Posts Tagged ‘Robert Blood’

  • Networking opportunities: Prescott PC Gamers Group take gaming to the next level, dimension

    Feb 27, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Justin Agrell, aka quadcricket, founding administrator of the Prescott PC Gamers Group. Find out more about PPCGG’s monthly LAN parties at PPCGG.Com or vis Facebook. The monthly fee is $10.] When and why did you form the Prescott PC Gamers Group? We started on Feb. 15, 2014. That’s when I started the group, which used to be hosted at Game On in Prescott, back when it was there. A little after that, we made it official. The idea is for local PC gamers to have a place to meet up and talk. It’s not just a LAN party; it’s a community. We’re active on Facebook and have forums online, too. … I moved here from Florida in 2007, and I used to help administer a LAN party there. I missed the community and there wasn’t a LAN party scene here except in Phoenix. So, if no one else is going to do it, you’ve got to do it yourself. I figured, let’s see if there’s any interest whatsoever and let’s see what happens. I started spreading the word and got a few people together. It was small, but nice, and it kept going and grew from a party to a community. Some of the members on site aren’t even in Prescott anymore; they still

  • Canvasing the community: High Desert Artists take art to seniors

    Jan 30, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations with Pamela Lopez-Davies and Deanna Matson, the former of whom is the High Desert Artists communications director and the latter of whom is a new member of the group. Contact the High Desert Artists via their Facebook Page, High Desert Artists Inc.] What can you tell us about the High Desert Artists? Matson: The group has been active in Chino Valley as a nonprofit for 30 years. Right now, we have artists that represent painting — oil, acrylic, water color —and artists who draw, who create fine art, and who make jewelry. The goal of the group is to continue volunteer work to teach seniors how to paint at the Chino Valley Senior Center. We also do community outreach and have small grants for local nonprofit agencies. Right now we have 23 members, and another goal is to grow that number. Over the past 30 years, that number has changed. We’re looking for photographers, people who work with computer graphics, crafters, quilters, sculptors, and, really, all the arts and crafts are welcome in the group. The dues are $24 per year, and a family can join for $40. Meetings are on Saturdays. Lopez-Davies: There’s a business portion to the meetings. Sometimes there are activities or demonstrations by local artists. We talk about upcoming activities and shows. An example

  • One for the books: The Purple Cat celebrates one year turning pages

    Jan 30, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Shari Graham, owner of The Purple Cat used books store. Their one-year anniversary celebration, replete with prizes and entertainment, is Feb. 3 and 4 at 3180 Willow Creek Road, 928-776-0116.] Can you give us a little background about yourself and the story behind The Purple Cat’s name? I had a tax accounting business in Prescott for 17 years, so this has been a nice departure for me, really, where I get to interact with people. That’s what I enjoy the most. Plus you get to hear good jokes. … The name is because, well, simply put, it makes me smile. When I was getting ready to open the shop, I had about two pages-worth of ideas for names and, honestly, they were all boring. I wanted something memorable and, when I saw the clip art of the cat we use for our logo, the name and that little guy’s face made me smile. That’s it. Looking back, a year in, what do you wish you would’ve known starting out a used book store? I wish I would’ve known more about what trends to expect, when are the slows times and busy times, things like that. Summer was a lot slower than I expected, then the fall started out slow then turned out to be

  • Notch on wood: Yavapai Toy Makers craft toys for children in need

    Dec 2, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Perry Breitenstein and Mike Foster, board president and secretary of the Yavapai Toy Makers, respectively. Find out more at YavapaiToyMakers.Org.] How did the Yavapai Toy Makers get started? Breitenstein: Ed Harrison, who passed away in October — he was our founder. He started the group about six years ago. As I understand it, he couldn’t sleep one night, went online, and discovered how many children were diagnosed with cancer every hour of the day and how much time they spent at the hospital. So, instead of making furniture for our homes, we started making wooden toys for children who are sick. From there it grew, and now we give toys to kids in foster care, with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), for children who’ve lost their homes from fires, and just children in need…. When we first started, it was in the wood shop at Yavapai College making 15 toys a month. Now, we make about 700 toys a month and deliver them all over the state. The first group we ever donated to was the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and we still donate to them to this day. I should mention we’re incorporated as a 501(c)(3). We also donate toys to CCJ (Coalition for Compassion and Justice) a couple of times a year, Stepping

  • Fancy footwork: Local youth take the stage in touring ‘Nutcracker’

    Nov 22, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Marina Rogova O’Brien, director and choreographer for the local portion of Ballet Victoria’s “The Gift of the Nutcracker,” 7 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2 & 3 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, YCPAC.Com, $18-$38.] How did you get involved in the production? I’m a professional dancer and choreographer. I’ve been teaching at Yavapai College for the past nine years — dance and fitness classes. About two years ago, we got a new dean in the Performing Arts Department, Dr. Craig Ralston. Since Craig has taken that position, we’ve gotten a lot more musical theater. He’s gotten the staff involved in a lot of artistic performances. Last year, I was involved in “The Secret Garden” show, and this year we’re getting “The Nutcracker.” It’s an adapted version called “The Gift of the Nutcracker” done by a professional troupe, Ballet Victoria company from Canada. They bring their professional dancers here, and they do most of the solo dancing and lifts, but the corps of ballet is local kids. Craig said it’d be a nice show for Prescott to feature local kids, but we needed to have a local choreographer. I agreed and started working with Paul Destrooper, the artistic/executive director on the Canadian end. I became 100 percent responsible

  • ‘The possibility of the play’: Baul Theater Co. presents ‘The Nine Houses of Mila’

    Nov 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and VJ Fedorschak, director of the play, “The Nine Houses of Mila,” put on by the Baul Theater Co., 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19 at Embry Riddle Davis Auditorium, 3700 Willow Creek Road, $15.] What can you tell us about the play? It’s “The Nine Houses of Mila,” and it’s about one man’s search for himself in the face of extreme trials. The character’s name is Milarepa, and the story of his life is one of the most beloved tales in Tibetan Buddhism. There’s this idea that in the midst of extreme trials we can be led to resolve them if we trust ourselves. And we need help. The Persian poet Rumi said something like, “Your need is the Way.” If your need is really sincere, you’ll be led to a source of help. And the Baul Theater Co., how do you come in? It started in 1988. It was an idea that coalesced among several people who were inspired by the possibility of transformational theater. We all recognized that some kind of magic can happen on stage, where people’s attention can be focused in a way that’s uncommon. Essential human qualities can be evoked that are latent in us for the most part — things like courage and compassion. Over the years we’ve performed

  • All the art that’s fit to print: Contemporary Printmakers of Prescott return to ‘Tis

    Nov 4, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Barb Wills, group facilitator, and Maria Lynam, both of the Contemporary Printmakers of Prescott, whose show, “Outside the Lines,” runs through Nov. 22 at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223.] How did this group and this show come about? Wills: There was a discussion in an advanced printmaking class at Yavapai College. We talked about the fact that the work that was going on there was so individual that it’d be nice to get the community to see what printmaking is all about and what goes on at the college in the art classes. We started out in 2014. I put together a submission for a printmaking show, and we’ve done it every year since. This is our third annual show. We also had a printmaking show at the Yavapai College gallery in March. Lynam: We got the opportunity through Barb, who’s on the executive board at ‘Tis Gallery, so she figured all this out. We got together all the advanced printmakers at Yavapai College and decided to have everything professionally matted and framed, and we went for it. We’ve done that show every year since then and we’ve also shown at The Raven. We’re all passionate about printmaking. It’s so interesting because there are 20 or so of us

  • Accents, accessories, & accouterments: Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists return to Hassayampa Inn for one day showcase

    Sep 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Johanna Shipley, program director of the Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists, whose second annual jewelry showcase, sponsored by the Prescott Center for the Arts, is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley St., 928-778-9434. Find out more at GraniteMountainJewelryArtists.Weebly.Com.] So, who are the Granite Mountain Jewelry Artists and how did the group get started? It started out as a group of friends, most whom had taken the jewelry classes at Yavapai College. We started getting together once a month to support each other’s work. We’d have brief meetings then some type of workshop or discussion. That’s pretty much the format we’re still following. Now, the group has expanded to include a lot of jewelry artists in the area, many of whom never took those initial classes. … I think it’s been so successful because there was no other group quite like it in the area. There’s a group for people who work primarily with beads, but not for all the other types of jewelry. The people who started the group were very interested in keeping it going, and so it’s kept going and kept growing. We all come from very different traditions and represent a pretty wide group of techniques. There are traditional silversmiths, people who work with found

  • Wearable Whimsy & Wanderlust: Unraveling the fabric art of Ashley Darling

    Aug 26, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and fiber artist Ashley Darling. See more of Ashley Darling’s work at AshleyDarlingDesign.Com. Contact her at Ashley@AshleyDarlingDesign.Com.] How did you get started sewing? I can remember back to when I was a child looking over my mom’s shoulder as she sewed dresses and curtains. She was also the lead seamstress in the town I grew up in. My dad is probably one of the best upholsterers on this side of the U.S. The funny thing about all this, when I was growing up I had absolutely zero interest in learning the trade. I would rather be out playing in the trees in our back yard than sitting inside by some noisy machine. It wasn’t until I became a mom that I felt a desire to explore the talent sleeping in my genes. For my first project I made a curtain valance for my son’s nursery. I was having the hardest time finding anything in the stores that wasn’t teddy bears or trains and I wanted to do a whole nature theme with Classic Winnie the Pooh. From there I began designing dresses and other adorable outfits for my daughters that were 1 and 3. What inspired you to make your first coat? My first coat was inspired in part by my love of “treasure hunting”

  • Open doors, minds: Get ready for the ninth annual Prescott Area Artists Studio Tour

    Aug 26, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Lynn Schmitt, jewelry artist and a co-chair of the executive committee for the Prescott Area Artists Studio Tour. The ninth annual studio tour is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Sept. 30 & Oct. 1 & 2, via sponsored by the Mountain Artists Guild. Find out more at PrescottStudioTour.Com.] What’s your history with jewelry making? I started making jewelry about 11 years ago — I can’t believe it’s been that long. I started out designing slightly Victorian pieces because I had Victorian costumes and needed something to go with them. Nobody was making that kind of stuff, so I made my own. Now, I use mostly metal and wire. I like using wire to form things. You can be bold and very graphic or you can be quiet and subtle. I’m pretty much self-taught, but I’ve always made things. I come from a family of makers: my dad was an artist and my mom sewed. We’ve just always done things like that. I learn really well from reading and have a huge library, not just about jewelry making techniques, but also the history of jewelry, the history of gemstones, their meanings, where they’re found, those sort of things. I became kind of entranced by all of that. It’s become a passion. And your history

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