We know election time is creeping up on us, because campaign signs are starting to appear in front yards.
Despite the ugliness of this process, Galeria la Sirena is displaying political artwork created by multiple Arizona artists who are adding their own touch of beauty to the not-so-beautiful issues of war and politics.
"These artists pinpoint issues in a memorable way, making their point clear without preaching about it," says Rachel Wilson, curator of the art collection.
The idea for the Art and Politics exhibition began last spring. "I was feeling desperate about the political situation in Iraq causing a lot of frustration, sadness and anger," says Wilson. "I talked with friends and said, 'Hey, let's get together an exhibit.' I found many artists hadn't already displayed their political art, because they felt it didn't fit in at any of the venues."
Artist Gregory Mason's wooden cross stands in a corner of the gallery. "Inside the cross are tiny plastic toy soldiers. These are how Mason kept count of the soldiers being killed ... but then he ran out of room, and it's not even up to date," says Wilson. There is a note on the cross with the total amount of soldiers that he managed to squeeze in before he stopped counting.
Another piece on display is called "Teen Synthesis," by Skip Fox from Sedona. It depicts a swinging teapot with a blade under it. "It means that the world is in chaos while we are sipping tea. We should be aware of the disharmony and chaos," says Fox. --J.W.
The Tucson Symphony Orchestra Flute Viola Harp Trio will join George Hanson, the TSO director/conductor, to kickoff Barnes and Noble's week-long book fair, running Sunday, Sept. 23, through Saturday, Sept. 29, to benefit the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
Barnes and Noble has a fundraising history, helping out local organizations including the Tucson Boys Chorus and the Sabino High School Music Boosters.
Dawna Gravley, an assistant store manager at Barnes and Noble on Broadway Boulevard, explains how you can help the orchestra this year.
"TSO will be distributing vouchers. When people bring these into our store, with the purchase of their book, cashiers will write down the transaction amount. At the end of the book fair, 10 percent of the total amount will go to TSO," says Gravley.
This Sunday, you can pick up a book you've been meaning to read (Barnes and Noble's pick this month is Garden Spells, a novel by Sarah Addison Allen) while listening to the free performance by the TSO Flute Viola Harp Trio, made up of Pat Watrous, Matthew Diekman and Patricia Harris. "Last year, around 30 people showed up for the performance, and around 70 vouchers were (used) throughout the week," says Gravley.
Vouchers may be downloaded from tucsonsymphony.org or picked up at the TSO's The Three B's: Brahms, Bach and Beethoven concerts, at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, and Friday, Sept. 28, at the Tucson Music Hall. Vouchers may be used at either Tucson Barnes and Noble location. --J.W.
Ben Franklin once said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." And after another long, hot Arizona summer, who (among those older than 21, of course) doesn't want to enjoy a nice, refreshing brew on a Saturday evening?
With more than 200 beers to choose from, there will be plenty to quench your thirst at the 21st Annual Great Tucson Beer Festival. The event features beers from more than 50 brewers, including old classics from Anheuser-Busch to more specialized brews from the likes of Nimbus Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co.
And when's the last time you drank for a good cause? Sponsoring the event is Sun Sounds of Arizona, an organization which provides disabled persons with access to information predominately through the radio.
"Sun Sounds is a radio reading service that broadcasts to visually impaired people," said Sam Wymer, the event's beer coordinator.
All the beer is donated, as is the food, from Pizza Hut, Texas Roadhouse and Marie Callender's. Don't like beer? No problem. Kegs of home-brewed root beer and orange cream soda will be on tap, served alongside energy drinks and a variety of soda from Phoenix's Pop the Soda Shop. Designated drivers have extra incentive to come: Your tickets will be discounted.
So head to the Beer Fest and take comfort in the knowledge that our forefathers would approve. No one younger than 21 will be admitted; general admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Designated drivers get in for $25 general admission, or $35 for VIP tickets; regular VIP tickets (including early admission, a private area and a full meal from Agave Restaurant with wine-tasting) are available for $75 in advance or $80 at the event. --D.P.
The Rendezvous on the Avenue is Saturday, and not only is it free; it's the perfect time to get your family and friends together to check out the local shops, music and styles.
"This is our 'welcome back' to the UA students and our winter visitors," said Kurt Tallis, event director of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association.
The Rendezvous is one of many events that Fourth Avenue hosts every year, including two street fairs, which draw as many as 350,000 people, Tallis said.
Saturday's event features music from local artists on four different stages, as well as sidewalk sales and a fashion show.
"Our big thing is the live fashion show," Tallis said. "It's sponsored by the retail clothing merchants from high fashion to Value Village." The fashion show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Winsett Outdoor Performance Center, 316 N. Fourth Ave. "At the end, it's kinda fun when the thrift-store girls come out, because you can see an entire outfit, and they'll say, 'This is $3.47.'"
Along with the fashion show, there will be plenty of musical acts to enjoy all day. The Winsett Outdoor Performance Center is the main stage. Phantom DJ kicks things off at 4 p.m., with Danswest at 5 p.m., and the Amber Norgaard Band at 6 p.m. From 4 to 6 p.m., Matt Mitchell will be at Delectables, 533 N. Fourth Ave.; from 5 to 7 p.m., The Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl will play at the Chocolate Iguana, 500 N. Fourth Ave. Also from 5 to 7 p.m., Planet Jam will play at Magpies Gourmet Pizza, 605 N. Fourth Ave.
Rendezvous is all-Tucson: local bands, local business and local trends.
"You won't see a Starbucks here," Tallis said. "These are your local businesses, people that employ students and people in the neighborhoods around us. ... They work here; they live here."
For more details, visit fourthavenue.org. --D.P.