Artist Cecil Balmond to Design New Shade Structure at Mesa Arts Center

Categories: News, Visual Art

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Courtesy of Cecil Balmond and Mesa Contemporary Arts
Balmond's new design will provide more shade while complementing existing designs at MAC
Ten years old might sound way too young to have a facelift, but it isn't if you're Mesa Arts Center. This week, MAC announced that internationally renowned artist and designer Cecil Balmond has been selected to create a shade structure that will connect the Mesa Arts Center's North Plaza with Main Street in downtown Mesa.


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AriZoni Theatre Award Nominees Announced

Categories: Morning Buzz

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Courtesy of Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix Theatre's Ruthless! has nine nominations in the 2014 AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence.
The 2013-14 theater season may be over but the rounds of applause are just getting started.

On Monday, July 28, the nominees for the 2013-14 AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence were announced at Phoenix Theatre with numerous categories ranging from the overall production of contracted and non-contracted plays to original music composition in an adult and youth play or musical.


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Melissa Dunmore of Phoenix's Mujeres del Sol: 100 Creatives

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Courtesy of Melissa Dunmore
Meet the creative.

Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 40. Melissa Dunmore.

"I am always working on something whether it's a poem, a narrative, a bracelet, a recipe," Melissa Dunmore says.

The 24-year-old Phoenix poet, performer, and writer is a member of Mujeres del Sol, an arts collective of women and girls, and works in social justice and youth development. Her many interests mean there's never nothing to do. "I love to cross everything off my To-Do List, and regularly have about a dozen tabs open on my Mac, reading article after article, and books -- always a book," she says of her day-to-day schedule. "If I can get to the library I am happy."

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UFC Is Coming to US Airways Center

Categories: Events, Sports

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Mark Richardson/Flickr
And it'll look something like this.

UFC, the premier organization for mixed martial arts, is hosting its first-ever event in Arizona on Saturday, December 13 at the US Airways Center. It will be broadcast internationally as the UFC's 13th event on Fox.

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Mark Walters of Tempe's Living Canvas Tattoos on His One Tattoo Regret

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Josh Chesler
Mark Walters is one of the most highly regarded Japanese-style tattoo artists in Metro Phoenix.

Mark Walters is just another victim of the evil subject known as math.

The owner and one of the artists at Living Canvas Tattoos in Tempe didn't intend to go into tattooing, he wanted to work with his dad as an architect, but he always found himself struggling with the numbers side of the architecture business. When he began his first apprenticeship in 1987, Walters, 44, says people's views on tattoos were quite a bit different than they are today.

"It wasn't the cool thing, having tattoos or being an artist. I think celebrities, athletes, public personas getting tattoos really changed how people look at them," Walters says. "I used to go places and people would be like 'Holy shit!' because of my sleeves, now if you go somewhere and you don't have sleeves, people are surprised."


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Frances Announces Fall Craft Workshops in Central Phoenix

Categories: Crafts, Events

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Courtesy of Frances
The popular boutique continues its monthly workshop series this fall.

Frances, oft-heralded one of central Phoenix's best boutiques, continues its popular hands-on craft series this fall. Taught by local talent, the monthly workshops, which in the past have ranged from terrarium building to jewelry making to cocktail creation, are designed with both the craft capable and novices in mind.

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Actors Theatre Phoenix Announces 2014-15 Season at Black Theatre Troupe's Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center

Categories: Morning Buzz

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John Groseclose
Actors Katie McFadzen and Maria Amorocho in the Actors Theatre production of Good People.
Looks like Actors Theatre's couch-surfing days are officially over (for now, anyways). The local theater troupe, which spent its 2013-14 season bouncing around between different Valley venues, announced in a press release on Friday, July 25, that not only would it premièring four new plays during the 2014-15 season, three of which are written by female playwrights, but also that all performances would be consistently staged at Black Theatre Troupe's Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center.


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Scottsdale Concrete Artist Brandon Boetto: 100 Creatives

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Courtesy of Brandon Boetto
Meet the concrete artist.

Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 41. Brandon Boetto.

Brandon Boetto's in transition.

The Old Town Scottsdale-based concrete artist is in the midst of building a new office and showroom space for Slabhaus, his custom concrete company that specializes in sinks, tables, and furniture among other home décor items. While Boetto hasn't revealed many hard details about the fresh setup, he does estimate that the new spot will be finished up in about a month. For now, that means working at coffee shops to handle business logistics in the morning and then heading to the workshop to continue projects -- like the two conference tables he's currently working on for local architecture firms.

"From there, each and every moment of my day is filled with the sounds of saws, concrete mixers, loud music and lots of dust," Boetto says. "I'll eat dinner somewhere in that mix and then head back to the shop to continue working into the night."

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Women in Cosplay: The Heroic Task of Putting Up With Other People's Opinions at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Categories: Comics, Geekery

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Heather Hoch
Who's really the scantily-clad one here?
Ladies, the time of female cosplay is here, and it's a great thing. If you're looking to inject a little escapism into your day-to-day grind, dressing up as your favorite superhero and stomping around a convention like you own the place is the way to go. All rude comments and creepy dudes aside, the experience is overall positive as attitudes in the nerd community shift to include women more and more. For me, San Diego Comic-Con 2014 was more about checking out amazing cosplay than it was getting a posted signed by the Vampire Diaries cast.


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Filmmaker Joe Biel Wants to Share Portland's Cycling Success With Phoenix

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Image courtesy of Joe Biel
Aftermass screens this Tuesday at FilmBar

Over the past 18-plus years, Joe Biel has become a DIY archetype. Through hundreds of books and zines with his Microcosm Publishing house, dozens of self-made films, and international "Dinner and Bikes" tours, Biel has invested his entire life in the promotion of underground and alternative culture.

For his latest project, screening at FilmBar in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday, July 29, Biel has created Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland. The feature-length documentary aims to capture the cycling-activist zeitgeist by turning the lens onto the most bicycle-friendly city in the United States, showing how residents worked on the ground through events and actions such as the now-international monthly Critical Mass ride to produce the pedaling mecca Portland is known as today.


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