Phoenix Artist Joseph Shetler on Minimalism, James Turrell, and Mennonite Culture

Joseph Shetler standing in front of "Defining Ethos," his MFA Thesis Exhibition in Drawing.

What happens in the studio, shouldn't always stay in the studio. Studio Visit is a weekly series that profiles artists in their studios. Up today: Recent graduate from ASU's MFA Drawing program, Joseph Shetler.

Joseph Shetler, a 30-year old artist currently based in Phoenix, comes from a fairly diverse background. He was raised locally in a Mennonite family, worked in construction over his summer breaks from school, and held a position as a guard for a private art collection in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he presented his MFA Thesis Exhibition, "Defining Ethos," which ran in early of December 2014 at ASU's Step Gallery. For this current body of work, all of these defining characteristics, the artist's ethos, coalesce and inform the work itself. He walked us through his exhibition while it was still up and we chatted about the work back in his studio at Grant Street Studios.

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WWE Legend Mick Foley on Getting Disqualified from the Wing Bowl and Why He Treats Storytelling Like Wrestling

Courtesy of Standup Live
WWE Hall of Famer and storyteller Mick Foley.
Mick Foley lives for entertaining a crowd, and it's something he's been doing for most of his life.

For almost three decades, the now-retired pro wrestler was a star of the ring in the WWE and other notable promotions. He also has been a best-selling author, made several appearances on Comedy Central's The Daily Show (sometimes as the program's "resident ass-kicker") and even shown up in a College Humor video. These days, Foley tours the world as a storyteller, appearing in comedy clubs and other venues and sharing his oftentimes humorous and captivating tales of his wrestling career and other misadventures.

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Wendy Whelan Brings Restless Creature to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Categories: Dance, Interviews

Christopher Duggan
Wendy Whalen, dancing here with Joshua Beamish, brings Restless Creature to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on February 3.
After retiring from New York City Ballet last October, Wendy Whelan had no intention of curtailing the physical and intellectual movement that's been the hallmark of her esteemed career. Instead, the ballerina with a gift for contemporary dance turned her considerable energy and insatiable curiosity towards developing new collaborative projects and creating the Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative.

Whelan started by engaging four dancer-choreographers in creating a suite of four duets dubbed Restless Creature, a name that clearly reflects the dancer's own spirit of artistic adventure. Each choreographer dances the duet he created, with Whelan, as part of the innovative suite, which premièred at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in 2013.

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Jim Norton on Sharing Perverted Personal Stories and "Bonding" with Audiences

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Courtesy of Jim Norton
Jim Norton will be at Tempe Improv for four shows on Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31.

If you're easily offended, you might want to stay away from the Tempe Improv on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you're not, then you'll be able to see comedian Jim Norton do some new, topical material this weekend.

"If you're offended by Bill Cosby rape jokes or strap-on stories, or if you're politically correct, you're not going to like it," Norton says. "I think every man should have a good strap-on story, and I've always been very self-revealing on stage and very open about my disastrous sexual life."

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Josh Duffy on Opening a Tattoo Shop in Glendale and How Reality TV Impacts Longtime Tattooers

Courtesy of Craig Cummins
When he's not doing top-notch realism tattoos, Duffy also does murals, sings, and plays both guitar and piano.

Josh Duffy has always been fascinated by tattoos. From the moment he got his first tattoo at the age of 21, he knew it was what he wanted to do for a living.

Fast forward to present day, and Duffy has moved out of the slums of Los Angeles to being on the brink of opening up his own tattoo shop, Black Castle Art Co., in the Valley of the Sun.

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Jim Gaffigan on Charlie Hebdo and the Comedic Allure of Fancy High-End Wristwatches

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Riester Advertising Agency
Jim Gaffigan is coming to Talking Stick Resort January 29 through 31.

Comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has a lot on his plate (that's only sort of a food joke). Somehow between guest-hosting The Late Late Show, publishing his latest book, Food: a Love Story,, and raising five children, he managed to squeeze in a few minutes to speak with Jackalope Ranch by phone prior to his upcoming performances at Talking Stick Resort. Here's what he had to say.

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Marissa Meyer on the Lunar Chronicles, NaNoWriMo, and Why She Loves YA Books

Julia Scott
Marissa Meyer will bring her Lunar Chronicles world to Phoenix during the Lunar Ball on February 2.
For author Marissa Meyer, it all started with Sailor Moon. Through that lunar soldier, she found a spark within herself that eventually ignited into a passion for writing young-adult fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.

With the release of Fairest: Levana's Story, her newest installment in the New York Times bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Meyer returns to Changing Hands on Monday, February 2, for a Lunar Ball complete with costumes, dancing, and of course a talk and book signing with Meyer.

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Bridget Whitman on Being a So You Think You Can Dance Finalist and Growing up in Tempe

Categories: Dance, Interviews

Courtesy of Fox So You Think You Can Dance
Bridget Whitman of So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 trained at Tempe Dance Academy.
When the top 10 finalists from Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance hit the stage at Comerica Theatre on Sunday, January 25, Tempe-born Bridget Whitman will be among them -- performing not only for fans of Fox's hit TV show, but also friends, family, and fellow dancers from her metro Phoenix days.

Raised in Tempe and Chandler, Whitman left Arizona in 2012 to attend The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she majors in dance and expects to complete her BFA degree in May of 2016.

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Gina Gionfriddo on Having It All, Pulitzer Prizes, and Rapture, Blister, Burn

The Huntington / Flickr
Two-time Pulitzer Prize Finalist Gina Gionfriddo.

Gina Gionfriddo is something of a playwriting dynamo. Her last two full-length plays, Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn, were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Her work goes far beyond the stage though; Gionfriddo wrote for Law and Order for several years, and more recently wrote an episode of the hit Netflix series House of Cards.

Theatre Artists Studio's production of Rapture, Blister, Burn opens this weekend. The play is a humorous glimpse at the friendship of two women -- one of whom chose to devote herself wholly to her career, while the other focused on having a family. We caught up with Gionfriddo to learn a little more.

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El Mac on His Latest Mural in Phoenix -- And Why It Almost Didn't Happen

Lynn Trimble
Artist El Mac, about 40 cans of spray paint into his newest collaborative mural in Phoenix.
We caught muralist El Mac in the act of art-making at The Heavy Pedal, 1309 E. Van Buren last week, working on his latest Phoenix mural. It's a collaboration between El Mac, Pablo Luna, and Mando Rascón that took a full week of steady work to execute. The results are stunning.

We're wondering how the folks who first commissioned the work will be feeling once they see it. Turns out, The Heavy Pedal team snagged the work for their east-facing wall only after the design's original commissioners decided it wasn't a good fit for their site.

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