In several past articles I have discussed the potential of Phoenix’s art community, growing, adapting, taking risks, trying something weird and questioning the content of their work. Upon review, they seem to have laid the foundation for some so-called New Year’s Resolutions.
There is something about New Year’s Resolutions that doesn’t sit well with me. However, I get that it helps to have a single day in the year to pinpoint a moment of change and renewal. And for the arts community, it’s a time when we can collectively support each other in the concept of trying something new.
One thing that can tend to often linger in an artist’s mind is “What is next?” What’s the next project? What’s the next idea? Where is the next source of inspiration? (What is the next paid job?) Sometimes, we can find ourselves at a standstill and will lean back on familiar territory that has given reliable results but may, in the long run, not be entirely satisfying.
Instead of relying on these usual tactics, we can find artists from around the world creating incredible works that we never knew existed. A random internet search for something like “installation artist plants electronics” can locate a project on a plant city or real-time 3-D plant sculptures. When in a rut, finding works like these could inspire a new direction or, in the very least, open up our eyes to a vast world of creative people with complex ideas that are being put into action. I personally like to find new resources like Empty Kingdom, Hyperallergic or even something like Phoenix New Times’ (Claire Lawton’s) 100 Creatives to do some of the legwork for me and package it all in a nice, clean format.
Although a lot of people resolve to learn something new (a new language, how to fix their car, how to fingerprint someone) maybe, for the artist, the idea is to resolve to do something new.
Instead of just painting or photographing a different subject, the artist might resolve to create work using different materials and applying completely different rules. Or, completely break any rules about what is being created (this is our art and we can do whatever we want, right?) and don’t be concerned about whether or not it gains approval.
One resolution I’d like to see take place in the art community (and, well, anywhere) is to stop being concerned about whether what we’re doing fits in anywhere or makes sense to anyone. Even if a major component of creating artwork is communication, a person can’t communicate properly if she is always trying to figure out what the other person wants her to say.
This is the time and 2013 is the year – and all we have is now. There’s no better time than the new year to be clearer about what you’re doing and begin confusing the hell out of everyone else.
Guest contributor Cory Kincaid requests the community’s attendance at a City Council meeting where a liquor license application will be considered for the property on the southeast corner of Roosevelt and 7th Streets. The resources shared provide insight into the community’s position.
As you may know, Circle K is attempting to secure a liquor license for a proposed development of a 16-pump station on the Southeast corner of 7th St and Roosevelt. Impacted community organizations have spoken out in unified concern and opposition to this liquor license. This includes the Garfield Organization, Evans Churchill Community Association, Downtown Voices Coalition, Thunderdome Neighborhood Association, Roosevelt Row CDC, Concord Eastridge (developers of Roosevelt Point), Phoenix Community Alliance, St. Croix Homeowners Association and numerous other residents, property owners, and small businesses. The Artisan Village Board of Directors has also vigorously opposed this on behalf of our concerned homeowners.
A key City Council meeting is coming up this week and you can help in a very simple, but specific, way.
The City Council will making a recommendation either FOR or AGAINST state approval of the liquor license at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 19.
Circle K, concerned over the outpouring of community opposition, has begun pumping corporate money into a campaign they call “Friends of Circle K.” This lobbyist-run campaign has brought in people to canvass our neighborhoods, generated misleading marketing materials, and has offered free food, t-shirts and transportation to the upcoming city council meeting to anyone interested in an effort to give an appearance of community support.
Our community organizations do not have the resources to mount a costly corporate campaign. We are relying on the presence of our friends and neighbors like you at the Council meeting.
The most important action you can take is to attend, sign in using one of the green comment cards (I suggest you note “Opposed to the Circle K liquor license”), and stay through this agenda item. Filling out a card does not require you to speak.
Phoenix City Council Meeting
When: 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 19th
Where: City Council Chambers , 200 W. Washington (the small round building)
Please share this message with as many friends and neighbors as you can. We need to make it clear this is the wrong development in the wrong place in the wrong community.
If you would like additional information about why the community so stridently opposes this development, please refer to the below.
• Garfield Organization Implores “Save Our Downtown Neighborhood”
• ASU - A Multi-City Report on Crime and Disorder in Convenience Stores
• AZCentral study on the ASU study
• Garfield Neighborhood’s Urgent Bulletin (PDF download)
• Garfield Neighborhood’s Letter of Opposition (PDF download)
DPJ’s Bike Chic series by Nathan Simpson. You may see him around town scouting locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Name: Brian Kern
Occupation: Student/Research analyst
His Neighborhood: Garfield
Where Spotted: Jobot Coffee
What do you like about Downtown? The people. There are a lot of artistic people and people trying to do something different.
Where do you like to explore? I stick mostly to the 5th Street and Roosevelt area, but I love riding around Downtown when no one is out so I don’t have to worry about cars.
Why did you go car free? There is a lot of unnecessary stress in car ownership. I have spent less than $100 total in bike maintenance since I sold my car 9 months ago.
What is your typical biking ensemble? I don’t have anything I regularly wear for biking. It’s just whatever I am wearing that day. I do own cycling shoes but I rarely wear them.
Watch: Seiko diver’s
Hat: Portman Pacific wool 8 panel
Jeans: Unbranded Denim from Buffalo Exchange
Jacket: Levi slim fit trucker jacket from the Levi Outlet
His biking essentials:
Late 80s Bottecchia
Lots of water
Thorn proof tires
When it comes to gift-giving, artists have never been like other people. It’s a hit to your pride to shop at Macy’s for a sweater when you could (should) be at home, crafting up that perfect one-of-a-kind gesture.
If you have an artist friend, it is likely you will be given something unique. This can have something to do with several factors: (1) occasional bouts of “poorness;” (2) an overactive sense of “do-it-yourself-ness;” and (3) the simple fact that artists have a lot of crap they’ve made that is currently taking up space in their house/studio/shed/rented storage space/parent’s house.
The following is a handy guide to artist gift-buying, and yes, receiving.
The Giving Artist
Here are a few things you might find cleverly gift-wrapped, “just for you:”
A Piece of Old Art. An obvious choice. For those who aren’t artists, it might (literally) shock you to find out how many things an artist has made in her lifetime: sets of prints; small drawings: little crafted wooden boxes (this also applies to architects): glass or metal lamps from that time she went through that phase where she made lamps; or a framed (failed) photograph of a generic thing that will look good above your kitchen sink. If you have an artist friend and haven’t yet received something like this, just wait.
Handcrafted Utilitarian Object. I have, in the past, crocheted cup cozies and screen printed placemats. You may receive a lopsided ceramic bowl or a t-shirt imprinted with their “symbol.” This category could also include self-made objects like bookends, napkin rings, ashtrays, wind chimes, tote bags, clocks and anything made of felt. TIP: Remember to always have these objects out and put to good use next time your artist friend comes over.
Some honorary mentions include:
- Homemade food (When there are no more old artworks to give and your artist friend has run out of craft-making ideas, it’s always fun for her to pretend she’s a chef.)
- A plant
- A gift card to FilmBar
- A Phoenix Art Museum membership
- A Heard Museum membership
- A Desert Botanical Gardens membership
- A donation made in your name to Oxfam
- Booze (Case in point: I almost bought a bottle of Japanese whiskey because the packaging was so nice)
For the Artist who has…Not a Lot
Similarly, a little creative thinking can go a long way when buying for an artist friend. Here are a few gift ideas that will bring a bit of joy:
Booze. Not crappy booze but good booze: the kind that might cost more than $10 a bottle. I have never met an artist who doesn’t like to have a drink every now and then. Given the attention most artists give to subtlety and detail, they can be wowed with a gin that’s bubbled, not boiled; whiskey made in 1 gallon batches at a time; or just a well-designed bottle with a wax stamp and an interesting font. This tasteful booze will assist during the next period your artist friend is doubting her self worth and wondering why she labors over this stuff to begin with.
Health Insurance. An idea for those with extra cash. Most artists are self-employed or work part-time which means having to foot the bill for their own insurance. More often, it means going without while hoping the table saw doesn’t ricochet a piece of wood back into your head. While an artist may be morally conflicted by the generous gift of a cashmere sweater, she would greatly appreciate subsidized healthcare and affordable birth control.
Some runner-up options could include:
- A gift certificate for a massage
- A book on some obscure subject they once mentioned
- A gift card to a grocery store (Handy during those “poorness” bouts.)
- Scrap wood
- Decorative paper
- A gift card to their favorite (local) coffee shop
- A blank notebook
- A moss garden
Artist to artist
Artists giving gifts to each other is almost a perfect storm. Maybe one artist doesn’t believe in the rampant commercialism of the holidays so refuses to take part in giving something of monetary value. She will choose, instead, to enact an action on your behalf, carefully documenting it via video, an online slideshow or a series of drawings.
While the other artist may be covertly (not creepily) drafting impromptu sketches of her friend for the past week, which will be given in a well-decorated, sealed envelope.
Remember that shopping for or receiving gifts from an artist will always be slightly more interesting than the Chili’s gift card you might get from your boss or the Christmas socks you might get from your mother. Artists are maybe (likely?) working out some end-of-year issues with those projects that never quite got off the ground but which could be perfect if wrapped with a festive bow. I have resisted sewing, constructing or drawing anything for anyone this year but I have been eyeing up some mason jars and the possibility of canning my own food.
Bottom line: whether you’re an artist of a friend of one, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
It’s Friday afternoon and half of your office has joked about cutting out early and having a beer. You daydream about it but you stay at your desk. Our unwritten rules about when we drink are ingrained. We’re supposed to cram it into a happy hour, often Thursday or Friday. The drinks are big, the food is small. That’s our workplace culture–the larger culture.
Welcome to Beer Culture.
The Phoenix Brewers Invitational (PBI) in Phoenix Heritage Square is a new event for Arizona and it is billed as, “an opportunity to provide the Arizona craft beer scene and the City of Phoenix with a signature event to help generate awareness of our developing craft beer culture.” Craft beer culture says that it’s OK for your local community to be involved in beer and beer events and this extends to our city leaders.
In most parts of the country, it wasn’t politically acceptable for politicians to be seen with a glass of beer. President Obama is credited with changing that thinking with his beer summits. He’s been photographed raising a pint of Guinness. He’s bought a round of Buds at the Iowa state fair. He’s had his chefs brew beer in the White House kitchen and famously shared them on the campaign trail.
The Mayors of beer culture-centric cities have always embraced beer. In San Diego, Mayor Jerry Sanders openly courts breweries to locate in San Diego County. Former Denver Mayor and now Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper once owned a brewery and is heavily involved in the Great American Beer Fest. Portland’s Mayors have traditionally opened the 25 year old Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) by tapping the first cask following a downtown parade. On Friday, December 7 at Noon, Phoenix Mayor is slated to open the Phoenix Brewers Invitational with a toast.
Did you miss that? Noon. Friday.
Famously, Postino Winecafe has a bumper sticker that reads, “Drinking Wine at Lunch is not a Crime.” That is true of wine culture and it is also true for those that enjoy good beer. If you’re not able to make the leap from work culture to beer culture you can still check out the fest with your worker-bee cred intact. The PIB is free to enter. You can check it out during your lunch hour and see what is being offered without paying. The PIB will have Food Trucks on hand and there is craft root beer.
If you want to partake, there will be over 60 breweries each offering a single beer. Over 25 styles will be represented. You need to purchase a commemorative mug and drink tickets. The glass will cost you $10. Tickets are $1 each for a 3 oz sample. The mug and the tickets can be used when you return after work on Friday, or Noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Another tenet of beer culture is that beer should be enjoyed with food. Often at a festival, you’re enjoying great food with a tiny beer. The PIB will let you trade in four tokens for a full 12 oz serving. You can wash down the fare from Aji Mobile Food, Ole Dixie Southern Food, Torched Goodness, Emerson Fry Bread, Luncha Libre and Epic Hot Dogs with a hearty pour! Beer was meant to be enjoyed by the glass.
The Invitational is patterned after Portland’s Oregon Brewer’s Festival and it is one of the reasons that the city is referred to as Beervana. We expect that type of an event from such a beer city. Will Phoenix rise to the challenge? Will your Downtown Beer be a Friday afternoon one?
If you go:
Location: Phoenix Heritage Square, 115 N. Sixth St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Dates: Friday & Saturday, Dec 7 & 8
Times: Noon to 10PM
Cost: Admission into the festival grounds is free, In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2012 souvenir mug is required & costs $ 10.00. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens. Tokens cost $ 1.00 per. Patrons pay four tokens for a full 12 oz. mug of beer or one token for a 3-oz. taste.
Friday, December 7th:
Headliner – Bird City,
Support – Versions of You, Cartoon Lion, We are Searchers, Inept Hero, Cosmic Goat, Libertine Social, Johnny Lee
Saturday, December 8th:
Headliner – 80 Proof,
Support – Black Bottom Lighters
Proceeds of the event benefit The Beer for Brains Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.