Thirteen Ways Of Looking At An Old Year

Fly Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee: We Review The Year's Arts In Poetry.

IN THIS ANNUS DOMINI, Year of two and zeroes three, The arts in Tucson warily sailed

'Tween sunny skies and stormy gales.

Empty storefronts plagued the Arts District.

On old Lerner's a horrendous façade was inflicted.

To art the public was too oft ill-disposed.

Downtown, galleries opened, galleries closed.

Alas, Raw Gallery, we knew you well.

For your cutting-edge art we ring a death knell.

Farewell to DC Harris and Apparatus!

Your closures hit us back-to-back-icus.

Arts squabbles galore hit the downtown scene.

Are gallerists silly or just plain mean?

The Central Tucson Galleries Association

Unwisely rejected some galleries for affiliation.

The Contemporary Art Tour, nobly begun

Has lost a member, laudable Terry Etherton.

The Partnership deemed Downtown Saturday Night old and tired

But an outcry from DSN lovers didn't allow it to expire.

At the wondrous Center for Creative Photography

Dean Stoffle reigned with iron authority.

Out Terry Pitts! Nancy Lutz begone!

Let Stoffle rule here for all Tucson.

But in this season of good cheer

E'en nattering nabobs must lend an ear

To all the good news on our art scene.

Here's to beauty! To edgy! And e'en to car sheen!

The She-Devils roared into Elizabeth Cherry

An exhibition grrrl-y, auto art and black tires merry.

Yet cutting edge is not all we've seen.

Painters still do beauty esteem.

Jim Waid's big desert oil is in the courthouse

Full 50 feet of cacti colored: a powerhouse

Of paint. Joanne Kerrihard at the museum

Did paint surreal medievalisms. Go see 'em.

Betina Fink, Michael Longstaff,

Stack and Rush, painters, not riff-raff.

Eriks Rudans joined their fine company.

They exhibited beauteous paintings for all to see.

Nancv Solomon showed us her fine books,

Ulrike Arnold used the soil from desert nooks

In giant paintings of Southwest caverns.

Herb Stratford regaled us with boxy warrens.

All hail ye gelatins black and white.

May photography long light up this city's night.

Nudes at Etherton! Nuns at the Center!

Heisey, Dykinga, Adams, our great mentor.

Terry Etherton, Tucson's photo lord,

Expanded his empire store by store

Opening a branch in old Central Arts

And in the foothills on the Joesler ramparts.

Welcome Industry! Arte Spazio!

(Though to find Spazio up Oracle we must go.)

Richard Zelens, Feed near Park,

Nomad and reconstituted Central Arts.

Judith Rivera, Metroforms.

New galleries all, freshly born.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

Gallery owners? Among optimists they're the best.

In the art world gargantuan shifts of personnel

Had us scribes scrambling, the tale to tell.

Dian Magie from the Arts Council departed.

At an Iowa museum, Terry Pitts has happily started.

Farewell dear red-head Nora Kuehl

Your Dinnerware reign was always cool.

Greetings to new director Barbara Jo McLaughlin.

She'll lead the artists' co-op for years, here's hopin'!

To TMA hied Julie Sasse

There to join the curatorial posse.

Sasse's got the contemporary art seat.

In folk arts Joanne Stuhr can't be beat.

Over at the U-A-M-A

Newcomer Charles Guerin holds sway.

A new director, he plans a big new building.

Deep-pocket donors will love it, sure as shootin.'

Buildings? Robert Yassin, time's a wastin'

Don't fudge on the Stevens House historical restoration.

Make sure you preserve this adobe treasure

It belongs to the citizens, a gem without measure.

Also the Fox Theatre! And the house of Cheyney!

And St. Philip's courtyard, a Joesler honey!

The Thrifty block! Preserve Tucson's heritage

And gifts of architectural history to our children give.

Let us not forget our friend, dear dance.

It's been a great year for the old jump and prance.

Beth Braun's Journey, Funhouse Movement,

NEW ARTiculations, Zuzi Move It

All joined with grand dame Orts The-a-tre

To keep us awestruck by leaps ever greater.

We fear 10th Street Danceworks has somewhat withdrawn

But then there's the consolation of Ballet Tucson.

Ken Foster, our favorite arts presenter,

Has brought modern dance to Centennial theater:

Liz Lerman's community Hallelujah.

To Ailey's Revelation, a big hosannah!

As for the arty strife, let's thwart 'er.

Let good sense and ethics prevail in all quarters.

Take a lesson from an ancient art form newly hewed.

From Howdy, from Punch, from Judy it's de-vo-lued.

Puppets. Poppets--can it be?--

What ho these grand Big Heads we see?

They're settled on Congress right merrily

At Tucson Puppet Works. Hip dudes all carefree

Worship Sundays at the Puppet Church.

Where they find hand-made art, tales and mirth.

Collaboration, innovation, moral worth.

A model for peace in the art world and on Earth.