Posts Tagged ‘University of Arizona’

  • Chasing the sublime: Russell Johnson learns, relearns, and re-relearns to paint, see

    Oct 2, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio7,232 CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon The route looked safe enough, but it almost killed him. Russell Johnson was hiking the Grand Canyon with a friend in 2001 when he detoured under an overhang. “I took a step and there was this sheer drop off. Rocks went tumbling into the water,” Johnson said. “It was scary. There was nothing beautiful about it in that moment.” But there was a singularity that arrested his attention. He didn’t know it then, but that was something he needed to evoke in his landscape paintings. That moment has since become a touchstone. “It’s close to what’s called ‘the sublime,’” Johnson said. “I’m trying to transport you to an experience or a place in my paintings. Often, those places are beautiful, too, but I’m trying to balance that place and that moment.” Johnson’s paintings are a dynamic, refreshing beacon in an otherwise crowded field of Western landscapes. Refining that style, however, has a been a journey that’s been neither singular nor entirely linear. “For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I was trying to articulate with my artwork,” Johnson said. “I needed some purpose and contextual background for what I was doing. … I needed some help.”   Outside pursuits Growing up in Prescott, a middle child among 10, Johnson had two favorite places — his room and the great outdoors. “I was able to get lost

  • Set in Stone: Lesley McKeown fashions scientific specimens into refined finery

    Feb 6, 15 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio5,847 CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon It started with a fish, tens of millions of years ago, probably in what’s now Green River, Wyoming. The fish lived. The fish died. For whatever reason, it didn’t float. Instead, it was buried at the bottom of a lake or stream bed, away from scavengers, slow to decay. And it was buried deeper and deeper and put under increasing pressure. As the years (and years (and years)) passed, fluids seeped through the compressed fish slowly replacing organic material with sediment. Then, in the 21st century, it was unearthed as fossil-bearing limestone. It found its way to Arizona via lapidary Keith Horst, who shaped it and prepared it for a new incarnation. Prescott-based artist Lesley Aine McKeown discovered and purchased the fish from Horst. Drawing on three decades of jewelry work, McKeown recontextualized the specimen into a necklace, balancing the piece with a gold accent. She posted the resultant pendant on The Ganoskin Project, a jewelry resource and networking website, where it was discovered by the curators of the 2015 ArtiStar Exhibition. Now — thanks to McKeown’s artistry — that fish-come-jewelry has been flown to Milan, Italy, where it’s on display until September, at which time it’s slated to make its debut on the runway at Milan Fashion Week. Not so bad a fate for a fossilized fish, ehh?   Jeweler’s eye McKeown has called Prescott home

  • Rusty gates & falling leaves: The science of decay

    Aug 30, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Guide17 CommentsRead More »

    You say decay like it’s a bad thing. Just about every organic thing that’s ever been or will ever be undergoes decomposition — even you. So why revile it? Why, excuse the pun, refuse it? Sure, it’s convenient to harangue a process that literally describes and metaphorically refers to the decline and diminishing of a stable entity. But, at its core, decay is a process of transformation by which the very components of life are repurposed and reincarnated. Like most things in life (and death), it’s a matter of perspective. If you need an attitude adjustment on the subject of decay, science has you covered. The factoids sprinkled throughout this guide are the results of genuine, bona fide scientific research. They have, however, been simplified to ease consumption by the casual reader (and to ease writing by the casual writer). If you’ve got a question about this or that datum, it’s up to you to crawl the Interwebs in search of an answer. Or open a book, assuming you can find one that’s not passed its shelf life. You experience the world through sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Why not submit those five senses to the inexorable march of time to better understand decomposition?   Sight Every year, as temperatures drop and the weather turns, deciduous trees loose and lose their leaves. Elementary (and elementary school) science tells us

  • Bloom & boom: The science of spring

    Mar 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Guide7,186 CommentsRead More »

    Spring has sprung, or, rather, will spring in Prescott this month. Well, maybe. It all depends on your  perspective. If you’re a devotee of the Gregorian calendar, spring starts with the vernal equinox, Wednesday, 2013-03-20, as the center of the sun passes over the equator. That’s the date there’s supposed to be equal day and night, although the curvature of the earth and atmospheric conditions favor solar supremacy. If you’re a meteorologist, spring starts Friday, 2013-03-01 — the first day of a three-month cycle. That’s also related to the Gregorian calendar, which has its roots in the Catholic Church. It appears all that smoke blowing contributes to more than just global warming. Speaking of warmth, days should start getting hotter, but more nighttime freezes can kill plants, which is why many wait to bloom. Whatever your affiliation, the inexorable march of spring signals the same things. Days are getting longer, animals are giving birth, rivers are flooding, and plants are budding. It’s a time for growth and rejuvenation. Like to add some o’ that springtime springiness to your step? Science has your covered. The following ideas draw on scientific data and studies. The technicalities have been omitted for the sake of readability (and entertainment), except where they haven’t been (for the sake of readability (and entertainment)). With a little ingenuity, you can put these tips, tricks and nuggets of qualified-truth

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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