Painting for a Purpose
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, through Sunday, Aug. 26
505 W. Miracle Mile, No. 2
Quantum Art Gallery's summer exhibition, Never Again, features two artists, Micheline Johnoff and Mychal Trujillo, whose oils focus on hyper-realism and hyper-surrealism.
Hyper-realism is a style of painting in which works resemble photographs, whereas hyper-surrealism resembles surrealism, the artistic movement established in the 1920s that experimented with a new mode of expression, incorporating imaginative and abstract images.
Trujillo has been painting for 15 years, and she has experimented with several different mediums. In this exhibit, the theme of Trujillo's oil paintings is abuse.
"In general, a lot of my artwork is taken from my own personal experiences. I like to speak to what I have felt emotionally. I don't necessarily like to paint about things outside of myself," Trujillo said.
Trujillo hopes her paintings will shed light on the issue of abuse.
"I design my work so that it can be acceptable and accessible to people who have not ever gone through something like that, but they can relate as well and bring awareness," Trujillo said. "I really felt that I needed to speak up about it, because it is something that not a lot of people talk about."
In Trujillo's "Marionette," a woman dressed in a 1950s-style apron has marionette strings attached to her hand and wrist, symbolizing the efforts of abusers to control their victims.
"The expectation of being this perfect person for somebody else kind of adds to the loss of self-identity," Trujillo said.
"I don't include the face, because adding a face would draw too much attention and distract from the actual message of the painting."
Trujillo said Johnoff's pieces bring a different feel to the exhibit.
"Her pieces have a darker appeal; she has an excellent rhythm to her work," Trujillo said. —R.C.
A Whole New World
7:15 p.m., Friday and Saturday, through Saturday, June 16
Flowing Wells High School Auditorium
3725 N. Flowing Wells Road
After a year of rehearsing and preparing, Youth@Performing Arts is ready for its quadruple production of Disney's Aladdin Jr.
What is a quadruple production? The answer: Cast members get to exercise their acting abilities by being a different character in each show.
Tom Moser, the director of the show, has been with YPA since 2006 and wanted to bring something different to this year's production. With this show, Moser intends to give everyone a chance to be in the spotlight.
"We have four Jasmines, and they sit together, help each other out and cheer for each other," Moser said. "It's wonderful to see the cooperation and chemistry coming from a multiple cast. I have so many talented people this year."
The 50 cast members range from 5 to 15 years old. "The older kids look out for the young ones—it becomes like a family, and I love that multi-age span," Moser said.
The community has reached out to help these aspiring actors. The Resurrection Lutheran Church has donated space for rehearsals, and Flowing Wells High School is opening its auditorium for the production.
Community members who have pitched in include makeup artists, costume designers and a local sculptor who has crafted props for the production.
"The community has wrapped around us," Moser said. "We have a group of about 35 community volunteers who don't say, 'This can't be done.' They say, 'It's a matter of how it can be done.' I would love to see the community come out and support the arts and the young people; it is a pretty incredible experience."
General-admission tickets are $10 for adults, and $7 for children ages 3 to 17. Reserved seats are $12 to $15. —R.C.
The Desert, After Hours
Summer Saturday Evenings
4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays, through Aug. 25
2021 N. Kinney Road
Kick off your summer by gaining new perspectives on the desert we call home during the Summer Saturday Evenings series at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
The 10-year-old program includes themed activities and programs that give visitors a chance to learn about desert flora and fauna, and how to cope with the desert's heat—without having to be outside during the worst of it. For example, the first Summer Saturday Evening, held this past Saturday, June 2, featured dermatologists from the University of Arizona Skin Cancer Institute educating people about protecting one's skin.
"We realized nighttime visits in the desert are unique. Coming at night is a different experience," said Rosemary Prawdzik, director of marketing at the museum. "The beavers are more active; the mountain lions are more active. ... You have an opportunity to see the animals moving around."
Each week features a different theme, and visitors are encouraged to come more than once. This Saturday, June 9, the program will include Native American flute-players, as well as a presentation of live animals that will include information about the history of the museum.
Other Summer Saturday Evening topics range from insects to astronomy to bats to camping in the desert.
Brenda King, the museum's educational specialist, said nighttime events at the museum hold a special attraction for children.
"They love being out at night," she said. "A lot of them will bring their own personal black-light flashlights and go looking for scorpions. I think kids just like being out past bedtime and in the dark."
Special discounted tickets after 4 p.m. on Saturdays are $7 for adults, and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. —S.V.
Evening of Illusions
7 p.m., Monday, June 11
7010 E. Broadway Blvd.
Up for a magical evening? You can experience Las Vegas-worthy magic tricks by John Shryock and Mari Lynn in one of the longest-running magic shows in the area.
It's Magic has been held at the Gaslight Theatre for roughly 15 years. It takes place six times a year and features different magicians at each show. Magic fans of all ages are welcome to lose themselves in the world of illusion for an evening.
Shryock is a Tucson native who turned his passion for magic from a hobby into a career. He and Mari Lynn, who is also his wife, have performed around the world—in Las Vegas at Caesars Magical Empire, in Hollywood, and on cruise ships. They were also featured on the TV show Masters of Illusion. The two sometimes include their children in the act.
Norm Marini, a magician and coordinator of It's Magic, will be performing alongside Shryock during the first part of the show. He said he will also participate in some of Shryock's illusions.
"This show is probably going to be a sold-out show, because (Shryock) is a local hero," Marini said. "There have probably been only a few years that he hasn't been able to do it because of other commitments. He's been at the Gaslight for the majority of the time over the last 12 years."
Tickets are $17 for adults, and $12 for children. Doors open at 6 p.m., and patrons should arrive early to ensure their seats. —S.V.