamp Cooling" to me, which is how they cool the gallery (and many people here cool their homes).  It's a machine that pulls hot, dry air in from outside through wet pads that cools the air and propels it inside.  It's something that only works in dry desert like environments, and is MUCH cheaper than air conditioning.  I believe it was invented in Iran.

Anyway, the weather is still very pleasant here.  Some days are above 90ºF but most aren't.  We have our own plans to get out of the city this summer, though.  We have conventions in Albuquerque and San Diego to look forward to.  Happy Spring!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Festival of Creativity

Two of my kids were on Spring Break last week while one of them, Chloe, is on break this week. This makes coordinating a vacation impossible, so we went out here and there and tried to make it interesting ( I guess you call it a "staycation" but that always sounds so stupid). On Thursday we went to the "Festival of Creativity" at the Mesa Arts Center.


This band playing under a giant blimp with a face greeted us as we entered.

As we walked through the promenade we saw that someone had knitted some snug wrappings for all the trees.  Poor trees, it was 93ºF out that day!


My kids were "starving" so we immediately got some food and settled down in front of the dinosaur show. 


We brought Oscar, who plopped down next to us and watched the crowd.  It's a new experience for us to have such a well behaved dog (our last dog was such a wild one compared to him.)

This is a man with a baby dinosaur..... puppet. 


The group was from Australia, and was hilarious, and entertaining and knew a lot about dinosaurs! This one is an ancient dragonfly.  I for one am glad they're not this big anymore. 


Even though they were puppets they moved so smoothly and looked so realistic, it was easy for the kids in the audience to forget.


In the end they brought out a juvenile sized T-Rex.  He roared and stomped about, it was pretty cool.


As you can see he has feathers, which makes him a more current design.  In this photo you can see the puppeteer.  Still an amazing show.  


After that we walked around a bit. There was A LOT to see.


These very colorful people moved VERY SLOWLY through the crowd.


 There were also these white people slow walking their way around.

Sometimes the white ones would stop and pose.


Actually there were interesting characters everywhere you looked, and which one does my daughter, Chloe, come running to find me and bring me to see?  The Rasta guy playing in the band with dreadlocks down to his knees! Teenagers are so silly.

Phoebe and Naomi took the time to add to the community landscape art pieces they were building.

After that they headed down to the courtyard.

Where Naomi constructed a guitar while the sun set.

Activities didn't end at sunset though, things started lighting up like this optic eyeball art piece.

 Which was very beautiful on the inside.  However my oldest daughter still had school the next day so we headed home.  The Mesa Arts Center sure knows how to put on a festival!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Discovering the bells at the Cosanti Foundry


This past weekend had perfect weather so we decided to head out to Paradise Valley.

by the parking lot

To visit the Cosanti Bronze Foundry where these beautiful bells are created.


We also wanted to get the kids out of the house for the start of their Spring Break.


Like the bells the buildings are also a work of art.


The grounds and shop are the studio of artist Paolo Soleri. 


It's more than just a bronze foundry, it's also a ceramic workshop.  Here you can see some of the tiles on display and for sale.


These are some of the molds in one of the back studio areas.  No demonstrations today though.


We followed the walkways around the unusual buildings. Some areas were marked "private", as the artist does live here with his family.


It was incredible to see the inner workings of a place like this.


 It sometimes felt like a maze, an unusual, and sometimes beautiful maze, however.


Paolo Soleri began work on these amazing structures in the 1950's and was later assisted by his students.


As we followed the winding path around and through the little buildings we found this enormous parrot lurking in a grapefruit tree.


It never takes long for my kids to start acting goofy.


The chimes were quite enchanting and made some incredible sounds.


The girls found the warped wall (we've watched too much "Ninja Warrior").


Phoebe also found a cute kitty.


After wandering the grounds we returned to the shop.


 A visit to Cosanti was a great afternoon!


Since Oscar had to wait in the car at the foundry we decided to bring him to the Scottsdale dog park. Unfortunately it was closed due to wet conditions (notice the fantastic day in these pictures).


So we took a walk around the park that wasn't closed.


There was some pretty interesting terrain.


I guess we'll see the Scottsdale dog park on a different day.
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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