Tag Archives: PAM

Designers & Diamondbacks

When summer temperatures soar, it’s nice to have indoor options for enjoying arts and culture. I spent some time Thursday experiencing online galleries of Phoenix Art Museum offerings — mostly from their collection of fine fashion.

I found an exceptional black leather jacket — listed as a “Perfecto ‘One Star’ Jacket,” early 1960s. A “Daytime Ensemble” from 1937, which includes a dress, dicky, belt, cap and hat. And an “American Red Cross Hospital and Camp Services Uniform” from 1941-1945. Even a bright pink “Bullfighter’s Costume” from the 1950s.

Why sport a leather jacket when you can rock a Diamondbacks jacket?

I chose the fashion collection after learning of a back-to-school clothing drive being held in conjunction with the 82nd Major League Baseball “Midsummer Classic” in Phoenix . It’s a Bank of America endeavor and you have until Monday, July 11, to participate by donating back-to-school clothing or school supplies to students in need.

While they might be thrilled with a black leather jacket, Valley temperatures make jeans and T-shirts a more practical choice — but any type of school-appropriate clothing is welcome. Just promise me you won’t donate a dicky. No one born after 1970 even knows what that is — with good reason.

You can drop other clothing and school supplies off at any of 120 Bank of America sites. Think child-safe metal or plastic scissors, crayons (24 count), #2 pencils, colored pencils, 12-inch wood or plastic rulers, glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, rubber erasers and spiral bound/single subject notebooks.

Bank of America expects that it’ll take more than 1,000 volunteer hours to collect, package and distribute the clothing and supplies folks drop-off at their baseball- theme collection boxes.

This year’s volunteers include 2010 MLB All-Star Chris Young, five-time MLB All-Star Luis Gonzalez and Jennie Finch, who was part of the gold medal-winning softball team at the 2004 Olympics.

Once you've donated school supplies for kids in need, visit the MLB shop online and treat your own kids to some nifty Diamondbacks gear

Dress your kids up in their baseball garb and give them a friendly reminder about the importance of giving back — then head to a participating Bank of America with a donation they’ve helped you select and purchase.

Bank of America, by the way, is the “official bank of Major League Baseball.” They’re also significant supporters of arts and culture — supporting museums, art restoration and much more.

Their back-to-school clothing and supplies drive supports the work of an Arizona organization called “Back to School Clothing Drive,” which was founded in 1967 — just one year later than Campbell Soup introduced the “Pop Art Souper Dress” you’ll find on the Phoenix Art Museum website. Pity we can’t donate that puppy.

— Lynn

Note: The MLB Diamondbacks shop online is offering specials on qualifying purchases through July 7 — so you can still take advantage of these savings if you were clever enough to read this post as soon as it was published! Items pictured above are from their website.

Coming up: Baseball art at Mesa’s Arizona Museum for Youth, Movie musings: “Midnight in Paris”

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Finding Frida

The “Modern Mexican Painting” exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum features 80 paintings, 45 artists and 7 themes — including urban artists, surrealism and more. The works were created between 1910 and 1950 by artists that include Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and Jose Clemente Orozco.

This Miramax film will be shown Sunday at the Phoenix Art Museum

A work by Frida Kahlo is part of the museum’s permanent collection, and folks interested in Kahlo’s work can attend a free screening of the Miramax film titled “Frida” at 1pm on Sun, July 10 (space is limited and the film has an “R” rating). “Frida” is directed by Julie Taymor, best known to some for her work on Broadway. Think “The Lion King,” “The Green Bird,” and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” The film has an impressive cast, and you can click here for details about the film’s development.

A local theater company called Teatro Bravo is opening a play titled “Frida Kahlo” on Sept 23 at Playhouse-on-the-Park (located in the Viad Building just across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum).

Teatro Bravo describes the work as a “vivid theatrical experience” that “tells the story of the pain and passion of one of the most original women ever to have lived.”

It explores her “complex relationship with prominent painter Diego Rivera” as well as her “controversial affair with Leon Trotsky” and her “provocative romantic entanglements with women.”

Erica Alexandria Mathlin stars in the Teatro Bravo production of Frida Kahlo

Director Israel Jimenez, who acts with Childsplay in Tempe and teaches at Arizona School for the Arts in Phoenix, says he’s long admired the work of both Teatro Bravo and actor Erica Mathlin, who will play Frida as a teen through the age of 47.

Jimenez describes Mathlin as “incredibly talented” but says “this is not an easy role.” Erica has the task, he says, of portraying one of history’s most “iconic, revolutionary and original women” during “the most high-stakes moments of her life.”

“As an artist,” muses Jimenez, “it is not difficult to relate to Frida’s passion for self-expression.” Jimenez, who was born in Mexico City, says the play has “given me the chance to reconnect with my Mexican culture.” He’s enjoying explorations of Mexican traditions, history and art.

Teatro Bravo presents the play Frida Kahlo for just seven dates this fall

So what has he discovered about Kahlo? “Frida had great mystery to her,” reflects Jimenez. “She was a magician when it came to illusions. The way she dressed, the way she wrote in her diary, and of course her art — she always left you wondering what secrets lay underneath.”

“I am always surprised,” adds Jimenez, “at just how much this woman was able to do in the face of such painful obstacles.” Jimenez notes that much of Kahlo’s work was highly disturbing. “She painted images of herself and others in their broken, bloody and explicity painful form.”

Still, he finds “power and strength” in her work. “Unlike most popular artists of the time,” observes Jimenez, “Frida painted the hidden parts of her consciousness with remarkable visceral imagery.”

Explore this book by Margaret Frith if your family enjoys illustrations by Tomie dePaola

Jimenez says he admires Kahlo’s passion. “Whether it was for politics, for expression, or for love and acceptance,” reflects Jimenez, “she had an undying will for life.” All this despite the fact that “death haunted her from a very young age.”

Time spent with Kahlo’s story has inspired Jimenez to allow his voice to be heard “without hesitation” — even “when the road brings heartbreak and pain.” He shares that as a director he wants to “portray a side of Frida that is much more personal and intimate than what people have seen before.”

Though Jimenez says the production is most appropriate for “mature audiences,” he notes that “Frida is an incredible inspiration for young audiences.” Jimenez says he “wouldn’t hesitate” to bring younger theater-goers, especially those who enjoy theatrical elements like puppetry and mask work, along.

Phoenix Art Museum and Teatro Bravo offer rich opportunities to learn more about Latino arts and culture. And as Jimenez appears to have discovered for himself, time spent “finding Frida” is a lovely exercise in finding oneself.

— Lynn

Note: “Frida Kahlo” was written by Ruben Amavizca-Murua, with English translation by Liane Schirmer and Eve Muller. It’s being presented as part of the CALA Arts Festival with support from the CALA Alliance.

Coming up: Art meets bullying prevention

The week’s hidden art treasures

The week’s most heralded events are often splashed across our local newspapers and noted during television newscasts.

This week they include “Cirque Dreams Illumination” at the Mesa Arts Center and the opening of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” produced by Arizona Theatre Company — the first a family-friendly event and the second a “mature themes and language” piece.

World music recording artist Scott Schaefer plays didgeridoo, flute and more this Saturday at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior.

Dozens of kid-friendly activities, arts-related and otherwise, are always available online via the Raising Arizona Kids magazine online calendar (there’s a print calendar in each monthly magazine too).

So what I’ll feature here (and at the beginning of each week) are things you might not have discovered yet — including visual and performing arts presented by Valley schools and other organizations.

Enjoy "The Nutcracker Sweet Tea" event with Ballet Etudes at the Wright House in Mesa this Saturday

Some, like the musical “Urinetown” opening Thursday at Paradise Valley Community College, are best for the mature teen and adult set.

Others, like the Ballet Etudes “Nutcracker Sweet Tea” this weekend, are fun for all ages.

The Phoenix Art Museum presents a children’s event (for ages 5-12 with their adult companions) titled  “Define Your Style!” on Sat, Nov 13, from noon-3pm. After touring the “Extending the Runway” fashion collection on exhibit at the PAM, kids will design their own “artistic attire” and use found objects to create a cigar box purse or secret treasure box.

Three of Arizona’s charter schools specializing in the arts present student performance art this week.

Tonight (Mon, Nov 8 ), you can enjoy the chamber singers and concert choir from Arizona School for the Arts performing a 7pm concert at Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix.

Metropolitan Arts Institute presents an Arizona theater premiere in downtown Phoenix Nov 11-13

Metropolitan Arts Institute presents its fall theater production, the Arizona premiere of “Little Brother,” Nov 11-13 at the Playhouse on the Park in Phoenix.

New School for the Arts and Academics presents a dance performance Nov 12 & 13, and I’ll share more details as I learn them.

Another dance option for Nov 12 & 13 is the “SMCC Dance Concert” at the South Mountain Community College Performance Hall — which features dance performance by SMCC students, local high schools and area dance companies.

Music lovers can head to Superior for the Boyce Thompson Arboretum “Live Music Festival” from 11am-5pm on Sat, Nov 13. The event features frontier ballads, Midwestern humor, world music and “olde-time Americana” by the Close Enough String Band. 

Finally, in conjunction with the Phoenix Symphony’s “Rediscovered Masters” series featuring music of composers stifled or silenced during the Holocaust, you can hear a presentation on “The Jews of Central Europe” either Wed, Nov 10, at Temple Beth Isreal or Thurs, Nov 11, at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.

PVCC presents a musical with a social justice theme and one of my favorite love songs

If I’ve overlooked a hidden treasure being exhibited or performed by your organization or venue this week, feel free to share event details in a brief comment below.

And watch for weekly rundowns in future posts — which will replace my Friday arts roundups.

That way I can share both weekday and weekend events to inspire more arts adventures with family and friends.

— Lynn

ASU remounts "And What She Found There" this Tuesday night only

Update: Just heard from ASU about a one-time only remount of a work titled “And What She Found There” taking place Tues, Nov 9 at 7pm at the ASU Lyceum Theatre in Tempe. Info at www.mainstage.asu.edu or 480-965-6447.

Note: Always call ahead to check event details — including location, date/time, ticketing requirements, age guidelines and such.

Coming up: Recent adventures with the Arizona Opera, Playing for Change, the Heard Museum North Scottsdale and the Arizona Science Center; “Hairspray” meets Childsplay?