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Moments in Motion

"Nine Prayers" by Stu Jenks
Reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20
On display through Saturday, Sept. 13
Hotel Congress Lobby
311 E. Congress St.
792-4503; dinnerwarearts.com

Artist Stu Jenks creates dynamic images of movement and light using long exposures in his photography--and a new exhibition of his work, Nine Prayers, is on display at Hotel Congress through Sept. 13.

The exhibit's nine large photographs, about 2 feet by 3 feet each, are a combination of Jenks' recent work and some older pieces. Accompanying each photograph is a prayer associated with the event portrayed in the image. Jenks explained that each photograph is the documentation of a performance.

"It's kind of a combination of me showing the process of doing these and also some of the spirituality that's associated with it," said Jenks.

The images in the Nine Prayers come from roller derby games, circus/dance group Flam Chen's performances and Jenks' own performances, in which he draws shapes with light. Jenks often works with spirals and circles and enjoys capturing circular motion.

"I was looking for archetypal symbols that had meanings across cultures, so the circle and the spiral had a lot to do with that. The spiral, for me, symbolizes the journey--the journey inward, the journey outward," said Jenks.

Jenks said he creates the shapes by drawing them with a Zippo lighter or a hula hoop with Christmas lights attached. He explained that he produces the images in moonlight, or in a similar setting that creates a fill light so the details of the landscape are visible.

Everybody asks, said Jenks, why he doesn't show up in the images. He said it's because he moves constantly while he draws the shapes and wears dark clothing.

There will be a reception on Wednesday, Aug. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. --K.S.


Art That Buzzes

En.caus.tic Exhibit
On display continuously through Tuesday, Sept. 30
Tucson International Airport
7250 S. Tucson Blvd.
573-8187; TIA Web site

"The bee's knees" is an outdated way of saying "cool." Encaustic paintings use heated beeswax combined with pigments to make images.

So ... the Tucson International Airport has an encaustic exhibit, called en.caus.tic, that may, in fact, be the bee's knees.

The airport features a rotating selection of art, all done by local artists. This year, the wax-based art style received a fair number of recommendations.

"We had done a call for exhibits last year, which is something that the airport traditionally does," said Viki Mathews of the Tucson Airport Authority. "... In that call, we had a handful of folks who were touting this encaustic style of art. We thought it would be fun to do a show of some of the local artists who (do) this beeswax kind of work."

One of the artists in the exhibit, Deborah South McEvoy, has been experimenting with encaustic art for a while, but she recently began delving deeper into it.

"I read about it, probably five years ago, in a book by Joanne Mattera, The Art of Encaustic Painting," McEvoy said. I started playing with it. I did take a class, about three months ago ... at the Conrad Wilde Gallery, and learned more about the technique. Before, I was just experimenting with it and playing with it. I didn't really know that much about it. ... (Encaustic painting) allows me to be able to get into it, and it allows me to layer easier than with paint. A lot of my work is layer upon layer upon layer."

The gallery is open all day, every day, between the Southwest and Delta ticket counters. --J.G.


Sobriety Without the Higher Power

James Christopher speaks on Secular Organizations for Sobriety
1:30 to 3:30 p.m., sunday, Aug. 17
DuVal Auditorium
University Medical Center
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
297-9919; secularsobriety.org; centerforinquiry.net/saz

A higher power is at the heart of the 12 steps used in Alcoholics Anonymous. The second step involves belief in a power higher than oneself, and a large part of the process involves turning to that higher power as a means of controlling addiction.

That religious imperative, along with other issues, led James Christopher to split from AA. Christopher, a sober alcoholic since 1978, went on to begin the Secular Organizations for Sobriety in 1985. He'll discuss SOS this Sunday.

"Our mission is to offer free, anonymous meetings, in-person meetings and online meetings ... that folks can attend in a safe, secular ... environment to get clean and sober," said Christopher.

"We don't care what your religion is or is not. Your personal life philosophy is your own, personal quest. We don't get into that. We don't give you a program for living. We don't tell you how to live."

SOS members are given more freedom in determining their approach to sobriety, but Christopher emphasized that sobriety is the focus of SOS.

"We're open-ended, except for three guiding principles: sobriety, secularity and self help," said Christopher. "That's a good way to nutshell it: if you want to do something about your addiction, and you want support in a safe, secular environment, and you want to support each other in that process of getting sober and staying sober. ... I want to make it clear we are an abstinence-based group, just like 12 step. We're not moderation management or something like that."

The discussion is free. Although there is no SOS group in Tucson yet, one of the goals of the discussion is to help form one. --J.G.


A Jog a Day Keeps Cancer Away

Better Than Ever Kickoff
5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20
Kiewit Auditorium at the Arizona Cancer Center
1515 N. Campbell Ave.
626-7177; azcc.arizona.edu/bte

The Arizona Cancer Center is on a mission to get Tucsonans off their couches and into better shape. This Wednesday, they'll get participants pumped about upcoming sports activities and competitions with their Better Than Ever kickoff.

The event will include booths featuring local sports shops and fitness organizations, including the Running Shop, Sabino Cycles, Fleet Feet, El Tour de Tucson, Chi Running, UMC's Arizona Cancer Center Clinic, Blue Pants Racing and Training, Southern Arizona Roadrunners, Everyone Runs and Pima County's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. Prizes are up for raffle.

Lute Olson is slated to give a pep talk, and researchers from the Cancer Center will speak about what they've been researching, thanks to funds raised by the center's Better Than Ever program.

The program aims to get sedentary people moving again and to incorporate fitness into their daily lives--because those who have active lifestyles reduce their risk for cancer. People of all ages and abilities can join, and BTE helps get them into shape.

Members have the opportunity to participate in local competitions, including the shorter courses of El Tour de Tucson, Cat Walk 10K and the Tucson Half Marathon. Funds raised by participants help fund women's cancer research at the Arizona Cancer Center.

Though participants are encouraged to compete, Better Than Ever focuses on fitness in a noncompetitive way, said program coordinator Marisa Allen.

"It's just for people ... to get kind of excited and motivated about the season, and people who don't really know about it or want to learn more about it (can) see what the environment's like, and they can also register for our program there," said Allen.

Admission and raffle tickets are free. --K.S.

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