Tucson is a photography town, and one of the reasons is the Center for Creative Photography. The CCP celebrates its 40th anniversary with an all-star show, "The Lives of Pictures: Forty Years of Collecting" at the Center for Creative Photography, Oct. 10 to March 20. Over 80 artists, including Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, Garry Winogrand, will be represented by 125 works.
"If I were to choose one," curator Joshua Chuang says, "it would be a special print of Edward Weston's 'Pepper No. 30,' 1930." The famous image is simple and beautiful. The center's custom double-sided frame shows Weston's handwritten inscription on the back of the print; he dedicates it to Sonya Noskowiak, the woman who gave Weston the pepper that he made famous.
Harold Jones, a photographer who was the center's first director, marks the CCP's anniversary and his own 75th birthday with a solo show of his work. His "Ode to Godot" runs for the month of October at Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St.
Terry Etherton shows all artistic media at his Etherton Gallery, but during this anniversary season he sticks to his first love, photography. "Light Motifs," Sept. 15 to Nov. 7, pairs renowned photographer Ralph Gibson with Andy Summers, a photographer and the guitarist for The Police. Gibson premieres the series Political Abstractions and reprises older classic nudes. Summers's work "captures the absurdity of life on the road." Artist reception Sept. 19.
The great Danny Lyons, photographer of the civil rights movement, reprises Conversations with the Dead, haunting black-and-white photos in maximum-security prisons in Texas. These images of black prisoners watched by white guards were taken in the late '60s but they're uncannily timely now, as America grapples with racism and our love affair with incarceration. Nov. 10 to Jan. 2, with an artist reception Nov. 14.
Elsewhere, the UA Museum of Art taps into the James Turrell moment with an exhibition of the famed Arizona artist's Deep Sky portfolio in Wavelength: The Art of Light, Aug. 28 to Dec. 6.
The UA's art profs exhibit their own work, Sept. 26 to Nov. 8. And classics professor Cynthia White collaborates with the museum on Rome: Legacy of an Eternal City.
The Tucson Museum of Art combines contemporary with traditional in Banda Calaca, a Day of the Dead installation by Tucson artist Hank Tusinki that features a seven-piece skeleton marching band, Sept. 26 to Jan. 3.
Multi-media Chinese artist Shen Wei, whose dances will be performed at Centennial Hall Nov. 22, exhibits his calligraphic visual works in Shen Wei in Black, White and Gray, Oct. 9 to Dec. 6.
A fun show about cowboy visuals, Western Heroes of Pulp Fiction: Dime Novel to Pop Culture, runs Oct. 24 to Feb. 14.
Museum as Sanctuary: Perspectives of Resistance, a show of moving work created by refugees in Tucson's Owl & Panther Project, continues through Jan. 3. And the Arizona Biennial 2015 is up through Oct. 11.
Wee Gallery is featuring works by local Tucson artist Matthew Diggins entitled "Dirty Drawings: Nudes," which will feature impressionist style drawings. The show will run Saturday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 1.
At the Arizona State Museum, contemporary Yaqui art, 1519 Rebellion: Itom Luturia (Our Truth) zeroes in on culture, social justice and the border, through Jan. 30. Intimacy of Faith, the delightful show of Mexican retablos and ex-votos from the Giffords family collection, continues through May.
The "Six Artists" who created up-to-the-minute installations over the summer at MOCA Tucson continue to occupy their separate spaces through Sept. 26. The "Mobile Pools," actual swimming in the Great Hall—made from dumpsters—shut down the next day. Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery at Pima College West runs About Books—one-of-a-kind artists' books, Sept. 8 to Oct. 9
Picture, the opening celebration of the fall art season. Not all shows are set yet, but members include Raices Taller 22, Moen Mason, Contreras, Conrad Wilde, Baker + Hesseldenz, all in the Sixth and Sixth neighborhood. Member Davis Dominguez stages the Tucson National Print Invitational, an exhibition of "original prints by 36 of America's best printmakers," Sept. 17 through November.
Philabaum Glass, just south of downtown, has spent the summer showcasing 40 years of work by glass art champion Tom Philabaum. Philabaum lectures and gives a demo at 4 p.m., Sept. 5, at the Sonoran Glass School, 633 W. 18th St.
The energetic young company Art.if.act Dance Project opens the season with the supernatural Immortally Departed Oct. 2 and 3 at its studio downtown at 17 E. Toole Ave. Inspired by Day of the Dead, the concert will pair contemporary dance by Ashley Bowman with live music by Tesoro. Nov. 20 to 22, in four concerts in four locations, the company will dance Claire Hancock's original choreography for Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, in a live music concert by True Concord Voices & Orchestra, formerly known at Tucson Chamber Artists.
Eight students at the UA School of Dance, fresh from a performance at a José Limón Festival in New York, will dance "The Unsung" by the late great modern-dance pioneer, at Premium Blend. The concert at Stevie Eller, running two weekends, Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 and Nov. 5 to 8, also includes ballets by Melissa Lowe and Elizabeth George. UA dancers also perform at Stevie Eller Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in "Jazz in AZ" and in "In Focus—Student Spotlight," Dec. 3 to 6.
"Jekyll and Hyde" a brand-new work by Mary-Beth Cabana and Chieko Imada, opens Ballet Tucson's 30th season. The spooky steampunk version of Stevenson's tale will debut Nov. 13 to 15 at the Temple. The pro company's fall concert also includes a new "Carmina Burana" by Daniel Precup, and the premiere of "Masquerade" by Cabana and Imada. The opening night concert is a gala with reception.
China's Shen Wei Dance Arts performs a single concert on Nov. 22 at Centennial Hall, presented by UApresents. Shen Wei, best known for choreographing the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, creates dances influenced by traditional Chinese movement as well as American and European modernism. See above for his companion show of visual art at the Tucson Museum of art, Oct. 9 to Dec. 6.
Come holiday time, Ballet Tucson dances its traditional Victorian "Nutcracker" Dec. 11 to 13 at Centennial. Tucson Regional Ballet's version, "A Southwest Nutcracker," set in 1880s Tucson, runs the same weekend, Dec. 12 and 13, at the Music Hall.
ZUZI! Dance Company marks the darkest day of winter—and the imminent return of the light—with an annual Solstice concert. This year's version, a mixture of modern and aerial dance, is "The Light Keepers Box," based on an ancient tale of Venezuela's Warao people. Dec. 19 to 21 at ZUZI! Theater.