Agnese Udinotti: The Body and Beyond

2016-09-06 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Writer Katherine Braden   When most people think of contemporary art, they think of abstraction.   But Agnese Udinotti wants to make it clear she’s not an abstract artist — she’s a figurative artist.   The first thing she does when I visit her studio is give me a history lesson. It’s a fire hose of information as she details the history of abstract art, the difference between abstract and figurative, and the man behind the promotion of figurative art as a major mode of visual expression: Peter Selz.   The thing is, abstract art academically appeals to Udinotti, but her heart has always been in portraying the human figure. It’s her passion.   “I never considered anything else,” she tells me. “To not do the human form is boring.”   For Udinotti, figurative art doesn’t mean a realistic representation of the human form, however.   “You have to consider that we as human beings are an embodiment of emotions, intellect and all kinds of sensitivities and senses,”... More

Small Is Beautiful: Emily Randolph Fine Art

2016-09-06 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Emily Randolph
Writer Grace Hill   You won’t find Emily Randolph photographing the panoramic views of the Grand Canyon or the expansive Arizona desert landscape. You won’t see her stepping back during a photoshoot. And you won’t come across her taking the big picture. That’s not Emily’s style. Not, at least, when it comes to her art.   You will, however, see her zooming in as far as her camera will allow. She sees what many do not. She sees the beauty in some of the smallest details that this world has to offer.   This desire to centralize her artwork on details stems from her love of textures, shapes and colors — a love that she observed in her grandmother and mother. Both women had an enthusiasm for fabrics, furnishings, antiques, interior design and art. Through their mentorship, Emily was able to develop a sharp eye for what makes an art piece worthy of admiration. While art is beautiful as a whole, Emily learned to appreciate all the small details that work together to bring about... More

In the Spotlight: 2016-17 Arts Season Preview

2016-09-06 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Arizona Opera
Writer Grace Hill   The lights dim. The curtain begins to lift. The music commences. Your eyes fixate on the stage. A feeling of anticipation and excitement rushes through your soul.   If those words transport you back in time, then you have had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most beautiful forms of entertainment: a live performance of the arts.   Only there can you witness the passion and intensity of a professional dancer or be moved by the depth and skill found in a seasoned theater performer. It is there you can fully experience the breathtaking sounds of a classically-trained opera singer or be swept away by the movement of music created by a renowned orchestra.   The 2016-17 arts season promises to light up the stages and your senses once again, and Images Arizona is pleased to present you with a listing of the upcoming productions.   Note: Most listings have been included; however, for companies with an extensive production list, a complete listing has not been... More

Amanda’s Hope: ComfyCozy’s for Chemo

2016-09-06 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Photographer Michele Celentano
Writer Shannon Severson   When Lorraine Tallman lost her young daughter, Amanda, to cancer in 2012, she took inspiration from her child, and turned a devastating experience into a mission to help other children and families facing life-threatening illness.   Lorraine founded the Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels (AHRA) Foundation and began making the organization’s signature ComfyCozy’s for Chemo — brightly colored T-shirts with zippers, pockets and slits that grant caregivers, nurses and doctors easy access to a child’s ports and tubes, preserving the privacy and dignity of the patient. The shirts themselves were Amanda’s concept, as she hated having to disrobe in front of strangers and wanted to create adaptive tops for other children. Amanda was endlessly giving and had a huge heart for everyone. That spirit continues in AHRA.   “I think God gave Amanda to me to teach me how to be a human being,” says Lorraine. “She taught me so many lessons. We have helped more than... More

Labor of Love: Wine Photo Essay

2016-09-06 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Photographer Jenelle Bonifield
Writer Lara Piu Photographers Featured: Jenelle Bonifield and Brenna Zumbro   By the time the day’s first light washes over the vineyard, granting it warmth, the volunteers have been working for several hours. They are mothers, daughters, workers, lovers of wine and other people of the harvest tapestry. It’s an eclectic group, but in this moment, the grapes unite them.   It takes a large crowd to harvest, yet those who show up remain among an elite group of wine lovers who get to meet the fruit face-to-face and send her on to her destiny. They know she endured a long metamorphosis to meet them. Yet unlike the harvesters, her grapes come from the same walk of life.   In the beginning, she is nothing really, pruned down early each spring for a fresh start. Within weeks, she chirps a teeny-tiny sprout that marks the beginning of her transformation. The bud break will reveal if and how the weather has affected her. A mild winter could make her uneven; a wet one could lead to... More

Built to Last: Meet the Wedge Family

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Grace Hill   The Wedge family loves to build. It’s in their blood.   A resident of Arizona for nearly 40 years, Greg Wedge Jr., the patriarch of the family, currently lives in North Scottsdale with his wife, Kathleen. Not too far away from them live their three children: twin sons, Greg III and Josh, and daughter, Sydney.   While the family loves the outdoors and spends that time mountain biking, camping or fishing, it is the indoor spaces they have created that set them apart. The need to create homes first began when the elder Greg was just a young man, and decided to follow a similar path as his father.   “I love building and working with wood,” he says. “When I graduated from high school, I started working with my dad doing basically the same stuff that I do now.”   He never stopped building. For more than 32 years, the elder Greg worked as a framer. But about five years ago, after some restructuring of the company he worked for, he was let go. Instead of... More

Saguaro Splendor

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Aimée Madsen
Writer Grace Hill   Amidst the sprawling Sonoran Desert, the saguaro cactus makes its exclusive home. It is here, and only here, that the largest and perhaps most treasured cactus in the United States finds living conditions required for its survival: a hot, dry climate located between sea level and 4,000 feet in elevation. The summer monsoon season is also vitally important, as it supplies the rainfall that hydrates the saguaro all year long.     The saguaro’s scientific name is Carnegiea gigantea. It is not a coincidence that the name Carnegiea sounds similar to the last name of the famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It was given in honor of Carnegie for his generous support in the research of desert plants.     The quintessential saguaro is often depicted as having two arms growing upward out of its trunk. While an accurate portrayal for some, this form is not considered the standard. In fact, it is possible for a saguaro to produce as many as 50 arms. Those arms do not... More

Born to be Wild

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Painting by Marless Fellows
Writer Amanda Christmann   In the searing heat of summer, brittlebush and cholla take long pauses, scorched and tested by unforgiving rays of the desert sun. Whiptail and earless lizards scurry from the sparse shade of one parched palo verde to the next, and families of Harris’s hawks perch tiredly atop the spiny tops of saguaros.   Desert cicadas break the silence, their rattling screams seeming to come from the mesquites and prickly pear cacti themselves. The swish of a tail, barely visible from behind a crop of mesquites, shatters the stillness, followed by an unmistakable snort. A sturdy white stallion rises like a mirage out of the waves of heat that dance above the desert floor. Alert, he glances sideways from a dark eye, one ear perked high as he listens to the sound of approaching visitors.   Only mildly cautious — for he has seen many visitors in recent years — he steps toward a striking chestnut mare with white socks and a white blaze, softly snorting to prompt her... More

Tuft & Needle

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Shannon Severson   Young, successful innovators use their software development backgrounds to take a startup from problem-solving idea to multimillion dollar industry breakthrough. It sounds like a Silicon Valley Cinderella story, but it’s happening right here in Phoenix at online mattress retailer Tuft & Needle.   John-Thomas “JT” Marino and Daehee Park were longtime friends who met at Penn State University and were burning the candle at both ends at an early stage, heavily financed Palo Alto, California software company. They had tossed around the idea of starting their own company for a long time, but didn’t want to follow the same old formula: become a founder, then find an idea to build a company around, followed by collecting massive amounts of investors’ cash to get things going, all while working endless hours until a buyout makes everyone involved massively wealthy.   “We wanted to do it differently,” says Marino. “We wanted to look at our own... More

Behind the Scenes: Four Phantoms

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Rebecca Zaner   “Softly, deftly, music shall surround you …”   On August 12-13, the music of the night at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort will feature “The Four Phantoms,” a brand new national tour featuring four of the most iconic stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “The Phantom of the Opera”: Brent Barrett, Franc D’Ambrosio, Davis Gaines and Marcus Lovett. Each of these actors have performed the role of Phantom in professional venues on and off Broadway during their careers.   The new concert will include beloved songs from the show, as well as other Broadway favorites from “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “Miss Saigon,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “West Side Story” and more. The four artists will also be joined by Kaley Ann Voorhees, the youngest female performer to play the role of Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.   Brent Barrett performed in the Las Vegas production of... More

Luxury Urban Living

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Grace Hill   A new era in luxury home development has emerged in Arizona. Homebuyers are being seduced by a more upscale, urban lifestyle — one where they are in the heart of the city, with easy access to high-end shopping, trendsetting dining destinations, art districts and local music venues.   In order to meet this lifestyle demand, a slew of impressive homes are being built as close to main streets as possible. These homes are masterfully designed and full of modern luxury. Resort-style features permeate throughout, including concierge services; gorgeous rooftop and courtyard gardens; sophisticated and upscale interior amenities; one-of-a-kind mountain and city views; secure indoor parking; sprawling entertainment spaces; and so much more.   No detail has been overlooked and no expense has been spared. Luxury living is now possible in areas bursting with life.   Contour on Campbell Avenue Located in Phoenix’s character-rich Campbell Avenue, Contour offers more than... More

Going with the Grain: Daniel Germani Designs

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Michael Woodall
Writer Shannon Severson   For Daniel Germani, furniture design began as a creative outlet, not as something he thought would become his livelihood. Today, his furniture; residential and commercial interior design; and skilled architectural renovation are in demand, drawing attention both here in Phoenix and around the world.   Originally from Argentina, Germani first studied architecture at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, then spent the next eight years pursuing entrepreneurial and creative projects in Rome, Madrid, Brussels, London and Amsterdam. In 1998, he landed in Phoenix to pursue his master’s in international management from Thunderbird. His now uber-successful career as a furniture designer began simply, as a way to reconnect with his passion for design.   “I decided to return to it slowly, designing small furniture pieces that would give me a flavor of seeing and touching something I created and built,” says Germani. “More commissions started coming my way, and... More

Baroque Beauty: The Orpheum Theatre

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Fred Urlich Photography
Writer Paula Theotocatos   The year was 1929. The madcap era of the Roaring ‘20s was over and the country plunged into the Great Depression with the Wall Street stock market crash. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art opened in New York.   Across the country in Phoenix, another prestigious opening for the benefit of the arts occurred that year: the beautiful Orpheum Theatre.   The Orpheum has a rich history and Anthem resident Fay Giordano, who is a docent at the theater, will be glad to tell you all about it. Fay first became a docent in 1994 when the theater was in the middle of its 12-year renovation.   “We did hard hat tours of the empty theater, telling its history and the plans for its future,” Fay explains. “It reopened in January of 1997 after a $14.5 million restoration.”   Fay has had an interesting history of her own.   “Although I was born in Duluth, I was raised on a farm near the small town of Upsala in... More

One Plate at a Time

2016-07-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Katherine Braden   I follow Christiane Barbato across her backyard and into a small white hut. Inside, dozens of unglazed clay pots and bowls rest upside-down on shelves, waiting. It’s bright and dusty, and the air smells earthy, like dirt and sunshine. A long table stands in the middle. Christiane turns to me, smiling.   “This is my studio,” she says.   For Christiane, it all officially started a few years ago. Unhappy with the plates she had at home, she decided to make her own. She’d been making pottery since high school, but it had always been a hobby. Once friends saw her homemade plates, however, they asked if they could order some for themselves.   With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business, Christiane sensed an opportunity. She sold to her friends and started a website, putting her work online. In 2013, she relocated to a house in Phoenix. But there was a problem: The door of her new home was a nasty shade of green. Undeterred, Christiane painted... More

Bow, Barn and Brush: Alex Bauwens

2016-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Writer Shannon Severson   There’s never been a time when art and horses haven’t been defining elements in the life of Alex Bauwens. An accomplished professional artist, the 27-year-old has found her true home in Arizona, a place where she can paint and pursue her passion for horses, mounted archery and competitive reining — and be part of a thriving community of creatives.   Bauwens is constantly on the move, yet nothing she does centers on immediate gratification. It’s antithetical to today’s fast-paced, wait-for-nothing mentality. Each accomplishment has been carefully prepared for, studied, shaped and earned.   “I started riding and drawing when I was 3 or 4,” says Bauwens. “My mom is an artist and she rode horses. Riding was my reward. If I could sit at the barn and draw while she was riding, I would get to ride after she was finished.”   In fact, there wasn’t much young Alex wouldn’t do to get the chance to be on a horse. She pulled weeds, mucked stalls,... More