8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 29. On display through Saturday, Sept. 5
The Drawing Studio
33 S. Sixth Ave.
Get out those sketchpads, Tucson!
The first-ever Downtown Drawabout is being held this Saturday, giving Tucsonans the opportunity to get out, see downtown and show off those artistic skills, all while supporting a good cause, says Drawing Studio executive director Lynn Fleischmann.
"There's a lot of talk about (how) 'downtown is dead, and we need to revitalize it,' but in truth, downtown is a really thriving community right now, even though it's in transition," she says. "So, the idea is to get people down to see the real range and variety and that kind of thing in the area."
Ten sites throughout downtown will be available for artists to set up and sketch (using any medium that's portable). Artists are asked to secure pledges for each drawing they produce—like in a walkathon, Fleischman says.
The funds raised from the Downtown Drawabout will support the Drawing Studio's youth- and senior-outreach efforts, which include a senior program at the Armory Park Senior Center, as well as a Tucson Police Department gang-outreach program for kids 10 to 15 years old.
At noon, when all the sketchpads are packed up, and the drawings have been completed, there will be an impromptu gallery exhibit at the Drawing Studio to display the work produced from the fundraiser, which will on display through next Saturday, Fleischman says.
The good news for the not-so artistically inclined: The event is open to "artists" of all skill-levels.
"My goal is to get 100 artists drawing downtown, and for my purposes, 'artist' is defined as anyone who wants to draw, so you don't have to be an experienced artist or anything," Fleischman says.
Pledge forms and more information are available at thedrawingstudio.org/events01.html. —A.B.
On the Wall: Interpretations of a Pop Icon
7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29
412 E. Seventh St.
In memory of Michael Jackson's birth, life and death, art gallery Candelabra will be putting on a one-night-only art show on Aug. 29—what would have the King of Pop's 51st birthday.
Colleena Hake, the owner of Candelabra, has been a lifelong Jackson fan. She remembers watching Jackson dancing to "Thriller" when she went to what was her first concert, she says.
The event became reality after a friend called Hake and suggested a Jackson memorial show. When Hake went to schedule the event, she realized that the next available date was his birthday. It was too serendipitous of an opportunity to pass up, she says.
The show will feature 15 artists who have made Jackson-related art pieces. Many of the pieces have been made with Sharpie markers and glitter. A birthday cake, made to look like Jackson's gloved hand, and an all-time-favorite-hits soundtrack will add to the feel of the evening.
"Everything has to do with him," Hake says. "We're hoping for some Michael Jackson impersonators."
Clif Taylor, a well-known local artist, will be contributing 50 small portraits of Jackson. They will be done in the pop-art style of Andy Warhol; in fact, Taylor is modeling his portraits of Jackson after Warhol's depictions of Marilyn Monroe. The popular art style fits this situation perfectly, he says.
The prices haven't been set yet, but you should be able pick up one of his portraits for less than $10.
"There are very few pop icons that were so significant," Taylor says. "He was too extraordinary for this Earth, in some ways." —N.M.
You, Too, Can Tweet
"What Is Twitter, and Why Should You Care?"
6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1
Himmel Park Library
1035 N. Treat Ave.
594-5305, ext. 3
You've heard it talked about in the media. Many of your elected officials are doing it. And if you, personally, haven't already learned to use Twitter, now is your chance to join the ranks of those who regularly publish 140-character messages about, well, any old thing.
The Himmel Park Library will be hosting a lesson that is intended to teach adults the ins and outs of Twitter. It will guide you through registering an account, and teach the basics, such as how (and why) to follow other Twitter feeds.
Suzanne Parker, the events coordinator at Himmel Park Library, says adults can use Twitter both socially and for business. This class will help those who missed the cyber-leap to catch up and start connecting with others using Twitter.
For many adults, social sites like Twitter are mysterious, and Parker wants to offer people the opportunity to take advantage of these sites' power. The class was originally scheduled for November, Parker says, but she thought it would be best to hold it sooner, given that applications can fade away quickly after coming into the limelight.
She suggests bringing your own computer to the lesson.
Julie Ray, a professional communicator and graphic designer, will be teaching the class. A lot of people are curious about Twitter, she says. Ray uses the tool as a way to communicate professionally on a regular basis.
When Twitter is applied practically to everyday situations, it can be a useful way to communicate, she says. It might not seem complicated to type a mere 140 characters, but Ray says that some in the community need to realize how complex Twitter can be.
"It's so simple that it's complicated," Ray says. —N.M.
Life Lessons ... and Reasons to Drink
The revival of Rum and Coke
Various times, Wednesday, Sept. 2, through Sunday, Sept. 13
UA Marroney Theater
1025 N. Olive Road
The Arizona Repertory Theatre will be bringing back Rum and Coke, Keith Reddin's darkly humorous look back at the American attitude that lead to the Bay of Pigs invasion, from Sept. 2 to Sept. 13.
The play features a young idealistic man who sets out to do good for "for God, for country and for Yale." He quickly realizes that the world isn't as simple as it had appeared before. The story includes historic figures such as Richard Nixon and Fidel Castro. Adult language and theme can be expected from Reddin, who also wrote plays such as The Missionary Position and The Sin Eater.
The show is back after a summer break; the UA presented the play in June. (See James Reel's review of the play, "Cubans and Semites," June 25.)
Paula Newsome, the director of marketing and development for the UA School of Theatre Arts, says the play's themes could easily be compared to the current climate of American politics. The main character sets out to change the world, but is met by daunting politics and behind-the-scenes protocol—and therefore, now is a fine time to put on the play, she says.
"It's something people haven't heard of," Newsome says. "There is a lot of comedy in it, and it's a good time."
This is the first season that Arizona Repertory Theatre tickets will be available online. Tickets can be purchased online at Arizona.tix.com, or by calling the UA Fine Arts box office. Tickets are $28; $26 for seniors, UA employees and members of the military; and $19 for students. —N.M.