Downtown Phoenix Hostel Announces New Residency Program

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Connor Descheemaker
ASU students participate in a daytime program at the Hostel

Fresh off her Big Brain award for Urban Vision, Mary Stephens and the Phoenix Youth Hostel and Cultural Center have already put their prize to good use.

Using its Big Brain winnings as a foundation, the Garfield Neighborhood hostel last week announced its newest initiative, an artist residency program offering housing, production assistance, and monetary support to artists in all media looking to visit Arizona from across the world.

Following the Hostel's addition of "Cultural Center" to its name a year-and-a-half ago, the converted historic home has become a hub for cultural events incorporating theater, poetry, live music, and more, all tied back to the idea of creating a substantive dialogue about politics and social justice in Phoenix.

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2014 Big Brain Award Winners Announced

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We are proud to present the recipients of the New Times' 2014 Big Brain Awards.

The five winners were announced and each received $500 to further their creative endeavors at Artopia on Friday, April 25, at Bentley Projects.

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Lisa Sette: 2014 Urban Legend Award, Visual Art

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Andrew Pielage
Lisa Sette shows the raw space that will soon house her gallery.
In honor of the fifth annual Big Brain Awards, New Times is recognizing five Urban Legends, established creative pioneers who have made Phoenix a better, cooler place.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will profile the legends. Up today: Lisa Sette, Visual Art.

From its earliest days, Lisa Sette Gallery has always been a grown-up -- even when its proprietor and namesake was still a kid.


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2014 Big Brain Award Winners to Be Announced at Artopia Friday, April 25 (VIDEO)

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Get ready to mix and mingle with some of the Valley's most compelling up-and-coming creatives in the fields of performing art, culinary art, visual art, design, and urban vision at New Times' Artopia on Friday, April 25, at Bentley Projects.

Those creatives? They're the 2014 Big Brain Award finalists. We've been profiling them here on Jackalope Ranch and on our sister blog, Chow Bella, over the past few weeks.

At Artopia we'll announce the five winners who will go home with $500 each to support their creative endeavors. Of course, we have a few more things planned for the annual evening of art, food, cocktails, and entertainment.

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Mookesh Patel: 2014 Urban Legend Award, Design

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Janessa Hilliard
Mookesh Patel, associate professor in the Department of Visual Communication Design at Arizona State University.
In honor of the fifth annual Big Brain Awards, New Times is recognizing five Urban Legends, established creative pioneers who have made Phoenix a better, cooler place.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will profile the legends. Up today: Mookesh Patel.

When Mookesh Patel was growing up in India, a career in graphic design was unheard of. There were only three choices when it came to work for young men.

"Medicine, medicine, medicine," he says with a laugh.


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Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona: 2014 Urban Legend Award, Urban Vision

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Evie Carpenter
Kimber Lanning stands in the doorway of Stinkweeds.
In honor of the fifth annual Big Brain Awards, New Times is recognizing five Urban Legends, established creative pioneers who have made Phoenix a better, cooler place.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will profile the legends. Up today: Kimber Lanning, who is receiving the award for Urban Vision.

Kimber Lanning has always looked at Phoenix through rose-colored glasses. And that is a very good thing. From her earliest days as a record store owner, Lanning wanted more for this place, looking to the urban core while others focused on strip malls and little pink houses stretching past the city's limits.

But that doesn't mean Lanning hasn't stretched -- particularly when it comes to bringing her urban vision into sharp focus. In her early 20s, she says, she got sick of driving to LA to see her favorite bands. So she decided to figure out how to get them to come here.

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Meet Phoenix's 2014 Big Brain Award Finalists

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Scott Biersack
The Big Brains are here.

We've profiled the 15 up-and-coming creatives who are finalists in the categories of performing art, culinary art, visual art, design, and urban vision.

We'll announce the five winners (one in each category) at Artopia, an evening of food, drink, and art, at Bentley Projects on Friday, April 25. Tickets are available now

In the meantime, meet your 2014 Big Brain Award finalists.


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Kristopher Pourzal: 2014 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Performing Art (VIDEO)

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Janessa Hilliard
Kristopher Pourzal, a dance student at ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives, and the results are in. Introducing our 2014 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella will introduce the finalists. Up today: Kristopher Pourzal.

Kristopher Pourzal has an expressive personality. He talks with his hands, deliberate motions to illustrate his stories while gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Nelson Fine Arts Center. The large practice room is empty, save for a grand piano and a handful of chairs lined against the wall where Pourzal sits, barefoot, dressed in light layers for optimal movement.

When he dances, which he will shortly, the room remains silent save for his sharp breathing. He stares ahead, always ahead, even while rolling on the floor. Even when his arms and legs seem to flail and move separately from his body. When he finishes, the space seems to deflate of energy. He walks the lengths of it, hands on his hips, and catches his breath.

When he dances, he says, "those are the moments when I understand why I'm here, in a meta sense."

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Ashley Weber of against the grain: 2014 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design (VIDEO)

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Becky Bartkowski
Ashley Weber sits in her small home studio.
You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives, and the results are in. Introducing our 2014 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella will introduce the finalists. Up today: Ashley Weber.

Disembodied dragonfly wings, gemstones by the handful, teeth, and a variety of flora top the tables and fill the many tiny drawers in designer Ashley Weber's home studio.

The small space is jam-packed with baubles in various stages of completion and tools including dowels and a variety of colorful pliers that would look at home next to a dentist chair.

Despite the methodical laboratory vibe, the jewelry she makes for her company, against the grain, is inspired by the outdoors.


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Daniel Mills: 2014 Big Brain Award Finalist, Urban Vision (VIDEO)

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Katrina Montgomery
Daniel Mills founded Sprawlr to reimagine Arizona
You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives, and the results are in. Introducing our 2014 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella will introduce the finalists. Up today: Daniel Mills.

Daniel Mills spends his time thinking about the big concepts: identity, sustainability, and place, to name a few. The 22-year-old ASU English department grad got his start as a blogger, covering the local art beat at www.phxtaco.com, but last fall he decided it was time to take his passion for telling stories to a new level. Thus, Sprawlr was born.


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