Monday, October 22, 2012

Artfully Engaging Taggers

Living in a neighborhood that gets graffiti tagged almost every night, I can honestly say that I don't understand the psyche of someone who would spend so much time, energy, and money, and risk the chance of civil and criminal penalties, all in the pursuit of ruining the beauty of their own neighborhood and having their neighbors hate their behavior?

I sometimes catch myself wondering what would happen if those taggers' artistic energies were redirected in a positive way, such as creating neighborhood murals that they would be proud of, and everyone in the neighborhood could enjoy. Who wouldn't want that instead?

Perhaps the problem of tagging in Phoenix needs to be addressed in different and positive way. While the Police Department and the city's Grafitti Busters program does it's best to fight tagging, it doesn't seem to be working. If anything, I've noticed more taggings in my neighborhood in this past year.

So, when I discovered the collaborative efforts of the Tucson Arts Brigade, I thought THIS is the way we should be addressing the problem of unwanted grafitti in Phoenix.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Mysteries of Sonoran Desert life are slowly revealed and abundantly displayed at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, located on the Mexican border, a few miles south the city of Ajo, AZ.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the only place in the United States to see large stands of organ pipe cacti, though their range extends far south into Mexico. The monument encompasses the bulk (about 90%) of its U.S. population. Optimum growing conditions exist no more than a 40-50 mile radius north of the monument. Beyond this distance, conditions are not suitable, and the cactus will seldom occur naturally in these areas except in very isolated locations.

If you enjoy hiking, desert flower and fauna, and the serene beauty the Sonoran Desert has to offer, then this is the place to visit during the cool winter months. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument preserves over 330,000 acres of green, living desert that is yours to explore and get to know.

Here's a Robin Sewell's Arizona Highways Television show to tell you more.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Visit The Scottsdale Film Festival

Looking for something unique to do this weekend? Then why not spend some time at this year's 12th annual Scottsdale International Film Festival? Even the most casual look at this year’s line-up reveals a blend of films to satisfy a broad range of interests and tastes.

There are smaller films for the appreciative, daring cineaste; and bigger, more mainstream films that reveal the burgeoning of the commercial market—a wonderful mix of film genres from light-hearted comedies to period dramas, chosen from all corners of the world. There is so much to see―and something for everyone!

For example, here's the trailer for The Finger, a political satire film out of Argentina -

THE FINGER (El Dedo) from The Global Film Initiative on Vimeo.

After seven years of local dictatorship, a remote village in Argentina formally becomes a town, with the birth of its 501st inhabitant. Based on real events, this charming dramatic comedy pokes fun at small town ways while celebrating true democratic values.

Hidalgo, a slick and ingratiating scion, is eager for the new post of mayor. Smelling a rat, Baldomero (a beloved natural leader with a habitually tapping digit) runs against him—and soon turns up dead.

His shopkeeper brother vows revenge, keeping Baldomero’s severed finger in a jar, initially as a remembrance. But eventually it becomes an absurd icon of leadership that spurs the town to defy crooked elections, interloping powers―and Hidalgo―to go its own way.