The Works on Shirts Project is the brainchild of an international group by the same name that's organizing an exhibition of artistic reactions to war. The show features people wearing the art on their backs and walking about.
Locally, WomanKraft Gallery hosts a workshop on Thursday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. Bring a white dress shirt. They'll have supplies, though you're welcome to bring any materials to share. Let your spirit guide your creative endeavors.
Then on Saturday, May 3, from 7 to 10 p.m., wear your shirt to Drawing Down the Muse--a peace gathering at WomanKraft Gallery. Appetizers and drinks will flow. Hang out with folks who express peace with their art. Know that you'll be doing so in tandem with like-minded, peaceful folks world-wide on that day by participating in the walking art galleries and by wearing your original works. It's all in the name of raising public awareness of the realities of war in our time.
The workshop, Works on Shirts, and Drawing Down the Muse are both free, but donations can't hurt. WomanKraft Gallery is located at 388 S. Stone Ave. For more information, call 409-9900 or go to www.worksonshirts.org.
CATWALKING CANINES. Dogs are, for the most part, performance-oriented animals. But these dogs are true stars.
Tucson celebrities and their canine companions strut down the runway as guest models at the Humane Society's fifth annual Puttin' on the Dog. It's their largest fund-raiser of the year, and it takes place on Friday, May 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the historic Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo St., near Alameda Avenue.
Celebrity models include honorary chair Diana Madaras of Madaras Gallery; Mayor Bob Walkup and his wife, Beth Walkup; the Cristianis of Joe Cristiani Mobile Communications; and a slew of TV personalities including Martha Vazquez, Mike Mibach, Len Johnson, Destry Jetton and Dan Marries. Folks from Tucson Electric Power, Tucson Newspapers Inc., Metro Restaurants and Tucson Firefighters will also do some catwalking down the runway. And, of course, Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat, UA's mascots, are on hand as well.
Aside from the fashions (worn by the humans, not the dogs), there's a live and silent auction of jewelry, merchandise, services and works of art--including custom-designed dog houses made by local construction and design firms. You're dog would love it if you came home with one of those swanky houses. Tasty treats (for the humans) are offered by Pastiche Modern Eatery, PF Chang's China Bistro, Barrio Grill, Dakota Café and Fuego.
Get your tickets at $50 a pop--all proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the 20,000 animals they shelter and care for each year--by calling 321-3704, ext. 117, or visiting www.humane-so-arizona.org.
SCREWBALL COMEDY CLASSIC. So, how many screenings of the International Arts Society Film program did you see this year?
It's your very last chance before the UA series goes dark this semester. The films selected are classics, but not necessarily from long ago. These are foreign and independent genres not usually projected on the chains' big screens.
On Friday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m., slip into the darkness of the UA Modern Languages Building auditorium for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.
It was directed by Frank Capra in 1936. He also directed It's a Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace and Pocketful of Miracles--and that barely dips into his oeuvre. The film stars everyone's favorite tall, dark and handsome, Gary Cooper, as Longfellow Deeds, a small-town musician-poet who inherits the modern day equivalent of a gazillion dollars from a long-lost uncle. Deeds finds himself besieged by money-grubbing opportunists, big city slickers and an undercover reporter. Poor Mr. Deeds. His sensitivity and generosity are rewarded with humiliation and a broken heart. But then, the love of a good woman turns it all around.
Sincerity is pit against cynicism and proves that no good deed goes unpunished. (What a convenient name this main character has.) None of the re-makes--a 1969 TV series and a 2002 Adam Sandler vehicle--hold a candle to the original. Where else would you get snappy dialogue and spinning newspaper headline montages? Capra won the Academy Award for Best Director. Other Oscar nominations included Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Sound.
There's a long, hot summer to go before the Film Society turns their projector on again. Catch the last free screening of the year on campus at the Modern Languages Building located below Second Street at Mountain Avenue. The films are free and open to all. And as always, it's great fun to see who shows up.
THE ART OF CINCO DE MAYO. Guest artists Armando Montano and Guadalupe de la Torre-Montano display shimmering watercolors and indigenous paintings at Art Square along with photographer Kathryn Wilde and a bevy of fine artists and artisans to celebrate the art of the famed day.
Guadalupe de la Torre-Montano grew up in a family of artists in Mexico where she began studying art at the age of 12. Now, she captures her beloved Mexico and its people in photographic detail and vivid colors. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout the Southwest and Mexico.
De la Torre shares her guest artist role with her husband this year. Montano was born and grew up in the old historic district of Tucson, with the sights and sounds of the San Augustine Cathedral never too far away. Largely self-taught, Montano works in a variety of media, from oil to woodcarving to charcoal and, now, the spontaneity of watercolor.
The Montano's are joined by photographer Kathryn Wilde, who came to her art by way of her desire to capture and share the immensity and the intricacy of landscapes. Natural lighting augments the work--often in radically changing conditions without manipulation.
On Saturday, May 3, from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday Night Downtown explodes with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. These featured artists and many other artisans offer their wares at Art Square located at 172 E. Broadway Blvd., at Fifth Avenue. Other festivities include screenings of Chicano short films at The Screening Room (127 E. Congress St.) at 5 and 7 p.m., and downtown galleries staying open late into the evening.
For all the details, call the Tucson Arts District Partnership at 624-9977.
STANDING WITH IRONWOODS. Julia Butterfly could do some serious sitting in these giant trees.
Ironwoods grow taller than most trees, serving as a great perch and roost for nearly 150 bird species. They keep us cool in the summer and even help plants nestled under their dense canopies to stay warm in the winter. In the Sonoran Desert, and in particular in the Northwest Tucson metro area, rapid sprawl has destroyed hundreds of acres of ironwood forest in the last two decades.
Celebrate these majestic trees at the fourth annual Ironwood Festival on Saturday, May 3, from 3 to 8 p.m. Hosted by the Tucson Audubon Society, the festival opens with a blessing by the Tohono O'odham Nation's elder Daniel Preston at 3:30 p.m. It's followed by presentations throughout the day by the Tucson Herpetological Society and the Cooper Environmental Science Campus, who introduce you to bobcats, raptors, various snakes and lizards, scorpions, tarantulas, bats and other small mammals. Other activities are offered by the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tohono Chul Park and the International Dark-Sky Association.
Live music begins at 4 p.m. with Uncommon Folk followed by the Organ Donors at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., Tim O'Connor and Greg Morton climb on stage. Basket weaving demonstrations, a stilt walker and native artists and storytellers keep audiences enthralled.
Admission to the festival costs $5. Kids 10 and under, get in for free. Purchase tickets beforehand at the Tucson Audubon Society's Nature Shop (300 E. University Blvd.) or at the door at the Mason Audubon Center's gate, located at 8751 N. Thornydale Road, just south of Arthur Pack Park. Shuttle over to the festival for free after parking at Tortolita Middle School, 4101 W. Hardy Road.
Call with questions at 744-0004.
RASTA AND REGGAE, A GREAT MIX. You won't believe why they changed the name of the annual Bob Marley Festival Tour to its newest appellation.
Now dubbed Legends of Rasta Reggae Festival, the name change is due to the image that was associated with the former name of the festival that prevented corporate sponsors from shelling out bucks for the event.
Wonders never cease.
It's the 10th year for Tucson and 13 years since the Houston-based festival began touring internationally. It features performances by reggae, worldbeat and dance hall musicians, and draws followers to the music and to the Rastafarian beliefs. Lest you think that it's just people with dreadlocks--think again. North Africa's Leonard Howell--the man credited with the initial spreading of the Rastafarian Way to Jamaica--says, "Everyone, regardless of race or religion, is a Rasta deep within. It's all about spreading the message of peace and unity among all nations and races."
A core group of 15 to 20 acts travels around. In each city, local bands are added to give a regional flavor. Dance troupes, jugglers and poets provide the off-stage entertainment. Kids' activities include games ,rides and storytellers. Arts and crafts and tasty treats from the Caribbean, Africa and other countries are also featured.
Arizona musicians include the Wailing Coyotes, Up Roots, Kindread, Subdub and Grantman and The Island Beat. Headliners include Black Rebels from Dakar, Kinky Slinky from Austria and Dr. King Cobra and The Bushmen from Nigeria.
Concerts start at noon and go until 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, at the Pima County Fair Grounds located at 11300 S. Houghton Road off Interstate 10. It's a benefit for Teddy Gives Care, Inc., and local food pantries. Admission costs $8 in advance, $10 day of show and couples (they don't designate of what gender or species) are $15 at the gate. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and locally at 12 Tribes Records and Tapes. In the spirit of Reggae music and Rastafarian beliefs, from noon to 2 p.m., bring a new teddy bear or $8 worth of non-perishable food and get in for $5.
Call 620-1810 for all the details.