Summer Dance Expo 2009
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
7000 N. Resort Drive
The music is all cued up, and the crowd is watching—which means it's almost time for Tucson to get its tango on.
Now in its fifth year, the Summer Dance Expo brings together amateur and professional ballroom dancers from Tucson and Phoenix to flaunt their foxtrot and wow us with their waltz. Linda Lowell, manager of the local Studio West School of Dance and the organizer of the Dance Expo, says this is a chance for students and their more-experienced teachers to dance alongside each other.
"If you like Dancing With the Stars," she says, "then you'll love this."
Like on the show, the action is fast, she says. With 250 heats consisting of about four couples each, the dances change every 90 seconds. And, of course, a judge will be present to critique the competitors.
Lowell says there will be a variety of dances throughout the day. The program will start at 9 a.m., with smooth and modern dancing, followed by a general lunch at noon. From 1 to 2 p.m., there will be country dancing, followed by Latin dances. Finally, at 5:30, the professional show will be held. It's a long day, but $5 will get you in for the entire event.
Vendors will be offering spectators items like elegant and ornate dresses similar to the clothes the dancers will be wearing.
The rooms are kept cool for the dancers, so Lowell recommends that audience members bring a sweater.
"It really is a nice way to spend a Saturday out of the heat, seeing gorgeous dancing from local amateurs and professionals," says Lowell. —S.J.
Alan Bean book-signing
Noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 2
Hilton El Conquistador Resort, Coronado Room
10000 N. Oracle Road
It was in the late '80s when artist Kim Poor met a moonwalker.
Not a rolled-up-pants, white-socks-wearing, Michael Jackson-style moonwalker, but a bona fide, Apollo 12 astronaut-turned-artist moonwalker named Alan Bean.
"He met Alan Bean at one of these art shows (at a mall), because Alan is an artist, and my husband strictly painted astronomical subjects," explains Poor's wife, Sally. "So Alan stopped at his display at a mall in Houston, and started talking to him. They corresponded (and) became friends."
Bean, who in 1969 became the fourth man to walk on the moon, quit his NASA gig to do art full-time in 1981.
His paintings, along with other astronaut autographs and artifacts, are sold at the Poors' gallery, Novaspace, which is located on Prince Road but operates largely online. It's a top dealer worldwide for space art and memorabilia.
"Alan pretty much opened the door for us ... to get a line to these other astronauts, to get our photos signed," Sally explains.
In addition to selling Bean's art, Novaspace is also bringing Bean to Tucson this weekend to sign two of his books, Painting Apollo, and Mission Control, This Is Apollo.
Sunday's book-signings are free—though Bean will only be signing books purchased at the event.
"I suppose people will have other books of his or things that they've gotten elsewhere; he will not sign those. He will just sign these two books that he's promoting at this show," Sally explains.
There is also a VIP book-signing and dinner Saturday; check out Novaspace.com for more information. —A.B.
Beauty in the Breast exhibit
Reception: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1
Exhibit on display Saturday, Aug. 1, through Friday, Aug. 21
412 E. Seventh St.
The Arizona Breastfeeding Coalition—a nonprofit whose main focus is to educate and promote awareness about breastfeeding—is sort of like a bra: They offer support.
The coalition, made up of doctors, nurses and breastfeeding advocates, meets several times a year in Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff to plan ways to spread the word about the benefits of breastfeeding, says ABC vice president Amita Graham.
One way they are spreading the word is their fifth annual World Breastfeeding Week celebration, which this year will include an art reception, Graham says.
The art exhibit, titled Beauty and the Breast, will feature works from local artists depicting the beauty of women breastfeeding. The reception for the exhibit will be held at Candelabra Gallery this Saturday.
"We have artists in the show from across the state, and mostly Tucson area artists," Graham explains. "The theme of the artwork is maternity, mother/child, breastfeeding (and) family, so the art will be representing those themes."
In addition to titty-tastic artwork, the festivities will include food, wine and live music—and admission is free.
While the exhibit will be up through Aug. 21, Graham says it will be shown by appointment only, and 35 percent of the sales from the art sold at the show will be donated back to the coalition to help continue their work.
Those who can't make it to the reception but want to learn more about breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week can visit the Main, Woods, Himmel or Quincie Douglas branch libraries in Tucson, or the Joyner-Green Valley branch to pick up fliers with information from the coalition, Graham says. —A.B.
Fields to Tables exhibit
Reception: 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 4
Exhibit on display Saturday, Aug. 1, through Monday, Aug. 31
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone Ave.
There have been numerous events this summer to prod you into supporting locally grown foods (like the Eat Local America! Challenge, the premiere of Food, Inc.)—and the Community Food Bank is offering another.
Their Fields to Tables exhibit, which features 30 color photos shot by photographer Josh Schachter, follows foods like squash, corn, watermelons and tepary beans from three different farms to the Santa Cruz River Farmers' Market, and then to the tables of families who prepare and eat the food, explains Varga Garland, vice president of the Food Bank's Food Security Center.
"It really is a story," she says.
The photos are paired with brief narratives—explaining, for example, why Glendale's "Farmer Frank" wanted to be a farmer—and quotes from literary sources like John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, along with historical photos, Garland explains.
"It's a personal, local story about the people who are growing food and the importance of that to our health, and the way we look at the land," she says.
The reception for the exhibit will be held this Tuesday, and the exhibit will be on display through Aug. 31, giving Tucsonans another reason to think local when it comes to food—and a way to see the actual cycle of locally grown foods.
"For hundreds and hundreds of years, we've been paying attention to food, and here lately, generally, where our food comes from hasn't been something we've been paying attention to, until things like Food, Inc. over at the Loft has been shown, until Michael Pollan has written The Omnivore's Dilemma, until the literature of late and the media of late are paying attention to where food comes from and what it means to our personal body's health, and what it means to our community," Garland says. —A.B.