City Week

Catch a Rising Artist

Exhibition Of Student Art
March 21-April 7
Opening Reception 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 24
Union Gallery
UA Student Union Memorial Center, Third Floor

Whenever you go and see the works of a known artist--be it an international legend like, say, Picasso, or a local well-known like Diana Madaras--you have an inkling of what to expect.

Under the assumption that surprises are good, why don't you check out some art from some budding artists you've never seen before--say, UA students?

Here's a dandy chance to do just that. Seniors who will be "complet(ing) requirements" for either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of fine arts degree (we think that means "graduating") will be showing off their works, in media including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, fibers and all sorts of others.

Admission is free during its 2 1/2-week run; hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You might see something amazing from a future international legend or local well-known. You might see some stuff that sucks, too. That happens. But take solace: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who are international legends, put up an exhibit (or whatever) in Central Park last month for almost 2 1/2 weeks, and it really sucked. And The Gates cost $21 million (of the artists' money). We here at City Week can make this promise: None of this work will suck that much. We suspect much of it will actually be quite good. --J.B.

Criminal, Hero or Both?

Animal Liberation And Direct Action Lecture
7 p.m., Wednesday, March 23
UA College of Law, Room 139
Speedway Boulevard and Mountain Avenue

Rod Coronado believes working within the confines of the law is useless when it comes to protecting animal rights, says Kristen Drumm, president of Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. That's why he sabotaged the Sabino Canyon mountain lion hunt last year. Spilling mountain lion urine to mislead the Arizona Game and Fish officers and breaking their traps landed Coronado a felony charge.

Before possibly spending time behind bars, Coronado is coming to the UA to speak about why he believes his methods of protecting animals are the most efficient. According to a press release, "he will discuss the role of direct action in the environmental and animal rights movements," and include video footage of the sabotage.

For Coronado, breaking the law for animals' sake is nothing new. His 19-year-old animal-rescue resumé includes years of coordinating sabotages against the trophy hunting industry in California, and infiltrating U.S. fur farms and obtaining graphic evidence that would eventually be televised. Coronado served nearly five years in federal prison for raiding six fur farms and university research labs.

The mountain lion charges are his first since his release from prison in 1999.

His inspiration comes partially from a documentary he saw when he was 12 years old, of a seal clubbing. Coronado believes damaging the industry economically is the only way to stop the great amounts of suffering animals face.

His speech takes place less than a week before his trial date. The free event is hosted by Students for the Ethical treatment of Animals, a student activist group at the UA. --A.L.

Another Street Festival of Sorts

Downtown Saturdays
6 p.m. to Midnight, March 19, May 21 and June 18
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 30
West end of Congress Street

Weekends are about to get a lot more exciting with the renewal of Downtown Saturdays. Street performers will grace downtown in an effort to entertain the public and draw residents out to enjoy open-air performances.

There will be three different stages featuring a mix of blues, Latin music, fire dancers and street theater. And it's free.

"We wanted to make sure to mix it up, so many people in our community will feel connected," says Barbara Zelano, the production manager.

Flam Chen, a pyrotechnic theater troupe, will present a Canadian fire performance group, Les Walkeries.

A newer group performing at the event is the Night Owls, a blues band with members all less than the age of 15. The band has been together two years, and draws its influence from various early rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

Zelano says Tucson's Latin community had a great influence on the selection of performances for the renewal.

The show features Tesoro, a flamenco band that uses Dance Theater, and El Caribe Latin Club, a group that uses musicians, disc jockeys and dancers.

The upcoming daytime show in April is more geared towards children, but this Saturday's night events are tailored more toward adult spectators, Zelano says.

This year's monthly revival of the old Downtown Saturdays will be even better, considering more events will be held outside in the open air, Zelano says. Organizers have also been working closely with Nimbus Brewery to create a beer garden.

"There is a lot of talent in Tucson," Zelano said. "The goal is to get people excited about coming downtown." --A.L.

Cultural Crossroads

Celebration Of Tohono O'Odham Culture
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 19
The Amerind Foundation Museum
Exit 318 Off I-10; Dragoon
(520) 586-3666,

Surrounded by the red rocks of the Dragoon Mountains, the Amerind Foundation looks perfectly at home, quietly marking desert time the way it's done since the pink buildings that comprise the museum were built back in 1929. Its overall appearance of serenity, however, belies the hustle and bustle of the staff and volunteers within, who are dedicated not only to simply preserving the pottery, textiles, jewelry and other items collected by early admirers of Native arts, but to remaining a vibrant, relevant part of 21st century by regularly hosting workshops, speakers and events such as the upcoming Tohono O'Odham Day.

First-time visitors to the Amerind will be forgiven if they're reminded of the Arizona Inn; both were designed by architect Merrick Starkweather and share the same color and sense of connectedness to the Southwest itself. If I sound half in love with the place, it's because I am. My mother works at the foundation; I've seen it at sunrise and at twilight, overflowing with school kids and empty but for three or four visitors, walking in wonder through it's high-vaulted rooms.

While the Amerind does house a substantial collection of objects both functional and decorative--ranging from prehistoric to contemporary work--what makes it special is that it doesn't offer just a static, look-but-don't-touch experience; it's a meeting place--a place where traditional crafts continue to be made, and where traditional dances and music continue to be seen and heard.

The Tohono O'Odham Day celebration will feature basket-making demonstrations, pottery, painted gourds, cultural presentations, dancing, Waila (chicken scratch) music by The Pima Express, Native foods and more. Admission is $3; free for children younger than 12. Call for directions and additional information. --L.A.