Archive for May, 2016

  • The hair lady: Debra Matthews shares her love of human hair art

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, PortfolioNo CommentsRead More »

    IF YOU GO … WHAT: 43rd annual Folk Arts Fair: Village of Traditions WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, June 4 & 5 WHERE: Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley St., 928-445-3122 WORTH: $8 for adults, $3 for museum members, free for children 17 or younger WEB: Sharlot.Org   By James Dungeon “There are lots of misconceptions about the whole thing,” said Debra Matthews, “and that’s understandable.” Matthews, who retired to Prescott in 2001, sat by a coffee shop window contemplating a collectible loosely categorized as folk art. Matthews smiled and looked up, striking blue eyes between immaculate blonde curls. “It’s an unusual collectible and most people don’t really get into it,” she said, turning around a frame. “I do, though.” It’s a memorial scene. There’s a hill with a gravestone encircled by a lilting tree between primitive crosses. The engraving is minuscule, but it’s easy to discern souvenir and fille. The intials “L.C.” run across its base, and a trio of flowers rests at its foot. “It’s French, and it says, ‘Remember my daughter,’” Matthews said. “Everything there — the tree, the gravestones, the plot — is done in hair.” Real hair. Real human hair. You’ve probably got some questions. Debra Matthews, whose business card reads “Historic Presentations/Human Hair Art Specialist,” probably has the answers.   Waste not … Grandma’s hair was long. “I was little, but

  • … in the screen grab of the beholder: Is it art or is it just digital?

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster I was recently visited by an old friend who is a notable collector of, among other things, art. In the course of looking at my stuff (as George Carlin would have said), I pointed out a nicely framed print of the cover to a recent novel. “It’s all digital,” I told him. He studied it for a moment. “I don’t consider digital ‘art’ to be art,” he replied. And we moved on. So — is it? Are compositions rendered entirely in a computer, in a manipulated succession of 1s and 0s, art? Is merely declaring such a composition “art” enough to define it as such? Or are such works nothing more than digital jigsaw puzzles, the bringing together of shards of software the end result of which resembles art, but actually is not? I am of the opinion that it is. I have yet to meet someone doing quality digital art who does not possess a certain degree of what we would call traditional artistic skills: the ability to draw, to combine paint or to work stone or wood or metal in at least some fashion. Certainly there are differences of talent, but the same differences exist within the realm of traditional art. Take metal as medium. At the high end we have sculptors who create wondrous apparitions in bronze. In the middle there are those

  • Oddly Enough: May 2016

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly EnoughNo CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller The Arapaima is an extremely large freshwater fish. Some measure more than 16 feet in length. Their mouths and tongues are covered with bone which makes eating prey fish more of a matter of grinding the hapless grist animals into a pulp than swallowing. Because of this oral toughness, the Arapaima can even eat the spiny armored catfish of Brazil. All adults actively breathe air; only the baby Arapaima use gills exclusively for breathing. ODDLY ENOUGH … The males guard the eggs and the fry. When danger approaches, the young fish quickly swim into the adult’s mouth for protection. When they grow too large to hide in the father’s jaws, they swim behind his enormous head following a secreted substance that attracts them. This relationship goes on for months. Should the daddy fish die, the young will pick up the scent of another male and join his brood. ***** The bizarre Velvet Worm, living in hot, humid environments around the world, moves by means of hydraulic action. Having no joints or exoskeleton, its tube feet are inflated and deflated like cylinder-shaped balloons in order to move. Recessed inside each tube foot is a pair of hard claws which can be exposed to help climb trees or rocky structures. Reproduction involves the females releasing a chemical that actually burns an opening into her own skin allowing the male

  • News From the Wilds: May 2016

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris May is the great turning of spring to summer in the Mogollon Highlands of Arizona. Winter is firmly past, and the seasonal creeks usually run with the very last percolating snowmelt, while extraordinary flowers abound. But May is also the beginning of the dry season, as regional climate patterns shift, and the winter storms that had been flung off of large storm systems over the Pacific are replaced by northering warm, wet air masses from the Sea of Cortez. Eventually, these air masses will mature into the titanic cumulonimbus and torrential rains of our summer monsoon, but they are fueled by heat, which will not build sufficiently until late June. We are lucky enough to have not one, but two distinct flowering seasons per year— our first great flowering happens this month, while the other great flowering is after the monsoon rains of mid-summer. Interestingly, many of our flowering plant species are unique to one or the other period. This bimodal flowering season is matched by peaks in activity in our animal species, as well. Insect activity follows flowering very closely, as insects either pollinate flowers or disperse the seeds that result from that pollination. The peak in bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian activity follows shortly after insects, as insects constitute much of the diets of these animals. Because of this, the diversity of species and behaviors

  • Considering culture: Traditional and contemporary American Indian art show returns to ‘Tis

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and artist Filmer Kewanyama and Patti Ortiz, marketing and art education coordinator at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery. “Journeys in Spirit 2016,” which features some of Kewanyama’s pieces, runs May 19-June 21 at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223. The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 27. Artist demonstrations, discussions, and dances take place May 28-30. Find out more at TisArtGallery.Com and SmokiMuseum.Org.] How many years has the “Journeys in Spirit” show been at ‘Tis and what’s the idea behind it? Ortiz: We’ve been doing this since 2010. Fil was involved from day one, and used to be the curator. He’s become so popular these days that we wanted to give him more time to do his art, but he still participates. The idea of the show is to showcase contemporary and traditional approaches of American Indian artists today in a modern gallery setting. Kewanyama: The main thing, I think, is showcasing local Native artists. It just happens to be right alongside the Phippen Museum’s Western Art Show, which is all about Western and Southwestern art. What makes the show unique is all the other things that happen during that overlap, like the native dances by dancers coming from the reservation, and showing what the ceremonies are about. They did

  • Peregrine Book Co.: May 2016

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Peregrine Book Co. Staff PicksNo CommentsRead More »

    Catered by Reva Sherrard “A Man Lies Dreaming” By Lavie Tidhar At first, the brutality of this insane novel hits you like repeated kicks to the gut. While you’re gasping on the floor, the black, black, sly humour, and unsparing compassion take over. There’s a twist, and it’s not what you think it is. Questions of identity which will shock you lie at the heart of this brilliant noir, at once an eye-widening homage to classic pulp and Raymond Chandler, and a real achievement in its own right — an enfant terrible addition to post-Holocaust literature. — Reva “Kafka on the Shore” By Haruki Murakami Intertwining threads take the reader through a magnificent journey filled with rich characters such as Nakata, a feeble minded elderly man who can talk to cats. Haruki Murakami is an incredibly gifted world builder, and this book is no exception; his deftly created characters have stayed with me like good friends on a bizarre journey. — David “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” By Ransom Riggs Rarely is a book so aptly summarized by the word “peculiar.” Ransom Riggs originally intended to publish this book as a collection of enigmatic photographs; thankfully, he opted instead to weave a whimsical tale between the images, using their mystery to enhance the already Burton-esque tone of the novel. — Sean “Dog Songs” By Mary Oliver I opened Oliver’s

  • Bird of the Month: Blue-winged Teal

    By Richard Schooler A Blue-winged Teal was recently reported at Watson Woods in Prescott. And that’s news to celebrate. The Blue-winged Teal is reported by Carl Tomoff in his “Birds of Prescott, Arizona” (2009) to be a rarely observed transient in the Prescott region. Breeding within the State of Arizona has been confirmed in southern Apache County and possible in southern Navajo County according to the “Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas” (Corman and Wise-Gervais, 2005). Breeding has not been reported or suspected in the Prescott region. The male Blue-winged Teal is unmistakable with a bold white crescent in front of the eye and a white flank patch just in front of the tail. In flight, in addition to the white crescent on the head, a blue wing patch is evident on the wings, giving the bird its name. Unfortunately, the wing patch is not generally visible while the bird is on the water or sitting on land unless the bird is observed stretching its wings. The female Blue-winged Teal is much more subtle. It doesn’t display the white facial crescent or flank patch. She does have a dark line through the eye and a faint small white patch on the lores behind the bill. Both sexes have brownish underparts. In the fall, the plumage of both adults, regardless of sex, appear similar. The adult males gain their distinctive breeding plumage by

  • Real to reel: Finding fun for future film stars

    By Helen Stephenson It’s almost summer, which is … blockbuster movie season. We’re running to the theater to watch the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, (yes, really), “Warcraft,” “Ghostbusters,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Ben Hur,” “Pete’s Dragon.” See a theme here? Hollywood is living off the bones of old stories, relentlessly re-booting, sequel-ing and prequel-ing their film slates. Why? Movies are huge business run by corporations and committees that include accountants who are averse to risk and not prone to originality. Where does that leave original film ideas? Enter independent film. Every summer, the Prescott Film Festival brings unique indie films, free workshops, guest filmmakers, and more to town. This year, during the festival, teens have a chance to express their own creative and unique ideas via a one-week intensive Filmmaker Boot Camp. There will be two sessions. The first is July 11-14 at the Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus. The second is July 18-21 at the Prescott Campus. Student created films from both sessions will screen the final day of the Prescott Film Festival, July 24. Future auteurs start the week with basic film terminology and crew positions. Next, they watch and discuss high quality short films and learn about the visual language of film, dialogue, and editing. Camera language, coverage, and then screenwriting will be covered. And that’s only Day One — whew! The rest of the week

  • Vegetable of the Month: Broccoli

    By Kathleen Yetman Broccoli is a cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea, or wild cabbage, whose flowering head is consumed in many food cultures across the world. Wild cabbage originated along the coast of the Mediterranean and was domesticated at least 2,000 years ago. This domesticated cabbage was bred over time to create several different cultivars including cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. Broccoli was first popularized in Italy before spreading to dinner tables in France, England, and eventually the United States. It wasn’t commercially grown in the U.S. until the 1920s. Like other brassicas, broccoli thrives in cooler weather. In the greater Prescott area, it’s planted in early winter for harvest in late April through early July, depending on temperatures. It’s also often planted in late summer to harvest in early fall. Broccoli is susceptible to cabbageworms and infestations of aphids, making it a more challenging crop for the beginning gardener. There are three common varieties of broccoli: Calabrese, Sprouting, and Romanesco. Calabrese is the variety most commonly found in grocery stores, with large crowns and thick stalks. Sprouting broccoli has more but smaller crowns and thinner stalks. And Romanesco is a beautiful variety of broccoli with yellow-green cone-shaped florets. Broccoli is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B6, as well as folate, potassium and manganese. It’s also a good source of iron, zinc,

  • Plant of the Month: Fleabane Daisy

    May 6, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Plant of the MonthNo CommentsRead More »

    By Mara Kack The small, herbaceous sprouts of fuzzy leaves of the Fleabane Daisy (Erigeron flagellaris) endure the winter by lying patiently beneath frost and snow. As the ground warms with longer days, these small sprouts seemingly multiply as additional new leaves break through the winter earth. Each plant develops long leafy runners; these specialized stems spread across the surface of the soil, depositing new individuals along the way, amassing them into a matted community that softens the soil with green. Next come flower stalks that shoot skyward and are topped with purplish pink buds that bob like pompoms at the slightest breeze. The buds open into a vividly white daisy with a vibrant yellow center. These intricate flowers develop from each plant transforming the soft green mat into a lovely display. Fleabane Daisy is in the sunflower or “composite” family, and like their relatives each daisy-like flower is actually a conglomerates of two types of very tiny flowers. What appears as one daisy is actually an inflorescence that is composed of the disc corollas (collectively making up the yellow center) and ray florets (making up the “petals”). Each Daisy has hundreds of yellow disc corollas and 40 to 125 narrow white ray florets. In this arrangement, the ray florets act as guides for insects to the central disc corollas, where pollination and seed development occur. The relatively broad disc

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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