Archive for April, 2016

  • Open doors, minds: Seek out the Sedona Open Studios Tour

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon That coffee you guzzle every morning? The cup that holds it seems like a pretty simple ceramic piece, right? Turns out there’s a bit more to creating it than you might’ve thought. “Most people are amazed when the see all the steps that go into making a mug,” said Cornville-based ceramicist Mike Upp. “There’s throwing, trimming, firing, waxing, glazing, firing again. … The whole process is literally about 10 steps.” Upp has been demonstrating this for about four years at Earth & Fire Ceramic Design, his studio, during the annual Sedona Open Studios Tour. Now in its 13th year, the free tour boasts demonstrations and works-in-progress at 56 locations that hold an oversized palette of mediums — painting, sculpture, glass, jewelry, ceramics, photography, and multimedia, among others. “Sedona Open Studios really lends itself to education and immersion,” said Upp, who’s also the organizer of the event. “You can learn about art and the process of art in a way you never could at an art market or gallery.” This year’s three-day tour boasts 15 new participating artists, though who and what you see is up to you. This self-guided experience includes potential stops in Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Page Springs, Cornville, Cottonwood, Carkdale, and Camp Verde. (There are also $1 raffle tickets that funds art scholarships for high school students — an idea Upp said was

  • (Chalk) dust in the wind: Chalk It Up! returns to Prescott

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon A rally of faces. A garden of flowers. Several zoos’, aquariums’, and ranches’ worth of animals. A lawsuit of Disney characters. Once the proverbial and literal dust settles on Chalk It Up!, the fruits of two days’ labor offer a revelatory insight into the contemporary zeitgeist. (Somewhere, a social scientist is attempting to correlate street art with election outcomes.) But you needn’t get so analytical. “This is about spreading the message about being healthy and being well,” said Tina Blake, development coordinator for the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation. “It’s about art, and community, and getting outdoors.” And, of course, fun. This is the eighth year for Chalk It Up! — the second with West Yavapai Guidance Clinic at the helm. Despite the leadership change, the event continues to grow. “We had the highest attendance ever (last year) and raised over $9,000 that went back into community mental health,” Blake said. “We also had over 80 official sponsors, which was another record.” In 2015, more than half of the 1,700 registered attendees were children or youth. (There were roughly 5,000 attendees total.) Event organizers distributed 1,200 boxes of chalk with zero left over. This year, there’ll be twice as much chalk — about $4,000’s worth — in large part because of grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council

  • Watch the skies: Visit the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood Birds are everywhere. And so are birders. “It’s a hobby anybody can get into and do in their backyard,” said Barb Hart, fiscal coordinator for the Cottonwood-based Verde Valley Birding & Nature festival. “How many times have you been outside or out for a hike, seen a bird, and wondered what kind of bird it was?” You can get the answer to that question and more at the annual festival, now in its 16th year. It boasts more workshops, field trips, and vendors than ever before. The festival has come a long way since its 2001 inception by Arizona State Parks, the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, and the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and, for the past four years, has been run via the recently established Verde River Valley Nature Organization. In recent years, the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival has pulled in about 400 registered attendees. “If you count the free family day and walk ins, it’s probably close to 1,000 people,” Hart said. “It’s not a huge crowd, but it’s better that way. We cater very personal experiences and like to keep the field trips small.” Field trips include guided birdwatching in surrounding locations. There’s a fee on top of event registration for each half- or full-day field trip, and attendance is limited to about a baker’s dozen participants. “The guides are experts and can

  • Get wood: Thank science for potable pulp and fishy fish

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster My wife, JoAnn, is a wonderful cook. Of course when preparing a dish from a recipe, but where she really excels is in improvisational cooking. She can take mismatched leftovers, junk food, the skeletal remnants of last holiday’s turkey, and turn them into a gourmet spectacular. She can even do it, and does so on a regular basis, with foods that I dislike. Me: “The sauce on this pasta is amazing! What are the little green flecks? Parsley?” JoAnn: “Broccoli.” Me (flummoxed): “But I hate broccoli.” JoAnn: “Well, you’re eating it.” Me (wonderingly): “You could put this sauce on styrofoam packing pellets and eat them!” If modern food science is to be half-believed, we may be doing just that (or something all too similar) already. We, as Americans, pride ourselves on our standards of food safety. On our food science, if you will. And yet, somehow, holes in those standards have a disquieting habit of showing up on the evening news. Just recently, a number of cheese manufacturers have been hauled up on charges of including anywhere from 7 to 8 percent wood pulp in their product. Italian hard cheeses like parmesan and Romano seem to have been especially susceptible to such cellulosic adulteration. (Is this why shavings of those particular cheeses so closely resemble wood splinters?) In their defense, manufacturers say that a modest amount

  • Oddly Enough: April 2016

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller In a secret hangar, 900 miles from Baghdad, the first F-117A Stealth Fighters to be used in combat were covertly hidden during Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft’s amazing design is invisible to radar and it has proven its defensive value repeatedly. ODDLY ENOUGH … During the war, mechanics found the hangars littered with dead bats. Apparently, the shape of this plane worked so well that bats with their sophisticated sonar systems cannot see the plane even when it’s standing still. Hence, bats were flying into the fighters, the same way birds fly into very clean windows. ***** The Gillaroo (which means “red fellow” in Gaelic) is a rather unusual trout-like fish that lives exclusively in Loch Melvin in Ireland. It feeds primarily on snails, shrimp, and freshwater mollusks.  The locals claim it tastes better than salmon. ODDLY ENOUGH … The Gillaroo is the only fish known to have a gizzard.   ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King

  • News From the Wilds: April 2016

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris April arrives in a thunderous proliferation of life — a raucous, enlivening yawp in the wilds after the long quiet of winter. Snowstorms are an increasingly remote possibility, and the majority of the month is sunny and warm, with butterflies, returning migratory birds, native bees, growing and flowering plants, and mammals in the thrall of mating and bearing young. There is more activity in the natural world than can be easily followed, and the flowering of plants, emergence of insects, return of migrant birds and bats, and the appearance of mammalian young all begin now. The verdant wave of spring swells up from the deserts along south and western facing slopes and riparian corridors, as the new leaves of riverside trees unfurl and the earliest flowers unclasp. These first flowers provide nectar and pollen for butterflies, solitary bees, flies and damselflies that are looking to find mates and lay eggs. Many species of mammals are giving birth, as are the Beavers and Porcupines, while the young of other species, such as the Black Bears, are emerging from their dens and beginning the long process of learning to forage and navigate their landscapes, preying on these early insects and plants. The wave of spring migration gains in volume through April, as the murmurs of the first swallows and bats trickling quietly northward along the creeks grows into a

  • Screenings: Jeff Grubert broaches difficult subject matter with Surrender to Win Film Festival

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: This interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Jeff Grubert, executive producer of the Surrender to Win Film Festival. The festival is April 8-10 at The Elks Theatre (117 E. Gurley St., No. 115, 928-777-1366, $10-$49). A schedule of events and tickets are available at EarthbaseNow.Org/surrender-to-win-film-festival and PrescottElksTheater.Com.] What’s the idea behind the Surrender to Win Film Festival? It’s designed to celebrate the creative spirit of recovery. It asks what it’d be like to live a clean and sober life and explores the underlying mysteriousness of the experience that happens to people when they get clean and sober. We’re trying to celebrate something we don’t fully understand about that process. There are a million roads to sobriety, and there’s the mystery that happens on the other side of that. There’s this side of sobriety, this wonderful life full of grace, mystery, creativity, and abundance. The festival is really celebrating that movement from a life of darkness into a life of light full of love. But why a film festival? Why that medium? Film is about dark and light. You walk into a movie theater, and you’re in a dark room and then light is projected on a screen. That’s the essence of the medium itself. It’s the perfect way to receive the message of recovery, especially when the movies being shown help us

  • Age-old questions: Choreography in the Community program challenges assumptions about young, not-as-young

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Moving ArtsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Delisa Myles What’s it like to be your age? What assumptions do you make about people who are 10- to 12-years-old? People 18- to 24-years-old? And what about people 55 or older? Those were the first questions we asked ourselves as we began an intergenerational performance project with Prescott College students, Skyview School fifth and sixth graders, and members of the larger Prescott community who were 55 or older. The impetus for all of this was — and still is — Choreography in the Community, a course I’ve taught at Prescott College off and on since 2000. This year’s culminating performance, “The Web of Us: Past, Present, and Future,” is coming up on Friday, April 29 (more info below). I’m directing it with Breanna Rogers, the dance teacher at Skyview School. Looking back to that first year, before the participants first met as a group, Breanna and I invited them to make a few assumptions about the other age groups they’d be working with. “Be honest,” we challenged them. “What do you really think about people in those age groups?” Here are some of the thoughts that came to light: People in fifth and sixth grade are … imaginative and adventurous, insecure about themselves and their bodies, worried about being cool and fitting in, worried about how they dress, worried about how they wear their hair, worried about how

  • Peregrine Book Co. Staff Picks: April 2016

    Apr 1, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “As You Wish” By Cary Elwes There’s a shortage of perfect behind-the-scenes memoirs in the world. It would be a (very great) pity to let this one pass you by. I literally wept with laughter. — Reva “Wizard’s First Rule” By Terry Goodkind The first book in one of the greatest fantasy series ever conceived, “Wizard’s First Rule” is the story of a woodsman who suddenly finds himself called to overthrow a god-king and save a continent (and that’s just book 1 of 11). Goodkind’s work strikes an elusive balance between philosophy, humor, and character-oriented worldbuilding that surpasses all but the best of the genre; a must-read for any fan of epic fantasy. — Sean “The Mare” By Mary Gaitskill In her latest novel, her first in 10 years, Gaitskill writes in her distinctive, lyrical style about a Dominican girl, the Anglo woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything. A raw and candid coming-of-age story, “The Mare” is one of the most powerful books I’ve read in a while! — Michaela “The Man Who Planted Trees” By Jim Robbins There is still much to learn about the abilities of trees. How do they die? Communicate? Protect themselves and other trees? Robbins writes about an average man, David Milarch, whose extraordinary mission is to clone the largest, oldest, and most resilient trees

  • Bird of the Month: Common Yellowthroat

    By Peter Pierson You might be one of the many who find themselves driving north on Miller Valley Road, stopping at a red light at Whipple. As temperatures rise through the spring, you might roll your window down to take in the season’s affirming breeze and warm sun, idling at the light. Take a moment to offer the scene a bit of attention. On your right, on the southeast corner of that intersection, willows are in spring bloom. Cattails are greening in the restored urban wetland. You might catch a glimpse of butterflies and early dragonflies among the greenery. Just as the light turns to green, you hear a rolling, melodic witchety-witchety-witchety-witch from the lush growth alongside the busy street. You start forward, slowly, and hear it again, removing the lingering disbelief. It’s the song of the common yellowthroat, right here in this tiny urban sanctuary. A member of the family Parulidae, this New World, or wood, warbler is at home in the lush green undergrowth of marshes and sedges from the Gulf Coast to the edge of the Arctic. Like other birds dependent exclusively on the green corridors and small islands of wetlands here in the arid Southwest, its colorful plumage and vibrant song stands out in our diminishing riparian ecosystems. The male yellowthroat is easily identified (when you can catch a glimpse of it) by following its song

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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