Archive for November, 2015

  • A vivisection of soul: The Art of Paul Abbott

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio1,804 CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon Towering metal stills line the Thumb Butte Distillery. The warehouse would be ideal for displaying art if its indomitable structures didn’t eclipse even the most ostentatious pieces. But the paintings here today are different. A dozen and a half large-as-life pieces hang high on the walls. Their dour colors bleed into the room’s industrial palette, so it’s not immediately obvious why they’re so arresting. It’s the bodies. And the faces. Subjects are partially to completely nude, but they’re baring more emotion than flesh. Try framing them with a litany of adjectives (visceral, melancholic, provocative, transcendent, and sublime, to name a hackneyed handful) and you’ll come up short. These paintings are a singularity — images and emotions that imply the past, crystalize the present, and divine the future. It’s as if the artist has captured a vivisection of soul. At a table on the far side of the room, a man stirs. He’s of medium height with tousled grey hair, an understated beard, and classic features crossed with contrasting lines from smiling and furrowing his brow. This is Paul Abbott and these are his paintings. London, Paris, & Prescott Abbott’s first visit to the Courthouse Square and Whiskey Row in 2001 wasn’t the stuff of tourist brochures. “I felt this dark undercurrent that reminded me of living in a big city,” Abbott said. “I thought, ‘I could live

  • The reading of pictures: A comics sans pretension approach

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's Perceivings2,644 CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster Comic books have a checkered history in the United States. From the sanitized and idealized “True Romances” and their ilk, to the bland but often entertaining “Archie,” through Frederic Wertham’s infamous 1954 anti-comic “Seduction of the Innocent,” to the explosion of underground comics in the 1960s and onward to contemporary adult titles, there’s about as much variety in the comic arena as there is in general book publishing. A lot of something for everyone. The Europeans have long regarded comics as serious art, in everything from “Tintin” and “Asterix” to less well known but immensely influential works like Calvo and Dancette’s Disney-fied take on World War II, “The Beast is Dead.” In the last 30 years, we’ve seen the transformation of the lowly comic book into the “graphic novel,” of which there are hundreds of fine examples. I’ll just mention a personal favorite, Canales and Guardino’s “Blacksad,” which puts anthropomorphized animals in a early 1950s film noir setting and takes on murder, the Civil Rights movement, illegal experimental drugs, and more, with some of the most beautiful watercolor work to be found in any illustrated storytale book anywhere. But my intention is not to praise the artwork in comic books, be it Frank Miller’s transformative “The Dark Knight” or the tsunami of manga from Japan that has washed over the industry. Most folks think that the

  • News From the Wilds: November 2015

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds1,974 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris November is the beginning of the long quiet of winter for the Mogollon Highlands. The cold has crawled from the cracks of night into the light of day, changing how all of the creatures of the region live. The coming season brings scarcity of food and water, along with low, sometimes killing temperatures, and every species, plant and animal, has their set of adaptations to these challenges. These adaptations are sometimes physiological and sometimes behavioral, though for most species there is a little of both. Mammals (including humans) and some non-migratory birds begin to undergo cold acclimatization now, which includes redirection of blood flow away from skin, accumulation of insulative body fat and fur, and metabolic and chemical changes, all resulting in an overall increase in tolerance for low temperatures. Insects undergo a wide variety of changes — some, including bumblebees, generate propylene glycol, or antifreeze, in their blood, which prevents them from freezing, while others develop the ability to raise their body temperatures far above that of the surrounding air, proving themselves anything but “cold-blooded.” Reptiles and amphibians are able to tolerate very low body temperatures without any injury, though some snakes, such as rattlesnakes, gather together in large numbers in caves to avoid the killing frosts. Many birds, such as the swallows and warblers, migrate south, both for food and to avoid the cold, while

  • Oddly Enough: November 2015

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly Enough2,876 CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller The Overtoun Bridge, built in 1859 near Milton, Dumbarton, Scotland, has a rather bizarre history. It is the site of many suicides. What makes this bridge so unique is the fact that dogs regularly commit suicide. These canine leaps were first recorded in the 1950s. Strange, too, is the fact that the dogs jump quite unexpectedly, and in the same spot between the two parapets. The drop is 50 feet, culminating in a rocky waterfall. Perhaps unrelated, but equally weird, is the events surrounding a 1994 killing when Kevin Moy threw his 2-week old son off the bridge (same spot) because he thought he was the incarnation of Satan. Kevin attempted suicide himself at this location, but failed. Dog experts have studied the scientific possibilities for why these events occur, but have come up with no answers. ODDLY ENOUGH … What makes this location even freakier is that some dogs who survived to recoup from the initial plunge returned to the same spot on the bridge and jumped again. ***** The Spider-Tailed Horned Viper is a newly discovered and recently described snake from the  Zagros Mountains in western Iran.  It’s range may, however, spread as far as Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This 3-foot long snake undulates its bizarre tail, creating the uncanny illusion of a scampering spider, luring birds to within striking distance. There are even

  • If you build it … : Happy Oasis brings Heaven on Earth to Prescott

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Feature2,120 CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Happy Oasis, owner of Heaven on Earth, a nature sanctuary in the Granite Dells. Visit HappyOasis.Com to find out more.]   Tell us about Heaven on Earth. It’s Prescott’s newest wildlife sanctuary. It’s not only a private sanctuary for wildlife, but also for the wild life inside us. The idea is to bring out and enhance our communication with nature and eco-conscious living. There are gardens with edible plants mixed in with wild flowers — all of which are friendly to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds — as well as dozens of fruit trees. Heaven on Earth is surrounded by thousands of acres of what should have been a national park. My beloved John and I feel as if we’re the caretakers — not just of our home here, but of these gorgeous Granite Dells, as well. Heaven on Earth is surrounded by a network of trails that traverse some of the most spectacular scenery in Arizona. Part of that is city of Prescott designated Open Space. The trail system behind our home is called the Granite Gardens Trails. I envisioned these trails before I suggested to the developer that he sell and donate the trail land to the city. The trails were brilliantly designed by Chris Hoskins and built by his Over the Hill

  • Bird of the Month: Ferruginous Hawk

    By Lindy Gasta Fueled by curiosity, and a desire to get the best vantage point for experiencing a sunset in the Aubrey Valley, you continue toward the top of Chino Point. No sooner are you out of your truck do you realize you’re not alone. Two hawks soar high above the juniper woodlands, pointed wings held in a slight V. Periodically, one descends expeditiously over the grassland, talons ready, exposing white crescent-shaped patches on the upper wing and a mostly white underside with rufous-mottled coverts. Captivated and puzzled by the sheer size of this Buteo, you scramble to identify it before an irresistible feast draws it away. After 10 minutes, tired eyes, and a silent wish for a closer look, the raptor flies overhead, giving you the clues you need — rusty, “booted” legs and a noticeably extended gape. It has to be a Ferruginous Hawk. Present in northern Arizona year-round, the Ferruginous Hawk is the largest of the soaring Buteos and can be found high above the plains of the American West searching for a small mammal, snake, or large insect to satisfy its appetite. Similar to other raptors, these hawks are heavily dependent on their prey base. For this bird, an unreliable food source means lowered nesting and fledgling success, leading some pairs to forego nesting all together. In order to secure a meal, these versatile predators have

  • Your mamma’s a Hoosier: Sometimes a cabinet’s not a cabinet

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Feature2,949 CommentsRead More »

    By Jacy Lee The modern kitchen has refrigerators, stoves and ovens, islands for prepping and scads of cabinets. The kitchen of 80 to 100 years ago was quite different. Some had ice boxes made of wood. Most had ovens, although some ovens were in separate rooms. A few larger kitchens had room for a baker’s table. But almost none had built in cabinets. Their answers to cabinets were pie safes and Hoosier cabinets. The Hoosier cabinet was the kitchen back then. It combined cabinets, drawers, a work surface, a flour bin, and often a spice carousel. The typical Hoosier cabinet was about 40 inches wide and 70 inches high. The top half was about a foot deep and the bottom was about 30 inches deep. Most had a porcelain coated tin or zinc counter which pulled out from under the top cabinet, thereby increasing the work area. In the days of their practical use, the more accessories they had, the better. These days, the more sought after Hoosiers are also the ones with more accessories. The most common accessory is, of course, the flour sifter. The flour sifter was usually in the top left cabinet and made of zinc coated tin, sometimes with a small glass window. A more desirable feature among these cabinets was a spice carousel, usually attached in the top cabinet, to the right. That one’s harder

  • Another door, store: CCJ Thrift Store moves, continues mission

    Nov 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Feature3,345 CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Chuck Taylor, manager of the Coalition for Compassion and Justice Thrift Store. Shop and make donations at the store’s new location, 1034 Fair St., the grand opening of which is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14. Find out more at YavapaiCCJ.Org.]   Why are CCJ and the CCJ Thrift Store important? We’ve been working in our western Yavapai County community for 15 years. We’re a grassroots, nonprofit anti-poverty agency. 100 percent local with a largely volunteer staff, and we’re making a direct impact on people’s lives every day, day-to-day. We’re trying to attack poverty on many fronts. For folks who are hungry, we provide food. Our Open Door Program serves about 800 hot meals per week. In collaboration with several local preschools, we give out more than 350 bags of food for kids under the age of 5 every weekend during the school year. We call it the Weekend Family Food Program. We realize that for some of our clients our food may be all they have to eat on the weekend. Another CCJ program is Home Repair. We often call it our homelessness prevention program. We help extremely low income homeowners keep their home habitable. This isn’t about cosmetics. We repair homes so our clients don’t lose them or

  • Committed to memory: Get your head in the clouds

    By Paolo Chlebecek On a recent trip I had a frightening and tragic experience. While no one died, it was unpleasant to say the least. After taking many pictures with my elaborate cameraphone, the memory card, where all of my data lives, just died. When I say “died” I don’t mean it just stopped storing new pictures — I had no access to any of my previous pictures. All of the people, places I went, videos, and even selfies, were gone. The phone just reported it was not able to access the data. Even the ones I took before I bought this particular phone. Like many, I just moved my micro SD memory card to the new phone from the old one. It seemed to work fine and there was plenty of room left. Have no fear, dear reader, all was not lost. I did have a way to get them back. But more on that in a moment … This is an all too common occurrence these days. But before we address fixing the problem, we need to address why this happens and how you can mitigate such a terrifying event from happening to you in the first place. As technology improves and selfies take the place of diaries, we utilize what most of us take with us no matter where we go: our cell phones. All of those

  • Calling all actors: Fresh talents seek fresh faces

    By Helen Stephenson Student filmmakers from the Yavapai College Film and Media Arts Program are looking for “A Few Good Men” (and women!). The Yavapai College film program is centered in Clarkdale on the Verde Valley Campus. Students have been taking classes on screenwriting, editing, camera coverage, and sound design. Scripts were written throughout the semester. The competition was fierce on which two would be shot this fall. Both of the chosen films are comedies. “Pennant People,” written and directed by Diana Stoneberg, and “Malcolm in the End,” written and directed by Nicholas (Niko) Contreras. The resulting films will be edited and “in the can” by the end of the semester. The films will then be put on the film festival circuit. Students will be working on their thesis films throughout the spring semester, which starts in mid-January. These films will be shot across Yavapai County, depending on locations necessitated by the scripts. Spring semester students will be looking for a broad range of ages and “looks” for their actors. Actors do not need to have experience in film. Interested actors should email FilmSchool@YC.Edu with “ACTOR” in the subject line. Attach a brief bio and one head shot. Are you “ready for your close-up?” ***** Helen Stephenson is the director of the Yavapai College Film and Media Arts Program and executive director and founder of the Prescott Film Festival, where

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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