Thursday 2

WALK-THROUGH ART. For years, the Tucson Arts District Partnership has been hosting Thursday Night Art Walks--a pedestrian (though not aesthetically pedestrian) amble through a phenomenally talented artistic pool that makes up the downtown scene. The Partnership manages this teeming, multi-faceted district ensuring that it is central to the commercially based revitalization going on downtown.

Every Thursday (except during the hot summer months of May through September), guides walk you through galleries, artist studios, even past windows with hidden art. The two-hour tours include discussions with curators, sometimes the artists themselves and just an interesting time to hang with other curious folks. Today is the first walk of 2003 and features a tour of five galleries and studios along Broadway Boulevard downtown. Gather at El Centro Cultural, located at 40 W. Broadway, for a Three Kings reception and browse the traditional Holiday Market that's still up. Reception begins at 5 p.m. and the tour meanders from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Don't miss next Thursday's walk featuring galleries along Sixth Street. Tours cost $3. Call for reservations or a full schedule at 624-9977.

Friday 3

DELIGHTFUL CHAOS. Alan Ayckbourn is one of the best creators of comedic mistaken identities. In Relatively Speaking, he has created gems of chaos.

Ginny, played by JoDee Ann Rudd, has been living a life of lies. She decides to start life anew and marry her boyfriend, Greg (Art Almquist). However, her most recent conquest, Philip (James Mitchell Gooden), isn't so willing to end their affair. Suffice it to say, along the way to Philip's house to dissuade his pursuit, Ginny gets tangled in a web of lies, identity "theft" and a few surprises. This is burst-out-loud comedy.

Catch Live Theater Workshop's previews starting Thursday and tonight at 7:30 p.m. The run officially starts tomorrow and continues through February 9. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m. Tomorrow there's a post-show reception to meet the cast.

Tickets cost $12 to $14 with preview shows costing $9. Call 327-4242 for reservations or stop by the theater at 5317 E. Speedway Blvd.

Saturday 4

SNOWBIRDS. It's a bit strange living in a place where so many people flock to (and then scramble out of) town. The mass influx and exodus happen like clockwork.

It's not just humans that make up the snowbird swell of Tucson's population. Ducks and many other birds fly south for the winter. Some make Tucson their final destination. Others don't change latitude, but altitude, migrating from mountaintops to valley bottoms.

Spend a morning at the Mason Audubon Center at 8751 N. Thornydale Road to learn which feathered types keep a winter bungalow in the Tucson area. Walk the one-mile nature trail and you may even eyeball a few wintering raptors preparing for the upcoming breeding season.

The free tour on the first Saturday of each month is your only opportunity to visit the center. MAC naturalists offer a brief history of the property, tour the grounds and offer hands-on displays related to that month's theme.

Today's tour goes from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Call to register as they only allow 30 participants. You can reach them at 744-0004.

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? We're not talking days here, but years.

For 14 years, to be exact, discoverers of Kartchner Caverns tucked under Benson kept their mouths shut. Why? They wanted to explore the caves and negotiate for its protection.

At 10 a.m. today, plant yourself at the Visitor Center at Sabino Canyon to hear details of the history of this world-class cavern and its secrets--from its discovery through the preliminary studies and subsequent development both above and below ground.

Hosted by the Public Lands Interpretive Association, the lecture is free and open to all. Drive north to 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road to the park's entrance. Call PLIA at 749-7711 for more information.

THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING. Gather a bunch of artists together at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery. Call the show The Buddha Form.

Here's what you'll see: paintings, sculptures, photographs and mixed media work exploring the full scope of human nature, an event in time, the diverse approach to the individual self-being.

Seven artists were invited to join Dinnerware artist-members to exhibit their work in the show, subtitled, The Privilege of Being. The list of artists is mammoth; here are a few: Emilia Fitz, Anne Franklin, Mauricio Toussaint, Nadia Hlibka, Michael Longstaff. The show opens tonight with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and continues through January 25. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Next Saturday at 7 p.m., the Fandango-8 Poetry Group reads Ekphrastic poetry amidst the compelling images.

Questions? Call the gallery at 792-4503.

Sunday 5

RELIGION AND POLITICS. You're supposed to steer clear of these topics with most people you don't know (or some you know all too well). But what about science and theology?

That's the title of the series at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church that explores and, it is hoped, confronts barriers to integrating the disciplines of science and theology.

Today's lecture with Thomas J. Lindell, of the UA Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, upends the social implications of evolutionary theory to ask, "Are we solely the product of our genes?" It's the continuation from last month's discussion about evolution.

Come hear the answers (and, I'm sure, more questions) between 3:30 and 5:15 p.m. Challenge classical stereotypes and centuries-old images and myths and explore their influence on science and belief.

The church is located at 4444 N. Campbell Ave. at River Road. The public is invited and the lecture is free. Call 299-6421 for more information.

LAST DAY TO LIGHT 'EM UP. The winter light tour at Old Tucson Studios is about to flicker off. Drive the windy road out beyond Gates Pass to see the spectacular illuminations.

Winter Lights is brand new this year. It's pretty bright, illuminating a ring of 350 to 400 lights along the perimeter of the Studios, ranging from 10- to 300-foot long strands. Drive through lit-up tunnels and forests, past biblical stories and vignettes. At the end of the drive is a Winter Fair with unlimited rides. Every night, they plug the lights in from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays it goes to 10 p.m. Admission costs $10 per car for just the light show or $25 per car for both the lights and unlimited Winter Fair rides. Old Tucson Studios is located at 201 S. Kinney Road. Call 883-0100 for details.

Monday 6

OKIES ON SCREEN. Could it be any other film than the legendary Grapes of Wrath?

John Ford won an Academy Award for his adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel about the Great Depression. All I remember is Henry Fonda with a permanent scruffy beard and a lot of dust. Dust was ubiquitous as the story followed the hopeful migration of "Okies" from their depressing lives in the dust bowl to the imagined sun-bathed, plentiful California mecca. Jane Darwell and John Carraadine also starred in this classic flick.

Screening begins at 7 p.m. at the El Centro Digna located at 842 S. Sixth Ave. at 19th Street. It's part of the film series on the first Monday of the month called Film Focus on Justice and is hosted by the Southern Arizona Alliance for Economic Justice. It's free but donations are greatly appreciated. They'll supply the popcorn. Call SAAEJ at 622-3561 with questions.

Tuesday 7

TORCH-FIRED ART. Deborah Lozier is the pre-eminent U.S. artist working with enamel on copper, using fire to create a palette of vibrant color for her jewelry and sculpture.

Come see new work that the California artist has developed over the past three years. Her art is featured in a show opening this week at Obsidian Gallery, located in St. Philip's Plaza at 4340 N. Campbell Ave. Accompanying her work is that of Tucson fiber artist Suzanne Hesh. Her textile wall pieces are made by a variety of techniques such as appliqué and stitching, even tearing, burning and painting. Hesh's Psalm series is featured.

The show stays up through March 1. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Next weekend, January 10, 11 and 12, Lozier will present a workshop and slide lecture. Call the gallery for details at 577-3598.

Wednesday 8

FEELING CRAFTY? The Tucson Arts and Crafts Association invites you to bring a sample of your craft to be juried at their monthly meeting.

Don't be scared. The association is an organization of artists and craftspeople who meet regularly to share ideas, information and feedback on creative projects. Come to the meeting at the Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church, located at 5360 E. Pima St. New member jurying takes place at 6 p.m. The general meeting and program begin at 7 p.m. Find out about local shows and all association events. Today's subject is sure to help any independent artist at year's end with tax tips.

It's free and open to all local artists and craftspeople. Call if you have questions at 296-4038.

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