Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Rocky Creation with a Touch of Humor

When I went to the Arizona Heritage Museum a few weeks ago, I saw one amusing display that I found very creative and fun to look at.  The display was located in a room dedicated to minerals and it was called "Banquet of Rocks".  The description reads:  "A Banquet of Rocks is the result of 35 years of fun by Arless and Margaret Nixon of Phoenix Arizona.  With the help of friends, they created a king's feast of rocks that look like food."  Above we see the breakfast plate with pancakes, bacon and an egg.  In the background is a slice of lemon meringue pie.

For lunch we have a hamburger with French fries, pickles and some olives and Swiss cheese on the other plate in the back.

And, look at what's for dinner.  I see a steak and a potato and some mushrooms and carrots and in the center some peas.

The entire menu is printed on the card behind the display along with the minerals that made up each food item.  I wonder which one or two of these rock discoveries, started this collection rolling.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Grand Procession

When I went to the Heard Museum a week ago to see the show "Color Riot", I also saw another temporary exhibit called "Grand Procession".   It consisted of "Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection".  These were a type of Indian craft that I had not seen before and they were beautiful.  It's an exceptional collection of what some call "soft sculptures".  All of the 23 dolls included represent indigenous peoples from the Great Plains and Great Basin regions who lived during the late 19th century.

I found the dolls to be intricately designed  with leather clothing and tiny micro-beads and feathers.

They represent beautifully detailed work by Jamie Okuma, Rhonda Holy Bear and three generations of the Growing Thunder family, Joyce and Jessa Rae Growing Thunder and Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Masked Man

I found this mural on the wall of an enclosed patio that belongs to the Steven Paul Salon in Scottsdale.  It has a mythical and theatrical flair to it that appealed to me.  I went inside the salon to ask who the artist was fully expecting that no one would know.  I was wrong, they did know.  It was painted by John Enright.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Bell, The Flower and The Wash

I found out that Ilan Averbuch (see yesterday's post) has another public art sculpture in the area, this one located in Scottsdale.  This one is called The Bell, The Flower and The Wash.  The large metal sculptures look like bells or flowers and were inspired by the fireman's bells.  It's located next to a fire station.  The vessel that is open to the sky will collect water when it rains and there is an underground pipe below the sculpture that lets the water flow underground until it opens into a park.

If we ever have a long, rainy day, I'll have to remember this and drive over to see how this works.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking in the second stop on my half day tour of Milan.

Saturday, July 27, 2019


When our light rail system was first opened back in 2008, it was agreed that every station would have public art.  A team of artists and city engineers were assembled to assess where to place the art and how large it should be.  This piece called Landmark is the largest and was placed at the Central Avenue and Camelback Road station because it offered the most amount of land to place something this large.  The sculpture is by Ilan Averbuch, a sculptor from New York.  Averbuch also served on that original team developing the concept of art at every station.  This piece consists of a 24 foot circle of desert stone with steel and stone abstract figures that cross though the circle in an endless march.  This piece has always made me think of that old TV show called "Stargate".  Remember that one?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Posing in the Tree

I heard this fellow before I saw him.  I kept peering into the tree until I spotted him and it was a very lucky thing that I had my camera with me.  It was even luckier that he continue to sit there while I focused and took the shot.  He's a very accommodating love bird.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

First Man on the Moon

I forgot that I had this photo of a painting I saw at the Scottsdale Museum of the West.  It's by an artist I had never heard of before but, one who is extremely talented and who lived in Scottsdale.  His Name is Paul Calle.  He is best known for painting and drawing historic American West featuring mountain men, fur traders and Native Americans.  However, he also worked with NASA and created multiple art works for them including this painting and others from the Apollo 11 mission.  He was actually there and was sketching scenes from the day of the launch.

This is one of his paintings of the historic west.

This is a replica of his Scottsdale studio.  
The museum has a large exhibit dedicated to his work called Paul Calle's Life of Exploration:  From the Mountains to the Moon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Modern Experimentation

Yesterday I told you about the exhibit called "Color Riot" at the Heard Museum.  Today, I wanted to show you a few of the modern pieces that were also in the display.  This one is especially interesting. It was created by one of the Mellon fellows, Velma Kee Craig in 2013.  She created this piece to resemble an American flag with the stripes created from a standard bar code and the "stars" section from a QR code she found on a for sale sign for a foreclosed home in her neighborhood.  When this piece was displayed at the Heard Museum's Weavers Market, people were able to scan the QR code and it actually took them to the house listing web page.  I find that amazing!

Here are two more of the modern designs.  The top one is by Venancio Francis Aragon called Prism of Emotions.  It was created this year.

The one to the left was created by Lola S. Cody and is called Grand Falls.  It dates to 2012.

I like both of these, but that QR code one at the top still amazes me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Color Riot

The Heard Museum has several interesting exhibits on display right now and one of them is called "Color Riot".  It's one of the exhibits I went to see last Friday.

In 2017, the Heard Museum was awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a fellowship program centered on Navajo textiles.

This exhibit was created by the three fellows, Ninabah Winton, Velma Kee Craig, and Natalia Miles along with the curatorial staff of the Heard Museum.  The three young women were involved in all phases of this exhibit from the concept development to the object selection to the label writing.

Some of the textiles displayed date back to the 19th century and in most cases, the artist is unknown.

The textiles represent a time between 1868 and 1910 when Navajos had been returned to their reservation after a period of internment.  Weavers had new freedom to experiment with colors, materials and patterns and they created some wonderfully beautiful and colorful textiles.

Another section of the exhibit displayed some more recent and modern weavings that I'll show you tomorrow.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Native Princess & Aztec God

These two murals used to be on the back side of a restaurant on McDowell Road but I noticed recently that the walls have been painted and are now just one solid color.  I took these shots a while ago and was waiting to see if I could find something about who painted them but, no luck and now they are gone completely.  What a shame.  It's a shame too that someone had to tag that second one.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Who is a Citizen?

I went to the Heard Museum on Friday to see two new exhibits and while I was there, I visited the newly arranged and expanded exhibit about the history if "Indian Schools" and their legacy.  It's a very informative exhibit about that time in our history when Native American children were taken from their homes and placed in boarding schools designed to strip away their "Indian-ness" in order to bring them into what was called "civilized" society.  (Frankly, it doesn't seem very civilized these days.) It was another of those "dark" periods in our past.

When I got to this room designed to look like a classroom, I was kind of stopped in my tracks at what was written on the chalk board.  Given the political dialog here in the U.S. this last week,  it struck me as very timely.  However, in this particular context, it was about how Native Americans were not given full citizen rights until the passage of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.  And, they are still fighting for full rights to their lands and water.  (And the beat goes on as Sonny & Cher might say.)

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm making a quick stop in a pretty Oregon town.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Moon

I thought it would be appropriate to put up a photo of the moon today on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  The Apollo Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon's surface on July 20th 1969 at 20:17 UTC.  I wonder if those footprints are still there.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Big Glass Box

This big glass building sits on the corner of Central Avenue and Roosevelt (the street pictured) and it's been there for many years.  It was recently purchased by a new real estate group who have plans to create a multi-use environment.  It's the only office building located in the "Roosevelt Row" Arts District so there is potential to incorporate art venues along with restaurants on the ground floor. I'll keep my eyes open for changes taking place here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Wesley Bolin Plaza is a park located opposite the Arizona State Capitol building.  It contains 30 monuments and/or memorials and I've featured many of them here before.  I somehow missed this one.  It's the Korean War Memorial paying tribute to the 280 Arizonans who were killed or reported missing during that war.

It's such a pretty and peaceful looking memorial that I hate to think of it in relationship to war.  It consists of a stylized pagoda with a ceremonial temple bell inside.

I'll have to look at my photos and see if I have something for all 30.  I don't think I do so I might have to go scouring the park once again.  When it's cooler!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Luxury Living Near Downtown

These new luxury condos opened near downtown Phoenix a year or so ago.  When I visited the Japanese Friendship Garden a few years ago, I'd see the construction going on.  I guess they were completed in late 2017.

The building is called Portland on the Park because it faces Portland Street on one side and a city park on the other side and it looms over the Japanese Friendship Garden.  So if you are on the north side of the building you have park views and if you are on the south side of the building you have a downtown skyline view.  Either might be nice.

I checked and there are a few units for sale if you have $425,000 to $1,150,000. to spare.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Great Discovery

I made a new discovery over the weekend.  I went to the Arizona Heritage Center and discovered a fabulous museum that I never knew existed.  And, it was huge with first class exhibits.  The museum is tucked away in a kind of out-of-the-way place so it's not a place you pass by all the time.  That must explain why it's not been on my radar before this.

The museum is all about the history of Arizona and the people who have built this state into what it is today.  The exhibits take up two floors.

There were exhibits about our participation in wars, about industries that have made the valley home and about all the people who have built the state from the Native Americans to today's leaders.

There was one new exhibit that was quite sobering.  These two rooms were covered with portraits of homeless people in the area who were photographed and interviewed by Jon Linton, founder of the "I Have a Name" project.  The stories that went with these photographs were truly amazing.

I'll show other things from the museum from time to time.  And, I'll certainly be back.  There was a film about how copper is mined and refined that I want to go back and see again.  Even after four hours, I still hadn't really seen it all.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Busy Mural

This is a section of a very large mural by artist Joerael Elliot.  It's on the side of a building in the Roosevelt Row arts district.  I can't really explain this one.  I did some searching and I found information about the mural and I found photos of it with the artist's name but none of the articles explained what it wa about.  One person mentioned that it had something to do with surviving the Arizona heat.  I just know that there is a lot going on here!

Linked to Monday Murals!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sharp Teeth

This aloe plant looks like it's ready to take a bite out of anyone who slips their arm in-between those leaves.  I snapped this photo to capture the thorns on the plant but when I noticed how that background got darkened, I liked the dramatic look it made.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I found the place I'd stay on Lake Como if money was no object!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Slipper Plant

Here's a plant I don't think I've shown on this site before.  It's called a slipper plant but, it's official name is Euphorbia lomelii.  I've been told that it gets it's name from the blooms that supposedly look like ladies slippers.  Personally, I don't see the resemblance.  It's an unusual plant that produces these bloom but does not have any leaves.  It just has tall, erect stalks.  I see a lot of it in the hummingbird garden at the Desert Botanical Garden so it might be attractive to hummingbirds.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Unusual Lighting Feature

This car was parked in the Scottsdale Fashion Square Shopping mall garage and with those ever changing colors surrounding the headlights, it was hard to miss.  I looked up "Voxx Wheels" and guess what, they sell wheels!  Very expensive and very different auto wheels and this car is even featured on the their web page.  I'm not in the market for wheels, so I didn't search any further.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Park and the Moon

Here is another view from Encanto Park, this one looking in the opposite direction from yesterday's photo.  There are several of those small bridges crossing the lagoon as it flows across the park.

Another view looks at the expanse of the park scattered with picnic benches.  Most of the picnic benches are positioned under shade trees or shade covers but, there are a few out in the sun.  Notice that little spec of a moon in the sky......

...I decided to zoom in on it.  I love a good day-time moon.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Encanto Views

Two weeks ago I took a walk at Encanto Park over on the west side of Phoenix.  That's where I found the rocking horse statue that I posted last week.  I hadn't been there since I moved to the other side of town so I thought it would be nice to take a walk there and see if anything had changed.  The lagoon is still just as pretty as before.

And, the Encanto Park Clubhouse is still looking exactly the same.  It was a pleasant walk, early in the morning before our summer heat was setting in.  Tomorrow I'll show you another view from the park.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Another Collection of Odds And Ends

Today I have another set of random shots I've found in my "Odd Shots" photo file.  First up is a very cute little watering can.  It would make watering the plants lots of fun.

I saw this clay frog sitting at the end of a driveway and I thought he looked a little tired and sad.  He's been sitting out in the Arizona sun a bit too long.  He might have developed some skin cancer because of it. 😱

This guy was climbing up a wall and at first I thought he was real but, he's not.  He's made of ceramic and has been scaling that wall for a long time.

A police helicopter circling over one of the historic neighborhoods I was cruising through looking for photos.  I hope he wasn't called to watch me.  I sometimes wonder when I'm out taking photos if I look a bit suspicious.  No one stopped me so I guess I was safe.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Toothy Critters

I don't think I've ever seen a mural painted on one of those chain-link fences with the aluminum slats in it before.  This was on the back side of an artists space called Weird Garden.  I don't know much about it except that an artist is working to clean up the space and turn it into an artists studio and gallery.  There are lots of art studios and galleries on this part of Grand Avenue near downtown.

I just noticed that I also captured an airliner making its way to land at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Linked to Monday Murals.