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Thursday 6

LENS CRAFTERS. Focus on the stunning advances in digital picture-taking with Arizona Photographic Collectors.

Tonight they'll host a discussion of digital with Robert Johnson, owner of the Courtyard Gallery in Tubac. Johnson totes eons of experience in photography and the arts. He'll display many of his own images, and explain his specialized techniques.

The event begins with trade-table displays at 6:30 p.m. in the Tucson Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1115 E. Ft. Lowell Road. Call 529-5072 for information.

BEETHOVEN BLOW-OUT. The grumpy master is revisited with the University Community Chorus Summer Concert.

First, a little background: Ludwig van Beethoven grew up in 18th century Germany, born to a stern taskmaster father who drove him to hours of practice. Considered a child prodigy, he visited Vienna at age 17 where he played for Mozart, who acclaimed his talent. Several crucial years were spent in Bonn, where Ludwig played viola with the court orchestra, and composed his many masterpieces. Unfortunately, in his early 30s he experienced a partial hearing loss, considered the reason for his increasingly morose attitudes and fits of temper. But regardless, his music still soars today.

Accompanied by the Festival Orchestra, the chorus will tackle Beethoven's Mass in C Major, Op. 86, and Piano Concerto No. 5, featuring soloist Christopher Cano.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Crowder Hall, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Tickets are $12, $10 for UA faculty and staff, $6 for students, and available at the UA Fine Arts box office two hours prior to the performance. For details, call 886-0275.


Friday 7

CUMULUS CHORDS. Join the friendly merchants, restaurateurs and eclectic mix of Fourth Avenue denizens for another Monsoon Madness party.

Known for snubbing their collective nose at atmospheric tempests, these weekly gatherings in Winsett Park host some of the Old Pueblo's best live bands, along with plenty of mercantile action up and down the street. Tonight's feisty musical line-up features Primo Latin Rock, a large band specializing in "Latin-flavored rock with an urban feel."

The free event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. in Winsett Park, 316 N. Fourth Ave. Call 624-5004 for details.

DAMP DELIRIUM. Take the edge off summer's heat with free pool parties hosted by Tucson Parks and Recreation.

These damp blasts include Teen Nights every Friday, featuring music, refreshments, and plenty of adolescent frolicking. The watery wing-dings continue with Family Nights on Saturday, complete with refreshments and movie screenings.

Teen Night runs from 7:30 to 11 p.m. today at the Archer Pool, 1665 S. La Cholla Blvd., and the Purple Heart Rita Ranch Pool, 10050 E. Rita Ranch Road. Family Night runs from 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow at the same locations. For information, call 791-4873.


Saturday 8

BREAKING BOUNDARIES. Glimpse a powerful convergence of art and life with Alix Lambert: Platipussy, now on display at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art.

Lambert has never been shy about letting the two worlds collide: In 1993, as a conceptual art work, she was married and divorced four times in six months. For Male Pattern Baldness, exhibited at Hazmat gallery's inaugural opening, she shaved the top of her head and assumed the role of a middle-aged basketball coach. She also taught herself how to tattoo, and then took the needle to her friends. Photographs of that work likewise became an exhibit.

In 1996, Lambert created an all-girl punk band and made a fictional film of its life and hard times. The band, Platipussy, featured her as a drummer. The stills from that film comprise this show, along with a recently completed "mock-documentary."

Alix Lambert: Platipussy runs through July 29 at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 441 E. Grant Road. Summer hours are noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 903-0577 for details.

NAILING THE FUTURE. Hammer away at housing problems with the third annual Women's Build, hosted by Women Build Houses.

This laudable local group has joined with Habitat for Humanity to put up homes on the south side. And they want your help in raising a roof over some needy family, while you learn everything from plumbing and electrical work to drywall, roofing and framing. Female volunteers of all experience levels are needed.

The work begins at 6 a.m. Tuesday and Saturday through September at 1111 E. 36th St. For information, call 566-1217.


Sunday 9

GRINNING PICKERS. The crops are rolling in down Willcox way. That means another U-Pick harvest for those who don't mind getting down and dirty with fresh produce.

The cornucopia begins this month with a bevy of fruits and veggies ranging from apples to zucchini. Farms charge varying rates for those willing to pluck their own bounty. Other outposts offer ostrich and natural beef, along with apple-wood smoked hams.

Willcox is 90 minutes east on I-10. For details on farms, picking and festivals, call (800) 200-2272.

FANTASY AFOOT. The worlds of science fiction and fantasy collide when authors Dennis McKiernan and Thomas Harlan land at Borders Books.

Long known as a top sci-fi and fantasy writer, McKiernan will be on hand to chat and sign copies of his latest work, Silver Wolf, Black Falcon. Harlan will also be flourishing a pen, ready to sign copies of his latest, Gates of Fire.

The signing runs from 3 to 4 p.m. at Borders Books, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd. Call 584-0111 for details.


Monday 10

MAGIC MAN. Now you see it, now you...ahem. Yep, we're still here. But in the world of magician Gene Collins, real objects really do vanish.

Known as "Top Hat the Magician," Collins has a reputation that stretches beyond the Old Pueblo and throughout the West, no doubt prodded by his earlier work on the onetime TV series The Young Riders.

Meanwhile, he remains a favorite here at home, performing regular gigs at The Gaslight Theatre. Now his sleight-of-hand finesse also graces the Hidden Valley Inn Restaurant with shows running through August.

Doors open for tonight's show at 5:30 in the Hidden Valley Inn, 4825 N. Sabino Canyon Road. Admission is $10. For reservations, call 299-4941.

PUEBLO AFLOAT. Some 50 artists have been inspired to interpret the notion of "Tucson in Space" for Obsidian Gallery's summer invitational exhibition.

These artists, inspired by lush summer Sonoran skies, by their notions of what "is or what might be out there," and by their own ideas of space, time and the universe, have contributed distinctive interpretations of the big yonder.

The works are mixed media--including paintings and sculpture. And contributing artists come from both local and national ranks.

Tucson in Space runs through September 9 in the Obsidian Gallery, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. in St. Philip's Plaza. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, call 577-3598.


Tuesday 11

JUICE JOURNEY. The history of alternating current is poignantly portrayed in The Secret of Nikola Tesla, screened by the Balkan Summer Film Series.

Made by the Zagreb Film Company in the late '70s, it places Tesla's inventive achievements in the context of industrial developments of his day. It also looks at the sequence of events leading to the adoption of alternating current.

While the Balkans' history of conflict steals headlines, it's hightime the public recall this remarkable inventor, who brought the miracle of electric lights to the world. This film is a strong step in that direction. It stars Peter Bozovic as Tesla, Strother Martin as Tesla's friend George Westinghouse, and Orson Welles as J.P. Morgan.

The free screening is 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Church Servetus Room, E. 22nd St. For details, call 623-8905.


Wednesday 12

HAPPY CAMPERS. Budding outdoor types can stretch their wings with a free overnight camping trip offered by Tucson Parks and Recreation.

Geared to kids ages 8 to 12, the overnighter will be held at Patagonia Lake, one hour south of town. Along with simply catching a bit of fresh air, campers will whet their skills at fishing, hiking, boating, outdoor games, team-building, skits and campfire tales.

For information, call 791-4522.

BIG PICTURE. Many Old Pueblans may not realize that we're home to a leading light in fine arts. Ranked among the world's top shooter meccas, the UA Center for Creative Photography now celebrates 25 years on the scene with a series of lectures and exhibits.

Founded by legendary wilderness photographer Ansel Adams and former UA President John Schaefer, the center contains more archives and individual works by 20th century North American photographers than any other museum in the nation.

The celebration opens with two exhibits, Our Quarter Century: The University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography Turns Twenty-Five, and Into Our Prime: Acquisitions Since 1996. The former features a historical overview of works drawn from the CCP collection, including a photograph made each year between 1975 and 2000. It includes pieces by Richard Avedon, Judith Golden, Robert Mapplethorpe, Maggie Taylor and Tseng Kwong Chi, among others.

By contrast, Into Our Prime commemorates the extensive collection of research materials and art, including photos, negatives, albums, work prints, manuscripts, contact sheets, correspondence and memorabilia. This show features pieces by luminaries ranging from Otto Hagel and Inge Morath to David Levinthal, Harold Edgerton and Sally Mann.

"These summer exhibitions show the abundant range of photographers with distinct artistic visions in our collection," says curator Trudy Wilner Stack, "and will give visitors a deeper understanding of the Center's rich history of important acquisitions."

The exhibitions runs through September 17 in the CCP, on the southeast corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.

A gallery talk continues the series on Thursday, July 20 with Divergent Visions: Five Years of Collecting Photographic Archives, featuring Center archivist Amy Rule.

Call 621-7968 for details.

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