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Hoopleville: The Cartoon World of David Kish

Opening reception, 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, May 5

The Drawing Studio

33 S. Sixth Ave.

620-0947

Nearly 10 years ago, David Kish began refining the characters and drawings he created in high school as a way to keep himself sane.

Now, Kish, 43, is celebrating his creation, Hoopleville, with what he calls an "almost-10-year victory lap" with an exhibition at The Drawing Studio.

Since finishing degrees in architecture and economics at Lehigh University, the Pennsylvania native has lived in Florida, California, Tucson, and Florida again in search of the proper job to match both his architect training and interests ... and failed.

"I would take soil from the job site and draw with it—very precisely, masking things off with tape. Obviously, the job didn't last," he said with a laugh.

Around 2003, he abandoned architecture when a friend invited him to help paint a house in Portland, Me. It was there he realized that his career had become stuck. He found himself working at a Michaels craft store during the winter, his creative wheels spinning.

That's when he began to re-create his sketches from high school, refined his humor and began self-publishing them.

"They started as newsletters at Kinko's that I'd distribute every two weeks," he said. "I'd go out, trudging through blizzards ... to deliver them."

He started gathering a following. The University of Southern Maine's Free Press student newspaper picked the comic up for a year, followed by the Portland Phoenix, an alternative newsweekly.

In 2007, he moved back to Tucson, for "the sun, the sun and the sun ... plus the pace of life," as Kish put it. The Tucson Weekly has been the Western home of Hoopleville ever since.

"I take pride in having never dumbed it down," Kish said. "I've had a guy talk to me and say 'I don't get some of these, but I like them.' I love that."

The free exhibition continues through Monday, May 26.—D.M.


Eating Right, Living Right

Conscious Local Living

5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 9

St. Philip's Plaza

4340 N. Campbell Ave.

Not sure how to go green? You can see how your fellow Tucsonans are doing it at the city's second Conscious Local Living event, and perhaps pick up some valuable tips.

Conscious Local Living is an effort by Green Living magazine and The FUSION Foundation to bring the community together by highlighting the city's innovative people and places.

The event will spotlight Lisa Krikawa of St. Philip's Krikawa Jewelry Designs, who sells free-trade gems at her store, and Melissa Diane Smith, the director of education for the GMO Free Project of Tucson, which advocates for labeling of genetically modified food.

"We highlight a local face in the community, someone doing something sustainable and innovative, and we highlight a local place, where we hold the event, and a community innovator," said Dorie Morales of Green Living. "The bottom line is community and sustainability."

Morales said the event is a great place to network, and that it has a small-community feel to it. Attendees can focus on getting to know one another and will also have a chance to talk to the people the event highlights.

Smith, who has written books on nutrition, said she believes most Americans, even those who focus on leading sustainable lives, are not aware of the genetically modified organisms that have been introduced to American food systems.

"I think this is just something that many people in the sustainable food movement haven't yet learned about or understand, so we're really looking forward to being at the Conscious Local Living event and educating people about this modern-day issue," she said.—A.N.


To the Big Screen

Magic Hour/I Dream in Widescreen

7 p.m., Wednesday, May 9 at the Loft Cinema

7 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at the Fox Tucson Theatre

3233 E. Speedway Blvd. (Loft)

17 W. Congress St. (Fox)

All year long, students in the University of Arizona's School of Theatre, Film and Television pour their blood, sweat and tears into their thesis projects. The result: Magic Hour and I Dream in Widescreen, free programs at the Loft Cinema and the Fox Tucson Theater that provide the public a chance to see the students' short films.

Lisanne Skyler, one of the professors for the students' production course, said the audience has spread beyond students and their families to include other members of the community.

"I've been teaching here for about seven years and you just see such unusual and creative work coming out of the school," Skyler said. "Kids are not afraid to take chances, they're not afraid to try new things, and the films are surprising and fresh and they're entertaining—the students know how to reach an audience."

Skyler said this year's collection of films is especially bold.

"There's a great commitment to style, but there's also a great commitment to tell a story as well ... you just have very original films, things that kind of push boundaries a little bit."

Nicholas Watts, one of the students showing a thesis, said he may have the most over-the-top film this year. He said he's not nervous about showing his film, just excited.

"Honestly we go through a year of hell and then nobody thinks were going to finish on time and then in the month of April, everything wraps up and everybody's happy," Watts said.

He said to expect a wide array of projects, with elements like singing, dancing, animation, fight scenes, drama and a whole lot more. —A.N.


Fisticuffs at the Casino

Noche de Boxeo

8 p.m., Friday, May 4

Desert Diamond Casino

1100 W. Pima Mine Road

(480) 788-0777

Phoenix-based boxing promoter Michelle Rosado has come out swinging with her first event in Tucson. If her record is any indication, her company, Face II Face Events, looks to have another knockout on its hands.

Rosado, a boxing fan growing up, began promoting during a time when Arizona's boxing scene was in dire straits.

"I was tired of there not being enough shows," she said. "The quality was pretty bad—shows were getting canceled, fights were getting thrown out." Rosado started managing fighters, and when she got a behind-the-scenes look at how events are planned, she decided to try her hand at it.

Her first card was a huge success. Two follow-up events drew thousands to Phoenix's Warehouse District.

Now, she's set her sights on Southern Arizona. "It made sense to bring it here," Rosado said. "There's just a huge boxing fan base in Tucson."

Rosado doesn't have the resources top promoters have and she embraces that.

"I take it to the community ... and help the local guys stay active," she said. Rosado is holding true to that with a card that features local fighters Juan Suazo and Isaac Hidalgo in the main event, along with the professional debut of Robert Lopez.

At the prefight press conference, backers announced that ringside seats were sold out, a good sign for a company that hopes to hold at least two more events in Tucson before year's end.

Rosado describes her style of promoting events as "almost like a big party. ... When you leave, you're like 'When's the next one?'"

Tickets start at $20 and are available at facetofaceevents.net and at Food City stores in Tucson and Nogales. –D.M.

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