City Week

Vegetarian Video

Maximum Nutrition: Transitioning Toward a Plant-Based Diet with the Vegetarian Resource Group of Tucson
1:30 p.m., Sunday, July 24
Bookman's Community Room, 1930 E. Grant Road

Vegetarians are often categorized by what they don't eat. Those who don't eat animal flesh but eat eggs, milk and other animal products are called "ovo-lacto" vegetarians. Those who eat no animal products whatsoever are called vegans. There are even some who just eat mainly fruit, and they are called fruitarians. However, group member Mark Mason said that people don't need to be a vegetarian of any sort to come away with some helpful information by attending the Vegetarian Resource Group of Tucson's presentation of Maximum Nutrition: Transitioning Toward a Plant-Based Lifestyle.

The group, which has been in the area for about 13 years, is composed of people who support and promote vegetarianism in Tucson.

Mason said that he got involved with the group when he attended the Great American Meat-Out, an event put on by the group. At the time, he was already a vegetarian, but the information about how animals in the dairy industry were treated pushed him to become a vegan. He said that people become vegetarians for different reasons. Some people don't want to eat animals that they feel are no different than dogs or cats, while others object to meat and animal products because they think it's unhealthy to eat them.

The video, Maximum Nutrition: Transitioning Toward a Plant-Based Lifestyle, is hosted by a chef/medical doctor, and in it, he gives advice on how to make favorite recipes with vegetarian ingredients, as well as enlightening the audience about "plant superfoods," such as flax seeds. The video will also discuss ways to transition into vegetarianism, such as beginning by having just one night a week feature a meatless dinner, and then working toward having more vegetarian meals. --S.B.

Storytelling for Adults

Odyssey Storytelling Series
7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 27
Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

Come and hear stories about life from an assortment of authors and artists, casting a net ranging from authors to puppeteers.

"It's grown-ups telling stories about their lives," organizer Penelope Starr says. The uncensored series started in Tucson roughly a year and a half ago.

The lineup features the multi-talented Beth Lisick, local magazine publisher Drew Burk and the author of Sleeping with Schubert, Bonnie Marson. Also set to tell stories are writer Denise DeSio; puppeteer Gwen Ray; writer Kenneth Cahall and, last but not least, the director of the Tucson Poetry Festival, Teresa Driver.

Burk, the co-founder of Spork magazine, says he's excited to be sharing the stage with Lisick. Spork is a locally-produced literary journal that is proud to be independent and bold (see "Handmade Lit," Aug. 19, 2004).

"We do whatever the hell we want to do, and that's what Spork is," Burk says. The magazine, which comes out twice a year, can be found in town at Reader's Oasis and Safehouse.

Lisick, who is appearing as part of a 10-city tour for her newest book, Everybody Into the Pool, started a storytelling series in San Francisco that inspired the Tucson series.

Everybody Into the Pool, she says, is a concoction of first-person humorous episodes from life.

The performances for the Odyssey storytelling series do take on adult themes, Starr says, so those less than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets cost $7 and are sold at the door. There also will be a book-signing session at the event. --M.W.

View of the Countryside

Horizons and Visions: Oil and Watercolor Paintings Inspired by the Arizona Back Country by Tyler Pierce
Gallery Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; through Oct. 15
Alliance Bank Of Arizona Gallery, 4703 E. Camp Lowell Road

Tyler Pierce grew up on a cattle ranch 30 miles from anywhere. For the first 18 years of his life, he spent his time largely in the solitude of nature.

While Pierce has produced landscapes of both the desert and dense city life, 28 pieces depicting the rural Northern Arizona he grew up in--perhaps the scenes closest to his heart--will be on display at the ABA Gallery for the next few months.

"Through these paintings, I'm reaching almost back to a childhood place," he says.

Pierce says he's been an artist all his life, from drawing sketches to photography, but only recently has he become what he calls a "fine" artist.

Pierce paints on a square canvas for his landscapes, "a little atypical from most artists," he says. It is meant to allow the eye to focus in a circular motion (although, he insists, he is not wedded to the format).

He also builds most of his canvases from scratch.

Pierce began painting 10 years ago, a few years after moving to Tucson. Much to his excitement, this is the first time his work has been shown in a local gallery.

He says that he hopes his paintings convey "a sense of being" in the calm outdoors. He also enjoys talking with people and how they see his artwork; he encourages anyone interested in starting a dialogue about his paintings or about living in rural Arizona to contact him via e-mail at

The ABA Gallery is a recent addition to Tucson's collection of art galleries, opening in March 2004. The bank that houses the gallery opened in 2003.

This presentation is free. --M.W.

Tweeting in Tucson

American Birding Association Annual Convention
Through Sunday, July 24
Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way

The North American Birding Association is having its annual conference in Tucson this year. The association has been around for the past 35 years, and has a membership of nearly 22,000 people. The main goal of the group is to inspire people to take an interest in wild birds and the preservation of them.

At the conference, there will be various lectures, workshops, field trips and discussions, all relating to bird-watching. For instance, on Thursday night, there will be a presentation devoted to "sky islands," those areas in the desert that have more water access than the surrounding terrain. Different birds, bugs and flowers exist in these places, and they offer a variety of natural life to observe.

The Friday lecture will be about the 30,000-mile trip that Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher made across North America, the book they wrote about their journey (Wild America) and how things have changed for indigenous wildlife since they wrote the book.

Workshops include a presentation of hummingbirds and their habits, focusing on the 15 different types of hummingbirds that occur in Southern Arizona. Another will be on the topic of how to identify a bird by the sounds it makes. There will be field trips offered to attendees, some of which include hiking. One of the field trips will be to see the Sonoran Desert Lowlands. The trip will have stops at Catalina State Park, Sweetwater Wetlands and Agua Caliente Park. Another will go to the Sulphur Springs Valley, which is known mainly for the sandhill cranes and raptors that live there during the winter.

For more information and to register, go to --S.B.