2019 Art Safari. Traveling around, visiting Tucson's abundance of art galleries is a good way to spend any Saturday, but when there's a whole organized art safari, it's extra fun. Visit the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery at PCC, Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery and Workshop, the Joseph Gross Galley, the Davis Dominguez Gallery, the Philabaum Gallery and the Contreras Gallery and take in the paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and other art fixtures on display. Raices Taller (open from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) over at 218 E. Sixth St. and a group of Art Safari artists at the Contreras Gallery (110 E. Sixth St., open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) in particular are having receptions this Saturday evening. The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery (open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 pm. on Fridays), will hold its gallery talk from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7. See ctgatucson.org for full list of gallery hours.
Native American Crafts Sale. One of the many highlights of living in the Sonoran Desert is how much authentic Native American art, including both handcrafted contemporary and vintage jewelry, there is at your fingertips (and on your fingertips, if you're a ring-wearer). Check out the Zuni, Navajo, Hopi and Santo Domingo artwork at Tohono Chul's sale. In addition, Gerald Dawavendewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, will be at the show demonstrating Kachina carving. (Kachinas are traditional Hopi dolls that depict the spiritual beings central to Hopi religious life.) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 3. Tohono Chul Lomaki House, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Tohono Chul admission is $13 adults, $10 seniors/military/students with ID, $3 for kids 5 to 12 and free for members and kids under 5.
Asian Lantern Festival. Tucson is about to get a whole lot brighter, thanks to the efforts of the Reid Park Zoo, the Confucius Institute at the UA, Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc. and the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center. Throughout the next two months, more than 40 customized, colorful lantern displays will be on display at the zoo, where you'll also be able to enjoy Chinese name writing, calligraphy, painting, music, crafts and even carousel rides. This family-friendly event will tap into everyone's sense of childlike wonder, and give you an opportunity to celebrate and learn more about Asian cultures. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, through Saturday, March. 23. $18 adults, $16 kids 2 to 14 and free for kids 1 and younger. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. Members get $2 off admission.
Make a History Mashup. Have you seen artist Kim Nicolini's "Facing Work" exhibit on display at the Arizona History Museum? The multimedia exhibit explores the lives and stories of people who work behind cash registers. So, if anyone is qualified to lead a workshop about uncovering the hidden histories art can help us explore, it's her. The museum will provide supplies like photos, safety pins, fishing line, scissors and glue so you can "remix histories." Combining the personal with the historical to create art pieces you can either include in the museum exhibit or take home. 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Event included with museum admission; $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 adult students, $4 student youth (7 to 17) and free for kids 6 and under, veterans and museum members.
Small Works Show. This month at the Wilde Meyer Gallery, they're displaying work submitted by some of the gallery's very best artists, whether these works are of landscapes, animals, people or even jewelry. What do they all have in common? They're small! Works in this exhibit range from 5" by 5" to 14.5" by 11". This is a perfect opportunity to take in some bite-size portions of lovely art, and you can do it all month if you want! The exhibit is up from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, and gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, suite 170. Free.
Desert Blooms. Spring is coming! Some of Ted DeGrazia's watercolors from the 1950s, of colorful cactus flowers, desert critters and other springtime specialties, will be on display all the way through September in honor of Tucson's most bearable season. (Every season in Tucson is the most bearable season, besides summer.) Head over to the Gallery in the Sun anytime during their open hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily., and pay admission: $8 adults, $5 ages 12 to 18 and free for those 12 and under. Or attend the exhibit's opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, which is free and open to the public. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road.
Love and Light–A New Journey. The YWCA Gallery at the Francis McClelland Community Center will be featuring the work of Gavin Hugh Troy through April 1. A look at his work, which ranges in medium from acrylic to gesso to pencil on canvas or wood, might be just what you need if you've been down in the dumps lately: His scenes of boats, travelers and points of light are hopeful messages of peace and light for the future of our country, inspired by the our newly diverse and Democratic Congress. His work has long included an element of self-discovery—on the scale of countries as well as individuals. Gallery opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. YWCA Southern Arizona, 525 N. Bonita Ave. Free.
Alejandro Gonzalez Photography Opening. Another month at Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. means another artist being featured on the downtown brewery's walls. This month, enjoy the photography of Alejandro Gonzalez, a Nogales, Mexico, native who earned a BFA in fine arts and art education, as well as a masters in educational leadership at the UA. Gonzalez is in his ninth year of teaching photography at Tucson High School, and also works as a freelance photographer. Check out alexgfotos.com for a sneak peek at his lovely work. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.
Learn Something New
Curiosity Symposium. Sandscript, Pima Community College's resident literary magazine, is hosting this idea that folds both meanings of the word "symposia"—the wild parties they once were in ancient Greece and the academic conferences they are today—into one format. Participants are invited to come and sign up for a five-minute slot to present something—anything—they have to share about the theme for the month, followed by a moderated Q&A and, at the end of all the presentations, a conversation. This month's theme is "home," but upcoming themes for the year include "music," "maps" and "water." Get ready to reflect. 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5. Creative Writing Center at PCC West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam. Free.
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum Lecture Series. February is going to be a very educational month at the best train museum in town, with lectures every Sunday about different aspects or periods of railroad history. Andy Odell is kicking it off this week with a talk on the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Co. and its accompanying railroad. Never heard of it? That's because the line only lasted for a few years, and almost no evidence of its existence remains. It even has its very own page on a website called abandonedrails.com. Odell will bring you the saga! 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. Free.
Turquoise Trail Walking Tour. You might have noticed a turquoise line that goes through downtown Tucson, but never been clear on what it is: The 2.5-mile long loop trail highlights sites of historic interest through downtown, starting at the Presidio Museum and taking you past places like the Jewish History Museum, the Wishing Shrine, Armory Park and Hotel Congress. A walk down it is a great way to get to know the city a little better, even if you've lived here for a while. But a guided walk down the Turquoise Trail with a Tucson Presidio Museum historian/docent is a truly excellent way to get to know the city, and to hear some stories about what makes it so special. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. Starts at the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum, 196 N. Court Ave. $20, or $15 for museum members.
Fun in General
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Colorado Eagles. The Eagles just made their first visit to Southern Arizona in December, as the 15th American Hockey League club to play a game here in the Roadrunners home facility. Come see these fast-moving teams face off at either one of this weekend's home games. Friday night is social media night, and includes a hockey mask giveaway. Saturday is Phoenix Roadrunners Night, where the team will be wearing specialty Phoenix Roadrunners throwback jerseys, to be auctioned off after the show, and Sentinel Peak Brewing Company will sponsor first responders night. 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $10 to $61+.
Yume Japanese Gardens Tea Ceremony. If you've ever had a cup of tea, you probably agree that there's something ceremonious about it. Heating up the water, waiting for it to steep, the way your favorite mug feels in your hands. But this ceremony, following the etiquette that's been followed in Japan for nearly 1,000 years, takes that ceremony to a whole new level of peaceful. Sip on a bowl of matcha and a nibble at a traditional Japanese sweet, while taking in the warmth and formality of a tradition that makes it all the more delicious. Note that non-resident parking is no longer permitted on East Hampton place, so park in the lot or on East Justin Lane, half a block South of Yume. 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, but make sure you RSVP by Monday, Feb. 4! Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $15.
Theater and Performances
La Traviata. It's got a love story, it's got a bad case of tuberculosis and it's got more than one delightfully dramatic lovers' duet. La Traviata, one of the most frequently performed operas in the world, is coming to Tucson. It tells the story of Violetta, a wealthy courtesan who throws a party to celebrate the return of her health, being faced with a confession of undying love by Alfredo, a young provincial member of the bourgeois. Will she sacrifice her fabulous lifestyle and wealth for love? Will her decision work out in the end? This emotional and musical roller coaster will have you on the edge of your seat. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $30 to $130.
Top Girls. It's the early 1980s, and Margaret Thatcher has just become the United Kingdom's first woman prime minister. Caryl Churchill wrote this play about a time when glass ceilings were starting to crack. It explores the difference between individualistic American feminism and the more collectively-minded feminism of the UK, as well as the choices many women face between successful careers and rich family lives. The framework: A businesswoman named Marlene throws a dinner party to celebrate her promotion, and invites a series of famous women from throughout history: Pope Joan, explorer Isabella Bird, Dull Gret, lady Nijo and Patient Griselda. Wednesday, Feb. 6, through Sunday, Feb. 24, with 7:30 p.m. evening shows and 1:30 p.m. matinees (plus preview shows at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, and 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4). UA Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Road. $28 adults, $26 senior/military, $15 students. Or $17 for the preview shows.
Something Rotten! "Welcome to the Renaissance!" says the minstrel at the beginning of this show, which takes place—you guessed it—during the Renaissance. Nick and Nigel Bottom are brothers running a largely unsuccessful theatre troupe, probably because they're literally competing against Shakespeare. Desperate to make a splash, Nick goes to a see a fortune teller, who tells him that the next big thing in theater will be something called "A Musical," in which "an actor is saying his lines, and out of nowhere he just starts singing." Ridiculous, right? Watch Nick and Nigel set off to write the world's very first musical, and laugh out loud the whole way through. Tuesday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 10, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. UA Centennial Hall. Students get $10 off, and seniors and military get $5 off. $19 to $120+.
Viva Piazzolla! This year, Ballet Tucson's winter concert is happening in collaboration with the Tucson Guitar Society and The Rogue Theatre as part of the Tucson Desert Song Festival. So you're in for a night where the art is coming at you in all mediums from all angles. Chieko Imada and Mary Beth Cabana choreographed and conceptualized this piece, which portrays the life of legendary composer—and the father of nuevo tango—Astor Piazzolla, through dance. Just to name a few events in his life: He narrowly escaped death by plane crash when his father forbade him from going on a tour he desperately wanted to, he pioneered a method of playing the bandoneon standing up and he traveled all over the world. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3. PCC Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road. $45, or $40 for seniors/students/military.
Te Amo, Argentina. World-renowned cellist Antonio Lysy won a Grammy for his album Te Amo, Argentina, an homage to the sounds of the country, from the sounds of the tango in Buenos Aires cafes to the Amerindian rhythms of the Andes Mountains. In this show, the album comes to life, featuring not only chamber works and cello solos by Lysy, but spoken word, film and tango dancing by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo, tango choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance and gold medalists on NBC's Superstars of Dance. Come hear the works of Ginastera, Piazzolla, Guastavino and more. By the time you walk out, you'll be just as in love with Argentina as Lysy is. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. $30.
Dancing Lessons. Ever, a young man and a professor with Aspberger's Syndrome, and Senga, a dancer recovering from an injury she fears may end her career, live just two floors apart in an NYC apartment building. Obviously, they've never exchanged a word (it's NYC, and they don't even live on the same floor!) But (maybe just as obviously?) in this show, the characters do connect, because Ever signs up to take some dancing lessons in order to get by at an awards dinner. As they learn more about one another, they find they're also learning more about themselves. It's a rom com with heart, and completely perfect for a Valentine's date. Tuesday, Feb. 5, through Sunday, Feb. 17, with 7:30 p.m. shows Wednesday through Friday and 3 p.m. shows on Saturdays and Sundays (there is also a 7:30 p.m. show on Saturday, Feb. 16.) Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. $35, or $20 for the preview on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Dykes and Young, Rogue Darlings, and Justin Nalley. Have you heard of the American Institute of Thoughts and Feelings? It's very Tucson: an artist-run experimental space set on using research, inquiry and community engagement to reflect upon human sentiment. There's a gallery space, a sculpture garden and an adjacent alleyway. It's all located in someone's house. Anyway, at this event, enjoy the music of Dykes and Young and Rogue Darlings, and works by poet and visual artist Justin Nalley. They're committed to making literary events accessible for all. Sunday, Feb. 3. 3 to 5:30 p.m. 116 N. Santa Rita Ave. $5 to $15 suggested donation.
Fairs & Festivals
60th Tubac Festival of the Arts. Holy moly! The longest-running outdoor art festival in Southern Arizona has been going for 60 years! They're celebrating with more than 200 participating artists and more than 100 art galleries at this year's event on the sweet streets of Tubac, the perfect setting to wander around in for hours to enjoy the unique merchants and to enjoy a beer or two at their signature beer garden and a snack from a local vendor. Entertainment includes Nashville singer-songwriter Cary Stone and Nashville transplant Tige Reeve performing a blend of classic country, rock and original material. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 through Sunday, Feb. 10. Tubac, AZ. $8 fee per vehicle comes with a $5 gift certificate redeemable at more than 50 of Tubac's permanent shops and galleries.
21st Annual Tohono O'odham Nation Rodeo & Fair. If you're looking to get out of town this weekend, heading to Sells for this jam-packed weekend might be just what you need. The rodeo events include All-Indian junior and masters rodeo, O'odham Wapkial team roping, wild horse racing, a bull bash and women's steer riding. And there's tons of non-rodeo activities too, like a business expo, basketball tournaments, a carnival, a fun run, a pow wow, a battle of the bands and Toka tournaments, just for example. The theme of this year's parade is "Celebrating the Resiliency of the O'odham Himdag through Beauty, Health and Wellness." Friday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, Feb. 3. Eugene P. Tashquinth Sr. Livestock Complex in Sells, AZ along SR 86. $5 GA, $3 youth 6 to 17 and military, $1 seniors 55+, free for kids 5 and under.