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

Go Beyond Off the Shelf: Patrick Gibbons Handmade

2016-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Patrick Gibbons Handmade
Writer Lara Piu   Whether it seems like yesterday or decades ago, in 2008 you were likely affected by the housing collapse and economic recession. For North Scottsdale resident Patrick Gibbons, it marked the end of a flourishing business and successful career in land development, but it was also a chance to shake things up.   “I thought, here’s an opportunity to do something different with my life,” Patrick recalls. “So I asked myself, ‘What would you do tomorrow if you could do anything?’”   The answer came quick and easy: golf. Patrick was not on track to be a professional golfer, but he had an appreciation for high-quality golf accessories, thanks to his grandfather. In fact, at the end of his life, Patrick asked his grandfather to leave him one thing: his golf bag.   “It was an old bag that he had for decades, but I liked that it was made in the U.S., and that it had a quality that had nothing to do with today’s disposable society,” he says.   Starting with... More

An Ode to Whiskey

2016-06-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Brandon Tigrett
Writer Amanda Christmann   Lance Carver leans back in his chair, happily worn from a good day’s work. Pausing for a moment, he raises a tulip-shaped glass to his nose and takes a hearty whiff.   “The first thing is the scent,” he explains, then holds the amber liquid under his nose once again, taking a calm, deep breath.   “That first sniff clears your nostrils. It’s the second and third sniffs that give you some of the true flavors of a good whiskey.”   With that, he takes a small sip and rolls it around his tongue, then swallows and smiles. Whiskey is a drink that has personality and distinction of its own. It defines its enthusiasts as much as they define it, and Carver seems to fit the image.   By day, the longtime Arizona resident can be found outdoors, hiking, biking and enjoying all that the desert foothills have to offer. As hard as he plays, he works even harder. By evening, he manages Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House, one of the busiest restaurants in the... More

Meet the Saunders Family

2016-06-29 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Submitted by Saunders Family
Writer Grace Hill   “There are 160 million orphans in the world,” says Linny Saunders. “I can’t adopt them all, but by golly, I want to give it a shot!”   It is with that enthusiastic determination that Linny and her husband, Dwight, have maneuvered through life. During their 37 years of marriage, they have had the honor of being called Mom and Dad not just once, but 14 times. Their family consists of eight girls, six boys and a lot of love. While not many couples set out on having so many children, Linny always knew a large family was in her future.   “I spent my growing up years dreaming of someday being a mom of many — even dreaming that they would be lovingly gathered from around the world,” she says.   Yet when the time came for Linny to start her family, she discovered that bringing a child home was not happening the way she expected. Instead of allowing frustration to enter her heart, Linny decided to see the silver lining in that moment.   “We were unable... More

Weekend Warriors: Team Anthem

2016-06-10 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Writer Tom Scanlon   Saturdays and Sundays are the unofficial “sleep in” days across America. Yet around Anthem, long before dawn on most weekends, alarm clocks are going off and a group of men and women, exhausted from another week’s work, are snapping out of deep sleep and climbing out of bed.   As the first light of day is rising over the desert hills, two dozen adults ranging in age from late 30s to early 60s are already burning calories like barbecues burn coal. They might be running down the road, they might be cycling steep hills, they might even be swimming in a choppy lake — whatever it takes to train for races that test their breaking points.   For many people, training for marathons, triathlons and Ironman competitions is a solitary, even lonely pursuit. Here in the North Valley, extreme athletes have gravitated toward one another, creating a super-fit pod.   This is Team Anthem, and this is the place, if you’re looking for a group not just to help you get into... More

Sculpting Space: Elizabeth Rosensteel

2016-06-08 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Submitted by Elizabeth Rosensteel
Writer Shannon Severson   Resourcefulness and reinvention is in Elizabeth Rosensteel’s DNA. Her interior design firm, Rosensteel Design Studio, is the culmination of many years — and careers — that have molded who she is today: an artist, furniture designer, sculptor, art director, inventor. Even further back, Rosensteel recalls stories of her maternal grandfather, an artist and organic gardener (before sustainability was a “thing”), and her industrious grandmother, who supported the family by weaving, making lace and working as a furrier — anything to keep her family afloat on the sparse income of an artist.   This combination of hard work and creative talent lives on in Rosensteel, but did draw concern from her mother, who feared her daughter would encounter the same hardships she had as a girl.   “I don’t think my grandparents even had running water until 1972,” says Rosensteel. “My mother said to me as I was growing up, ‘If you go into any form of the arts,... More

Field of Big Dreams: Miracle League of Arizona

2016-06-06 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer: Shannon Severson   Baseball is the ultimate American game. The national pastime, mom and apple pie all rolled into one glorious notion that blends the seemingly incongruous images of perfectly manicured fields and empty dirt lots, and calls to mind the skilled, sinewy power hitters wielding Louisville Sluggers in palatial stadiums in almost equal measure to dusty little kids swinging sticks on neighborhood streets. In essence, it’s a game that can be enjoyed and played by just about anyone.   But for children with disabilities, there are barriers in the traditional version of baseball that prevent them from playing and enjoying the Grand Old Game with their typical peers. Enter the Miracle League of Arizona (MLAZ) in North Scottsdale and their motto: “Every child deserves the chance to play baseball.”   MLAZ offers children, teens and adults with disabilities or special needs the opportunity to experience the joy of playing baseball in either a non-competitive or... More

Against the Wind: Jason Magee Takes a Swing at Conventional Golf

2016-06-04 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Brandon Tigrett
Writer Nigel Spence   Below the Titleist ball cap and latest threads that Peter Millar has to offer, Jason Magee is a little more complex than meets the eye. To the casual observer, he looks like an average golf professional. He calls a patch of turf at the southern end of the McCormick Ranch Golf Club driving range his office and, like most instructors, his golf bag, embossed with his name, is overflowing with training clubs, swing aids, gizmos and gadgets.   But spend a little time with Jason and you will find he is as generous as he is sarcastic, and as self-deprecating as he is confident.   Most of all, he is devoted to making a difference in the golf industry.   Born and raised in small town Louisiana, Jason was not exposed to country club life. While other pros grew up taking aim on carefully manicured greens, Jason perfected his swing on the family farm, using animals in distant pastures as targets.   “If I could make them move, then I figured I’d hit a good shot,” he... More

17th Annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition

2016-06-03 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Apatrou Photography
Writer Donna Kublin   Finals for the 17th annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition (AYAC) were held on April 2, and this year, Cave Creek and Phoenix residents were among the winners.   The AYAC showcases performing artists between ages 15-19 in the disciplines of acting, dance and voice. Through an open call and audition process, 12 finalists were selected to compete at the Herberger Theater Center in hopes of obtaining the Judges’ Choice Award, for which winners in each discipline receive a $1,000 scholarship to help further their education in the arts; and the audience-selected People’s Choice Award, for which winners receive $100.   And the winners by category are:   Acting Judges’ Choice: Arianna Williams, 17, Phoenix, Mountain Pointe High School People’s Choice: Kelly Hajek, 19, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Community College Dance Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice: Michaela Horger, 17, Phoenix, Royal Dance Works   Voice Judges’ Choice: Ally Lansdowne, 18,... More

Meet the Barnett Family

2016-06-02 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Lauren Strait   Even though Luke Barnett grew up in the church — especially a well-established church like Phoenix First Assembly — he had no intention of following in his father’s footsteps when it came to ministry.   “Although I was heavily involved in our church, I didn’t see myself leading or pastoring like my father,” says Luke. “I really enjoyed sports and played professional golf on a mini tour in college while working on my degree in business administration.”   Luke’s father, Pastor Tommy Barnett, always told him that people shouldn’t go into ministry because of any push; rather, it should be God’s calling. During that same conversation, his father mentioned that if Luke was ever asked to go speak at a neighboring church, he should try it. Two weeks later, a man called asking for someone to speak at a church in Goodyear.   “I immediately accused my dad of setting this whole thing up,” Luke says, laughing. “He swore he had nothing to do... More

National Park Service 100: Chelly Canyon

2016-06-02 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

This year, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of preservation of land, animals and resources — and of providing opportunities to experience, explore and enjoy the 58 national parks and more than 400 public lands it administers. Twenty-two of these lands, including three national parks, are located in Arizona, and if ever there was a time to appreciate these unique gifts in our home state, this is it.   The centennial celebration is more than an acknowledgment of the past; it is recognition of the continuing achievements for our own generations, as well as for generations yet to be born. Through our national parks, we are creating an ongoing legacy that, no matter what technology or cultural changes occur, will allow future Americans to understand and feel for themselves the deep interdependence humans, in our most basic of elements, have with the rest of the natural living world.   To celebrate this remarkable achievement, our Images Arizona staff will be... More

Young Bucks

2016-05-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Keri Meyers
Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque   In a world filled with video games, iPhones and other electronics, there are three North Valley families who are raising boys in what may seem like an alternate universe: the world of rodeo competition.   Barely tall enough to see over the steers they regularly ride, these boys put fear aside and work through their anxiety each time they climb into the metal chute and mount the 1,800-pound steers they will cling to for as long as possible — in front of crowds of hundreds. Thus far in their relatively short careers, they have attracted the respect and admiration of many audiences. And if local resident Rob Tremp has his way, they will sell the short documentary he produced to a network for reality TV development or a full-feature documentary based on three of these local “Young Bucks.”   Many believe that more than promoting bull riding and the rodeo circuit, these boys are promoting a lifestyle that some say is all but dead: the lifestyle of... More

A Piece of History: Cartwright’s Arizona History Dinners

2016-05-29 | ImagesAZ | Community

Photo Credit: Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House
Writer Amanda Christmann   In many ways, Cave Creek has escaped the pen strokes of time. Sports cars still share the road with horses and there are just as many Tony Lamas as there are Christian Louboutins. For well over a century, time has not managed to erase all that has made Cave Creek special, and if Cave Creek restaurateurs Eric Flatt and John Malcolm have their way, the history and lore that made it great will live on through stories and song.   Arizona has always been a place where people do things a little differently. Perhaps it’s something about the dry desert air that makes us feel a little more relaxed and closer to one another. We don’t have to sit in the glow of a campfire to connect through stories and common history; we just need to share a good meal, imbibe in a drink or two and make new memories while sharing old ones.   It’s not a stretch for a place like Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House to carry on Arizona traditions. The restaurant is named after the... More

Paper Dresses: Annie Lopez

2016-05-26 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Donna Kublin   Over the past several decades, nationally exhibited artist Annie Lopez has consistently created new bodies of work exploring a variety of subjects. Through it, she presents a dialogue about race, stereotypes, the local art world, relationships and family, all done with a combination of frankness and humor.   A fourth-generation Phoenix resident, Lopez was recently honored with the 2016 Governor’s Arts Award for individual artist. Her work has been exhibited at museums across the country, including “Paper!” at the Phoenix Art Museum; “American Voices” at the Smithsonian Institution; “The Show” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe; “In Celebration: A Century of Arizona Women Artists,” which traveled throughout Arizona; and, most recently, “Cyanotypes: Photography’s Blue Period” at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Two of her pieces are currently on exhibit at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New... More

The Athlete’s Home

2016-05-25 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: The Athlete’s Home
Writer Lara Piu   Healthy living communities have been popular over the last 15 years, with homeowners now enjoying miles of walking, hiking and biking paths throughout communities like DC Ranch and Anthem, in addition to fitness centers and classes, pools, golf, medical complexes and more.   Now in other cities, the trend has made its way inside the home, with new home builders marketing wellness properties. Canyon Ranch in Tucson, for example, offers new homes designed to mimic its iconic destination spa. And in Chicago, new homes by Evolutionary Home Builders monitor and evaluate health and track stamina and performance.   In search of their own health and lifestyle-centric home, local architect, general contractor and real estate broker John Landry and his wife, Kim, took matters into their own hands. Not wanting to move out of the neighborhood they loved, they took their existing home down to the slab and started from scratch, all to create a new home catered to their... More