Amada Cruz Named Phoenix Art Museum Director

Categories: News, Visual Art

Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum
Amada Cruz will replace Jim Ballinger at Phoenix Art Museum.

Amada Cruz will be Phoenix Art Museum's new director, the museum's board of trustees announced in a press release on Monday, November 17.

Cruz will take on the role on February 1, 2015, replacing longtime director James Ballinger, who announced in April 2014 his intention to retire after nearly 40 years with the museum.

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40Owls Pop-up Gallery in Phoenix Presents Fortoul Brothers' Polished Primitivism

Categories: Review, Visual Art

Lynn Trimble
Opening reception for "Fortoul Brothers: Solo Exhibition" in Phoenix.
Before seeing the solo Fortoul Brothers exhibition inside a pop-up gallery in Phoenix, we never wondered what a cosmic stew of Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, and Steve Jobs might look like. But now we think we know, thanks to Friday, November 14's opening reception for a seamless mix of art with commerce best described as "polished primitivism."

It's the work of artist Isaac Fortoul and his older brother Gabriel, who wears both manager and curator hats. They describe themselves as "two Columbian brothers born and raised in the outskirts of New York City." Think Union City, New Jersey. For a time they lived in Phoenix, but it's been seven years since they exhibited works here.

In the interim, they've shown work in and beyond NYC, and established a "nomadic gallery" that takes art and merchandise on the road. They dubbed it 40Owls, playing with the phonetic pronunciation of their last name. By removing the space between the digit and the letter "O" that follows, they've mirrored the infinity symbol that's a common thread woven within much of their work.

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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Categories: Events

Sean Deckert
Catch "Cultural Savant" in Scottsdale.

"Cultural Savant: The Art and Collections of Joe Willie Smith"

Some might call him a scavenger, others a "picker." The Valley prefers to think of Joe Willie Smith is an artist -- albeit an unconventional one. The local talent has participated in Art Detour and events throughout downtown Phoenix, and brings a new fall gallery show to Scottsdale.

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10 Best Jewelers in Metro Phoenix

Katie Johnson
Schmitt Jewelers
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but far be it from us to turn down the rest of the precious stone posse. From engagement rings to gauges and watches to one-of-a-kind pendants, the Valley of the Sun has its fair share of razzle dazzle. Whether you're shopping for someone special or looking for a reason to treat yo self, here are 10 metro Phoenix jewelers worth visiting.

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Dapper Press Brings 21st Century Ease, Whimsy to the Self-Publishing World

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy of Dapper Press
Steven Luna is the Phoenix-based portion of Dapper Press.
Writing a book is relatively easy, right? You come up with a beginning, a middle, and an end. You add in some characters, maybe a plot twist or two to keep your readers on the edge of their seats. Slap a catchy title on the front, and you're done. Okay, maybe that's simplifying things a bit. But compared to getting your novel published, which can involve a long series of hoops to jump through just to ultimately result in nothing, writing the thing can seem like a piece of cake.

Sounds rough, but it's reality. That is, if you go the traditional publishing route. Enter Steve Luna and Clayton Smith, whose Dapper Press, launching December 1, will act as your 21st-century, completely digital guide through the seemingly daunting world of self-publishing, turning final drafts into novels that can stand "shoulder-to-shoulder," as Luna says, with those traditionally published books.

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"Materialize" Exhibit at Shemer Art Center Explores Art, 3D Technology Intersection

Categories: Review, Visual Art

Lynn Trimble
Stacking Bull by David Van Ness, a work made with silica filled resin, is part of "Materialize" at Shemer Art Center in Phoenix.
Man versus machine. To many, it's a theoretical battle best enjoyed via books or big screen. For artists, it cuts to the very nature of their craft. How do the tools artists use shape their ideas, process, and finished product?

It's an intriguing question posed with full force in the "Materialize: 3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping" exhibition at Shemer Art Center in Phoenix, which includes diverse works created using a variety of 3D technologies.

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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Categories: Events

Courtesy of 40Owls
Many by Isaac Fortoul will be on view at the 40Owls pop-up.

"Fortoul Brothers Solo Exhibition"

Between appearances in magazines around the globe, art auctions abroad, and exhibitions across the country, including the upcoming Art Basel in Miami, Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul are finding themselves more and more in the cultural spotlight. Hard to believe that it was only 2002 when these two brothers left their home of Union City, New Jersey, to pursue their creative endeavors in Phoenix, Arizona, of all places.

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It's Our All Daily Show Week with Foxcatcher and Rosewater

Categories: Film and TV


It's a special The Daily Show edition of the Voice Film Club podcast, as we talk about Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher (starring Steve Carell) and move onto Rosewater, the movie Jon Stewart left The Daily Show for three months in 2013 to direct. Both are in theaters starting November 14.

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The 10 Worst Things to Do on a Road Trip

Categories: Fun, Travel

William Warby / Flickr
Few things are more relaxing than the open road, unless there's a needy passenger constantly vying for your attention.

"Let's take a road trip!"

It always sounds like a good idea when you say it, but a couple hours into the drive, you inevitably end up hating at least one of the people you're in the car with.

The truth is, whether it's 10 minutes in the car or 10 hours, there are certain things that are really going to frustrate whoever is driving (and probably other people in the car with you). You might not hear about them during the trip for the sake of keeping the peace, but when you're suddenly in an argument when you finally get out of the car, it was probably something you did.

Here are 10 of the most annoying things you can possibly do in the car.

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"Vanitas" Exhibition Explores Love and Death at Phoenix Art Museum

Categories: Review, Visual Art

Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum
Joel-Peter Witkin Teatro di Morte (Threatre of Death), 1989 gelatin silver print-toned Overall: 20 x 16 in (50.8 x 40.6 cm) Collection Stéphane Janssen
We're fortunate in metro Phoenix to feel the rich influence of Latin arts and culture not only during Dia de los Muertos celebrations, but year-round as well. Local artists including Lalo Cota infuse their work with skulls and other familiar symbols for death.

In a world divided by geography and ideology, our only commonality is the certainty of death. It's a shared human experience reflected in artworks dubbed "vanitas," a Latin term translated as "vanity." The genre has special appeal for Belgian art collector Stéphane Janssen, who lives in Arizona.

His gifts to the Phoenix Art Museum and ASU Art Museum, which are substantial, include Viola Frey's glazed ceramic "Nude Man" sculpture. It sits near the stairwell you'll descend to explore Phoenix Art Museum's new exhibition titled "Vanitas: Contemporary Reflections on Love & Death from the Collection of Stéphane Janssen."

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