Beauty in Every Body
The Militant Baker Presents: Paint & Pasties
8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9
Fluxx Studio & Gallery414 E. Ninth St.
Get your mind out of the gutter because this event is far from being a strip show. Hosted by the Militant Baker and a band of volunteers who refer to themselves as "The Pretty Titty Committee," Paint & Pasties will combine art, burlesque and cabaret entertainment to raise awareness for body acceptance.
The Militant Baker is Jes Baker, a Tucsonan who is, in her own words, "a mental health professional, pastry chef, ex-art major, crazy cat lady, fat model, fiery advocate and total pain in the ass." She has a sassy blog that has been featured on CNN, the Huffington Post and USA Today. The blog aims to be "a place in the blogosphere that offers fresh and colorful perspective on what is presented as normal to those immersed in our gender-bent, body-loathing society."
Baker's push for self-acceptance is what's at the core of the Paint & Pasties event. Bodies of all shapes and sizes will be displayed in all their glory as models pose for artists who will attempt to capture their bodacious beauty on canvas in front of a live audience. The finished pieces will be up for sale, and burlesque and cabaret performances close the event.
All proceeds will go toward the Body Love Conference, which will be held at the University of Arizona in April. The conference is intended to provide a supportive space for women to participate in workshops and presentations that challenge social norms.
"Our bodies are installation art that we curate publicly," Baker says on her blog, themilitantbaker.com. "Our bodies are a part of us, just like our kindness, talents and passion. The way we view our bodies impacts the way we participate in the world, and wouldn't it be wonderful if we loved and accepted them for the perfect things that they are?" Donations of $5 to $20 are suggested.—T.T.
5th Annual International Guitar Festival
2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 10; 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15; 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16; 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 17
Holsclaw Hall1017 N. Olive Road, on the UA campus
A joint venture between the UA and the Tucson Guitar Society, the fifth annual International Guitar Festival is one of Tucson's most exclusive events. Holsclaw Hall has just 204 seats, making the festival's three weekend performances truly of the "intimate" variety. "I think guitar works best in a small hall, because we don't use amplification," Tucson Guitar Society chairwoman Julia Pernet said. Like past festivals, this one features both the familiar and the innovative. Grammy Award-winning brothers Odair and Sergio Assad, who spend a week teaching at the UA each year, will play during the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performances at the end of the festival, while the Friday night show will feature Russian flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev. "We usually try to bring in someone that provides a bit of contrast to the Assads," Pernet said. "They're from Brazil, so their music is very Latin. Goryachev will do a mixed program with some flamenco, some classical (guitar)." The opening session this Sunday features a competition that will include three local guitarists who recently won awards at a festival in Indiana. UA master's students Misael Barraza-Diaz and Bin Hu took first and third, respectively, in one category, and 18-year-old Augustus Woodrow won the youth division title. Opening session tickets are $5. The Goryachev performance is $25 and the Assads shows are $30 each.—B.J.P.
2013 Fall Open Studio Tour
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 10
Artist studios throughout Tucson and Pima County
When it comes to art, Tucson is thriving. The trick is knowing where to find the art studio you're looking for and getting to it while it's open. This weekend, the Tucson Pima Arts Council is taking all of that guesswork out of the equation.
"We have a tremendous density of artists and creative people who are working here," says Emily Duwel, spokeswoman for the arts council, "and all of these people are going to be opening their doors for people of the public to walk in."
The 2013 Fall Open Studio Tour features more than 220 artists working in a variety of mediums and genres. They'll be opening their galleries, studios and work spaces for anyone to check out. More than 10,000 people turned out for last year's tour, and for good reason. Whether your tastes run to paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry or fashion, the tour provides an intimate setting for you to peruse art, chat with the artists and buy some great presents for the holidays.
The arts council worked with Chad Froeschke of White Space Design to create a detailed directory of all the studios involved. It includes maps and biographical sketches of the artists. The free directory is available at public library branches, Bookmans and the Loft Cinema.
A preview exhibit through Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Fine Art Gallery at the Tucson Jewish Community Center features pieces from many of the participating artists.—T.T.
Flipping the Princess Paradigm
Puppets Amongus Presents Crumpled
4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9; Sunday, Nov. 10; Saturday, Nov. 16; and Sunday, Nov. 17
The Playhouse657 W. St. Mary's Road444-5538;puppetsamongus.com
Matt Cotten is always on the lookout for stories that are fun, humorous and have a message. But, most important, stories that can be told featuring only two characters at a time because he's only got two hands. As the sole puppeteer in Puppets Amongus, the challenge of taking a story and turning it into an interactive performance, all by wiggling his fingers, is exciting.
The Paper Bag Princess, a children's story by Robert Munsch, fit his requirements and became the inspiration for Cotten's newest show, Crumpled. Elizabeth is a prissy princess whose world is turned upside down on her wedding day. Instead of marrying her not-so-charming prince and living somewhat happily ever after, a dragon swoops in and steals her fiancé from her, leaving Elizabeth with only a paper bag. Elizabeth then embarks on a journey, using only her imagination and the paper bag, to retrieve her prince. And she discovers her individuality along the way.
"It's a story that puts the princess paradigm on its head ... and hopefully conveys a sense of empowerment," Cotten says.
Though the story should appeal to both boys and girls of all ages, Cotten says that he had his 10-year-old daughter in mind when he was creating the character of Princess Elizabeth.
"I often think about how she's forming her identity in contemporary society and how I can tell stories that are empowering to her," Cotten says.
Crumpled also includes an original, live musical score by local musician Bradford Trojan. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for kids.—T.T.