Artistic Animal Flare

Free Pet Caricature Artists

2 p.m., Saturday, July 14


3733 W. Ina Road

579-0303; email Inaevents@bookmans.com for more information

Take Sparky with you to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, and get a free drawing of you and your pet together.

Local artists Eric Schock and Arnie Bermudez will sketch caricatures of people with their furry friends, which makes for a funny and unusual keepsake. The event is part of the annual "Dog Days of Summer" theme at Bookmans, and treats will be available for pooches of all shapes and sizes.

Event liaison Mary Wray said that while the store has held events where artists draw caricatures of people, "this is the first time we're doing it with animals."

She expects it will be a hit with kids and that people will get a hoot out of the charming drawings the artists create.

Although having a good time is the ultimate goal of this event, Wray noted that the "wellness of animals" is a cornerstone of the Bookmans philosophy, and that the Arizona used-book-and-music chain regularly holds events that promote the proper treatment of animals. Bookmans has partnered with local animal shelters, such as the Hermitage Cat Shelter and HOPE Animal Shelter (both no-kill facilities) to educate people on caring for their four-legged friends.

Other animal-related events scheduled for the Ina Road store this summer include a reptile show. The other Bookmans locations in town are participating in animal-themed events as well.

Of course, this isn't the only time that animals are allowed in Bookmans.

"We always want (your pets) in the store," Wray said. "As long as they're on leashes ... we want people to bring their animals."

The event is free, but tips for the artists are accepted. —H.M.

Optical Illusions


11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, through Saturday, Aug. 11

ATLAS Fine Art Services

41 S. Sixth Ave.


Local artist Ken Hill has created a variety of pieces that may mess with your eyes. His optical illusions, which incorporate a palette's worth of colors, are on display in his Progressions exhibit at ATLAS Fine Art Services.

Hill has always been interested in art, and he has created works ranging from landscapes and figurative images to more abstract works that incorporate optical effects. He has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he taught art.

ATLAS gallery owners James Schaub and Albert Chamillard knew they wanted to exhibit Hill's pieces as soon as they saw them.

"We set up a studio visit to see the work in person, and we made a really quick decision to get him in the exhibit," Schaub said. "He is a young artist who is very directed and he has a good grasp and understanding of what he is about."

Schaub and Chamillard have been supportive of Hill and have helped guide him through the process as he created pieces for the exhibit.

"They are very supportive of artists and really respectful of my work and how I would like to show them," Hill said. "They've been really great to work with and very generous with my time."

Hill will have a total of 20 pieces of various sizes in the exhibit. One of his pieces "Asterisk," consists of a series of optical images created with colored pencil on paper.

"I play with multiple perspective points and kind of explore the range of effects I can get from a very similar drawing simply by changing the relationship with colors," Hill said.

The exhibit is free. —R.C.

Making It Up On the Spot

Slow Clap Improv Comedy

10 p.m., Saturday, July 14

Beowulf Alley Theatre

11 S. Sixth Ave.


If you like improvisation and the kind of humor that made Saturday Night Live a success, head to Beowulf Alley Theatre for an improv show that showcases local talent.

"The type of improv that we do is a little different than the normal type of improv that people might be expecting," said director Daniel Kirby. "It's a little bit more free-form, a little bit more long form."

The cast members of Slow Clap Improv Comedy take suggestions from the audience and then integrate them into the acts. Food (pineapples in particular) and sexual innuendos have been the most popular pitches at past performances, especially with a slightly intoxicated audience, Kirby said. So if you have food on the brain or your mind is in the gutter, you'll fit right in at this event.

Kirby likened the show to SNL in style, but said that because the Beowulf actors don't get to rehearse their material, it's much more spontaneous.

"A live performance is always exciting because you know that people are making things up on the spot," Kirby said. "I think we'll surprise you."

One facet of the show is the "Living Room" segment, in which the actors tell anecdotes from their lives in an effort to make the audience chortle. Kirby said that the theater also likes to bring in a guest monologist, such as a local comedian, to keep the performance dynamic.

This is the third improv show that Beowulf Alley Theatre has held, and Kirby said he hopes to make it a monthly happening. He said it's an ideal event for people who want to "experience something new" and see local talent shine by thinking on their feet.

Admission is a suggested $5 donation. —H.M.

Time Travel With Country Songs

Classic Country Jukebox

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 13

The Z Mansion

288 N. Church Ave.

(888) 718-4253

You can revel in a live performance of the greatest country music hits of the 1950s through the 1990s and also chow down on typical country food at the Classic Country Jukebox.

The Lonely Street Productions show, featuring a six-piece band, will include songs made famous by some of country music's greatest artists, from Patsy Cline to Dolly Parton and Hank Williams to George Strait.

Robert Shaw, who has been with LSP for seven years, and Kaci Bays, who has worked with LSP in the past, will sing the hits. The band includes typical country instruments such as the fiddle and the pedal steel guitar.

The group has played around Arizona, including Phoenix, Green Valley, Yuma and Prescott, said Trish Thayer, director of operations for Lonely Street Productions.

"Something we really pride ourselves with all our shows is that it's more than just a concert. It's theatrical," Thayer said. "We tell stories and history along with the songs. So you'll learn something about the people who made the songs."

A new addition to this show that can't be done at most show locations is a dinner that includes typical country dishes such as barbecued chicken and potato salad.

Tickets are $23, or $45 with dinner included. Doors open at 6 p.m. for dinner guests, with dinner served at 6:30. —S.V.

More by Serena Valdez

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