Lifestyle

A Love of Antique Automobiles Spans Three Generations

2014-12-13 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Barb Evans     Arizona will soon become heaven on earth for thousands of classic car collectors and antique automobile aficionados when collector car week converges upon the Valley next month. Numerous car auctions, sales and events, most notably Barrett-Jackson’s auction at WestWorld, will take place in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Among the crowd will be my husband, son and father-in-law, who have had the week circled on their calendars since last year.   When Steve and I married 17 years ago, I knew he was passionate about antique cars. After all, he had picked me up in a 1963 Buick Riviera on our first date, and one of the requirements for when we were planning our wedding was to not schedule it for the first weekend in October, the standing date for the Antique Automobile Club of America’s annual Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to which he had gone with his father every year since he was 7 years old. But not until a few years ago did I realize that I should have added... More

5 Arts Circle

2014-12-07 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Donna Kublin     Efforts to keep the arts alive in the Phoenix metro area take many innovative forms, all with a large measure of dedication, commitment and passion.   One such effort began 15 years ago with an idea that has led to nearly $4 million being raised for five of the Valley’s premier arts groups: Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Cultural Council and the Phoenix Symphony.   Know as 5 Arts Circle, its founder, Howard Hirsch, conceived the idea on a golf course in December 1999, a time when Arizona’s population was booming but donations to the arts were not. Hirsch issued a challenge within his foursome to enhance cultural offerings in the Valley by supporting five Phoenix arts groups. They responded by not only writing their own checks, but also going on to secure additional private donations. Thus began the membership-based non-profit, which today has 50 members and 10 corporate partners.   “We are thrilled to be celebrating 15... More

Desert Reach Program Reaches Out

2014-12-07 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Peni Long     As the Desert Awareness Committee (DAC) turns 40 this year, its Desert Reach program turns 10 — and has so far reached more than 5,000 students. The creative and organizational talents behind this flagship program are Diane Vaszily and Fran Wylie. Both came to Arizona from different parts of the country, but with their training, talents and dedication are now focused on a mutual goal of fulfilling the DAC’s mission to “educate all in understanding, conserving and preserving our fragile desert, its plants and animals, its water and wildlife.”   Volunteers Making a Difference for the Future Diane is first and foremost an environmental educator. Since joining the DAC in 1992, she has been an advocate for our desert resources.   “Personally, it is important to me for people who live in or visit an area to understand how it functions, how it fits into the larger ecosystem and especially how it impacts them,” she says.   Diane brings a substantial... More

Ageless Spirit

2014-12-06 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Donna Kublin   “The spirit never ages,” said Chilean writer Isabel Allende. Giving testament to this truism is an exhibit of artwork by three accomplished, passionate, professional artists at the Holland Gallery of Fine Art this December.   On display are works by master printmaker Ann Otis, abstract-expressionist painter Kay Orton and Hank Keneally, who integrates digital art, photography and painting. With their 238 years of combined experience, they are shown together for the first time with more than 50 art pieces representing a body of work that reflects on the past and looks forward into the future. The exhibit is a completely modern expression of art and the artists, all in their 70s or 80s, are ardent, energetic and full of spirit.   Ann Otis is a storyteller. Using her prints as visual means of communication, she comments about life, culture and nature, keeping a light touch and a bit of humor throughout, as well as a measure of fantasy. Working with copper plate... More

Clarkdale Comes Into its Own

2014-12-04 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Suzanne Wright   I settle into my first-class seat in the Sedona car. Brandon, who introduces himself as the bartender for our ride, is offering passengers their choice of champagne or apple cider. I opt for the former and raise a glass to my seatmates, a foursome of well-coiffed friends from Scottsdale and Minnesota who are sitting across the aisle.   I’m aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad, which leaves from Clarkdale, 22 miles west of Sedona. It’s a clear, chilly November day; a bright cobalt sky stretches above, with puffy clouds suspended high over green-studded mountains in the distance.   “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” is the railroad’s slogan, and it’s certainly apt. Over the next four hours, we travel just 20 miles, hugging the Verde River through the rugged inner canyon wilderness of high desert rock interspersed with prickly pear cacti, cottonwoods, willows and white bark sycamores blazing autumnal gold.   Locomotive-themed music —... More

The Long Goodbye

2014-12-03 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Paula Theotocatos   “My fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease … I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.”   President Ronald Reagan wrote those poignant words in a letter to the American public when he announced that he had Alzheimer’s disease and was preparing for the “long goodbye.”   Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, does not discriminate; its victims include not only the average person but also many well-known celebrities:   Entertainer and Scottsdale resident Glen Campbell now resides in a nursing home in order to manage his worsening Alzheimer’s condition.   Former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady,” suffered from dementia and thought her husband, Denis, who had passed in 2003, was still... More

Glimpsing Masters of Painting & Woodworking

2014-12-02 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Writer Donna Kublin     Pam and Steve Rusch both enjoy the process of creating. While Pam prefers an unplanned, spontaneous interaction with paint on canvas or paper, Steve opts for a completely planned approach to working with wood. They each love what they do and often collaborate on each other’s work. Having celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year, they are used to working together, though they admit they don’t always agree.   Their pre-retirement careers were in education in Jefferson County, Colorado. Pam taught visual arts at a junior high school, while Steve taught woodworking, drafting, architecture, science, aviation and computers to high school students, among other subjects.   In 2001, they moved to Anthem, where they found the perfect spot to pursue their post-retirement interests. Pam returned to her passion for painting. She considers herself a colorist and her work a form of expressionism.   “It is a process-driven approach to painting based on... More

The Simple Farm

2014-12-01 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Photo Credit: Brenna Zumbro
Writer Lara Piu     When I meet Lylah Ledner, she is multitasking like any good farmer-rancher-confectioner-cheese maker-businesswoman. Counting her goats on one hand, on the other she tells me the story behind The Simple Farm and how she and her husband, Michael, transformed a three-acre property into a residential farm and thriving business in the middle of Scottsdale’s suburbia.   The 60-something-year-olds have been married for 28 years. The pastor and his bride met in Tucson and after one year, moved to Oregon with their two daughters. Twenty years ago, the couple returned to Arizona to make good on a promise to live closer to Lylah’s grandparents.   Plum, one of their goats, hollers for Millie, who is in heat (a fertile period), as Lylah explains: “We jumped into this adventure even though we didn’t know what the heck we were doing.”   In 2009, the Ledners proposed creating a public garden with the unused property owned by their community of faith. At the time, the... More

Carefree Fine Art of the Southwest Festival

2014-11-28 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Magic Bird Festivals presents this annual event featuring more than 100 fine arts exhibits, live music, refreshments and dance performances, including nationally renowned Native American hoop dancer Brian Hammill. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St., 480-488-2014, magicbirdfestivals.com.... More

40th Annual Fountain Hills Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts

2014-11-14 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Purchase art and enjoy good food and music at this annual festival featuring nearly 500 artisans. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Downtown Fountain Hills, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., 480-837-1654, fountainhillschamber.com.... More

Musical Instrument Museum Concert: Keiko Matsui

2014-11-13 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


See why Keiko Matsui’s elegant piano melodies and gentle jazz grooves make her an icon of contemporary jazz. 7:30 p.m. $42.50-$47.50. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., 480-478-6000, mim.org.... More

Desert Foothills Theater Presents Anything Goes

2014-11-10 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


A series of mistaken identities ensues as passengers and crew aboard the S.S. American sing and dance their way across the Atlantic in this comical farce about a stowaway in love with an heiress. Check website for show times. $15-32. Cactus Shadows Fine Art Center, 33606 N. 60th St., 480-488-1981, dftheater.org.... More

Living Music Performance Series: Sabar: Drums of Senegal

2014-11-08 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Learn rhythm from the drumming cultures of Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria. 3 p.m. Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, 9205 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-2081, ctlcarefree.org.... More

Mind, Body, Bliss Retreat Day at Rancho Mañana Resort

2014-11-08 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Join a number of health and wellness experts for a daylong learning and experiential healing retreat that includes guided meditations, yoga and emotional and spiritual health. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $35 for full day; $20 for half day; $10 for yoga or one lecture. Rancho Mañana, 5720 E. Rancho Manaña Blvd. 480-419-1799.... More

Rhapsody School of Music

2014-10-14 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Writer Jenny Brooks   The North Gateway has a music school of its very own. Rhapsody School of Music, opened on September 1, 2013 by Brian and Angie Benson, is the only school or store of its kind serving the area. It provides music education to persons of all ages in private and group music lessons and is an authorized dealer in name brand instruments. It also provides great rock band and Kindermusik programs and features a new on-site recording studio.   “We started with a great foundation and worked really hard building a brand families needed that was locally owned and operated,” says Brian. “We have unbelievably gifted musicians teaching wonderful students and are grateful for the families we see every week who choose to be involved with our business. We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished in just one year.”   He adds, “To see a person walking out with an instrument they’ll treasure forever is something special to be part of. For us, it’s the relationships... More