BY THE BOOK. Is it the cover or the text that draws you to pick up a book? Maybe it's the stitch of its spine or the graphic design?
Take a peek at some traditional and not-so-traditional tomes to satisfy whatever predilection. The University of Arizona Library's Special Collections hosts the Los Angeles Rounce and Coffin Club's 2002 Western Book Exhibition--now in its 61st year. The show started in 1939 at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and has run annually except for a few years during World War II. It has featured the likes of book artists and designers such as Grant Dahlstrom, Saul Marks, Lawrence Clark Powell and others.
Bonnie Travers, special collections librarian, who's responsible for bringing the show to town, says the exhibit represents some of the finest titles being published in the West, including Ellen McMahon's artist book, A is for Autonomy, printed in collaboration with Tucson's Chax Press.
The free show runs through August 25. View the books Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. at the UA's Main Library at Cherry Avenue and University Boulevard. For more information, call 621-4295.
KIDDIE Rorschach. The kids have been making art all summer. Come interpret the masterpieces for yourself.
The Tucson Museum of Art celebrates the work of young impresarios in its Summer School Children's Exhibition, opening with a reception this afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Main Museum Lobby at 140 N. Main Ave. Light refreshments will be served.
The show continues through August 24. Call 624-2333 for details.
I ONCE KNEW A MADMAN ... You finish the line (hint: it has something to do with the end of the world).
Hear all the lines, prophetic and otherwise, in Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, Endgame, a modern classic presented by Twilights Last Gleaming. It opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays through August 24 at Zuzi's Little Theater at MUSE, 738 N. Fifth Ave.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $10 the night of the show only. Call 241-3698 for more information.
WATER SMARTS. You live in the desert. Your plants are drinking more precious water than you. Save gallons and still indulge your passion for your garden. Find out how at two free Watersmart workshops.
From 9 a.m. to noon, get demystified about Sonoran Desert landscaping and learn about xeriscape and the use of native and desert-adapted plants. Explore the world of low-water use plants and how to care for them.
Stay for the Water Harvesting session that follows from 1 to 3 p.m. (you can attend one or both sessions) and discover ways to use natural rainfall instead of uncoiling the hose.
Whether you want to install these water conservation techniques yourself or hire a crew or have an existing system that needs maintenance or upgrades, you'll learn something from these sessions.
Pima County Cooperative Extension hosts the Low 4 Program at the Wilmot branch of the Tucson-Pima Public Library at 530 N. Wilmot. Call 622-7701 for information.
UP AGAINST THE WALL. Wear your old clothes and enjoy some messy fun to help paint a colorful mural installation to hang in the Tucson Children's Museum.
Bring the kids down to the Museum at 200 S. Sixth Ave. for the free brush fest today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Call 792-9985 for details.
THE SIMPLER LIFE. It's a poignant and thoughtful plea.
Even as a student in the late '60s, Stephanie Mills was speaking out about our exploding population and the overuse of natural resources. The themes have remained her life's work.
Mill's newest book, Epicurean Simplicity, draws on the ideology of Epicurus and Thoreau. She calls for recognition of the classical sources of pleasure: good food, good health, good friends and the endless delights of the natural world. She describes the triumphs and difficulties she's encountered through her decision to live in simplicity. Brimming with sensory imagery and humor, her new memoir stands alongside her earlier work that includes Whatever Happened to Ecology, In Service of the Wild and Turning Away from Technology. In 1996, Mills was named one of the world's leading visionaries by Utne Reader.
The rural Michigan-based author reads from and signs copies of her new book at 2 p.m. at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 319-7887 with questions.
ROYAL PAINS. Living in a so-called democracy has its benefits--one of them being we don't have to do what the king and queen decree.
UA doctoral student Joel Van Amberg sheds light on the case of England during the time of reformation. Was it by popular demand or royal decree that brought about changes in the political, social, religious and cultural landscape? He'll sort through it all.
Van Amberg's lecture is part of The English Reformation Summer Series presented by the UA's Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies. His talk starts at 10:15 a.m. in the East Murphey Gallery of St. Philip's in the Hills Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. at River Road.
It's free and open to the public. For details, call 299-6421.
RARIFIED AIR. Mount Lemmon is still kicking, post-conflagration.
Take a drive up the hill for the Arts, Crafts and Psychic Benefit Fair. It starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Enjoy the cool weather and help raise some money.
The fair takes place throughout the village of Summerhaven and benefits the Mount Lemmon Fire Department and Casa Gloriosa, which advocates for women and kids who are HIV infected/affected.
For booth applications or more information, call 327-6740.
ROOTS OF RESISTANCE. South African apartheid may have ended in 1994, but the country's artists have continued to provide compelling insight into the country's political and social tensions and transitions in the last eight years. Some of it's rosy; some is not.
Liberated Voices features more than 65 works of art by 13 young artists who represent the diversity of the new South Africa. The work finds its roots in the resistance art that flourished during the racial and social injustices of South Africa's apartheid era.
See for yourself how art can serve as a vehicle for confrontation with personal and collective histories and maybe as a source for understanding and reconciliation.
The show opens today at the University of Arizona's Museum of Art on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard, and continues through October 13. Mark the calendar for the opening reception on Friday, August 23, as well as public video screenings and lectures throughout the exhibit run including one about South African orchids.
Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is cheap, as in free.
GIMME SOME A YO' SUGAR! If you haven't seen Lisa Otey perform, you don't know the meaning of the blues--musically, that is. As the title of one of her five CDs proclaims, Tucson's blues queen provides some sweet music.
Just out with her new CD, Hard Workin' Woman, Otey plays recent songs and samples from her five-CD repertoire.
Take in her driving barrelhouse and hot jazzy, bluesy piano stylings tinged with a bit of Elvis and Billie Holiday as part of the Monday Night Family Concert Series tonight at 7 p.m.
It's at the Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and active military personnel and $6.95 for kids under 12. Try some dinner at Little Anthony's '50s style diner next door.
For reservations, call the box office at 886-9428.
CHEF FOR A DAY. Have you always harbored a secret inner chef? Here's a chance to bring out the creative gourmand. Primavera Cooks! offers the opportunity.
Primavera Foundation, Tucson's homeless advocacy organization, hosts the series along with Tucson's Originals, a group of independent restaurants dedicated to keeping the flavor of the Southwest flourishing. Local restaurants invite participants to be apprentice chef for a day or to dine on a special meal.
Pastiche Modern Eatery at 3025 N. Campbell Ave. kicks off the August installment today. You'll actually get to create and prepare an elegant meal in the restaurant's kitchen while a few fortunate guests (maybe your friends or family?) are invited to tuck into dinner. And your favorite chef will personally tutor you in the tricks of the culinary trade.
Apprentices cough up $150 (a bargain, really, to be personally trained by a professional chef) and dinner costs $100. All proceeds benefit Primavera and are tax deductible.
Later in the month, apprentice opportunities and dinners take place on August 18 at Feast and August 20 at El Charro. The series continues through the end of September.
To be a chef for a day or to find out how to enjoy the delectable results and help end Tucson homelessness, call 882-5383.
arthropods-r-us. That's Mr. Bug, to you and me. Come hear the guy who knows his arachnids from his centipedes.
Eric Eaton, author of the soon-to-be published Field Guide to North American Insects, squirms with the worms. His presentation this afternoon is titled, "The Wild World of Bugs," and he'll cover how insects adapt to their environment and their value to our ecosystem. Don't worry. If you miss his talk, his bug exhibit will be on display throughout the month.
The lecture starts at 2 p.m. at the Western National Parks Association Store at 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive in Oro Valley. The exhibit hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The lecture is free but seating is limited. Call for reservations or directions at 622-6014.
M.A.S.H., 19TH-CENUTRY STYLE. What was it like to be an Army surgeon in the 1870s? Find out when Robert Hunter, a retired doctor and medical historian, re-enacts the life and trials of a frontier Army post and see what challenges doctors faced at Tucson's Fort Lowell during the 1870s and 1880s.
"Surgeons, Scalpels and Malaria" is the title of his talk starting at 7 p.m. tonight as part of the Living Arizona History Lecture Series at the Arizona Historical Society Museum Auditorium, 949 E. Second St.
AHS members pay $5, non-members pay $6 and students get in for $3. Questions? Call the education office at 628-5774.