WintaFresh Graffiti Art Expo
Saturday, Feb. 2
Undisputed Fitness, 1240 N. Stone Ave.
While the artist responsible for hundreds of murals across the nation sometimes escapes notice, the spray can in his hand usually doesn't.
Rock Martinez, a Tucson native and pioneer of the local graffiti art scene, will paint at the WintaFresh Graffiti Art Expo after founding the event five years ago. More than 50 other artists will join Martinez to transform a wall of the Undisputed gym into an eye-catching mural.
The graffiti art expo is part of Martinez's efforts to introduce a broader population to a type of art that is nonconformist by nature. Graffiti artists are hardly strangers to judgment, because their work carries the stigma of being a largely illegal art form. But that's part of the nature of the genre, Martinez said.
"Graffiti was never meant to be a legal art form," he said. "Throughout the years of evolving and because people were buying into it, somehow it's just grown."
The expo acts as a celebration of that unique identity, bringing together artists and musical guests of different interests and backgrounds with a common purpose: to coat a blank canvas in colors.
"They're all under one roof and they're trying to contribute to a bigger picture, something that's beyond them," Martinez said. "People are respecting the area, they're respecting the art, and then they're giving something that just keeps lasting through any experience."
For the next year, the mural is to remain largely untouched, serving as a landmark for Tucson's alternative art community. Tucsonans of all ages can participate in raffles, art demonstrations and other live entertainment during the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5.
Deportable but not Deported
'Criminal Aliens' and the Policing of Immigration
5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7
UA Education Building, Room 211, 1430 E. Second St.
There are many misconceptions about immigration laws and border security, according to Javier Duran, director of the UA Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry.
Ideas that the border isn't secure enough or that people who should be deported are not are among some of the misconceptions Duran hopes will be cleared up at "'Criminal Aliens' and the Policing of Immigration," a lecture by Jonathan Xavier Inda, associate chairman of the Latino/Latina Studies Department at the University of Illinois.
The lecture is part of the Beyond Boundaries Series, which the Confluencenter started in 2011 to integrate ideas, speakers and publications for a variety of topics.
Tucson is especially affected by immigration laws because of its proximity to the Mexican border.
Undocumented immigrants are not always deported, Duran explained; they are sometimes taken to prison. The "policing" of immigration refers to the many things that can potentially happen to someone who is caught in the U.S. illegally.
The lecture will also touch on the notion that some people are deportable even if the government is taking no action, and how that affects a community.
Immigration is an emotional topic, Duran said, which means that people need facts to make an informed judgment. Inda has focused on the sociopolitical impact of immigration and the mechanics of deportation in some of his previous works and teachings.
Duran said he hopes the lecture will enrich the local conversation about immigration laws. "How do we engage in a serious conversation about people's rights?" he asked.
The event is free.
Tucson Sculpture Festival
Opening night: 6 to 9:30 p.m. and 8 to 11 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1
The Whistle Stop Depot, 127 W. Fifth St.
Sculpture Resource Center, 640 N. Stone Ave.
Karl Whitaker recently delved into 3-D metal printing, a fairly new and also a quicker way to create sculptures. "Digital to physical" is what Whitaker calls it.
Whitaker is a local artist who usually prefers to draw, but he also likes to bring his drawings to life through paintings, sculpture and other mediums. Lately, he has asked other artists to scan multiple sides of one of their sculptures and send the images to him. Whitaker then takes the image files and sends them to be printed on a 3-D metal printer.
The process takes a few days and works well enough that Whitaker can have a smaller version of a sculpture currently in New Mexico displayed at this year's Tucson Sculpture Festival.
One or two of these 3-D sculptures will be displayed at the festival this year. Whitaker is running the event with the help of mostly local organizations.
Whitaker got involved with the Tucson Sculpture Festival last year and liked it so much he decided to help run it this year to ensure it survived. Whitaker said the Sculpture Resource Center in Tucson has helped him turn his artwork ideas into reality.
"I could do things when they're around that I couldn't do by myself," Whitaker said.
Anarchestra, a band in which one person plays all of the instruments, will perform at the event.
Admission is free. The sculptures in the festival will be on display until Friday, Feb. 15.
Rock's Unsung Heroes
The Wrecking Crew documentary screening, with director Denny Tedesco and guest Snuff Garrett
3 and 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7
The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
The landscape of filmmaking has shifted since director Denny Tedesco began working on The Wrecking Crew more than 15 years ago, but his story of a golden age in the American recording industry has withstood the test of time.
By compiling hours of archival footage and interviews with some of the music business's most legendary acts —including Cher and Brian Wilson—Tedesco hoped to commemorate the life of his father, Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, after he was diagnosed with cancer in 1996.
Wrecking Crew members rescinded their rights to fame by serving as largely unknown studio musicians, but their talent can be measured by the six Record of the Year Grammys for recordings they appeared on during the 1960s and '70s. "They would knock out a hit, not knowing it was a hit—it was just another song to them," Tedesco said.
Making the film a reality required overcoming many obstacles, among them acquiring the licensing rights for the dozens of songs that appear in what Tedesco's wife calls "the most expensive home movie ever." But to Tedesco, giving up was never an option.
"As much as it's been a life struggle for me over the last 16 years ... I know we have a good film ... these players are loved, and the music is loved," he said.
Tickets for the screening are $12, or $10 for Loft members, students and seniors.