Features

Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


Photo Credit: Gabe Mikesell
A great place to enjoy this summer, or any other time for that matter, is the newly opened Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, located in the city’s historic arts district. The $11.4 million museum features stunning rotating exhibitions of Western art, cultural treasures and historic artifacts on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutions. Enlivening the experience are interactive exhibits, multi-media productions, and an ongoing schedule of fun, educational programs and public events.   The museum opened in January 2015 to rave reviews. “People are awestruck when they visit,” said Michael Fox, museum director. “They are surprised by the unique Western architecture of the building, the vastness of the collection, and the emphasis on storytelling in the exhibits.”   The exquisite new 43,000-square-foot, two-story main building, designed by the architectural firm Studio MA, is located at the site of the historic Loloma Transit Station,... More

Beyond Wildest Dreams

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Inside the sanctuary of Papago Park, rust-colored sandstone monuments tower weathered and worn over a saguaro-studded moonscape. Ponds lined with palm trees and neat swaths of golf course green from form oases in the parched desert, and the sun illuminates a white pyramid standing alone atop a towering hillside. Erected out of grief by Arizona’s first governor, George Wiley Paul Hunt, to entomb the body of his wife, it is where he, too, is now enshrined.   Follow the paved path through this most unlikely corner of Phoenix, and another fantastic anomaly awaits. An array of birds, their melodies a medley of musical accord, accompanies the gentle rhythm of the hooves of giraffes and Grant’s gazelles as they saunter across a rolling savanna. Smiling meerkats stand erect, their masked eyes curious as they dart to and fro foraging for food. A rare white rhino stands motionless in the shade like a giant weather-worn boulder perched atop thick stumps.   In all, more than 1,400 mammals,... More

Brighter Dreams: Local Dancers Look Forward to the Future

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Sam Paul
For hundreds of local dancers, Dynamic Motion Dance Academy (DMDA) has launched his or her own personal journey through the expression of dance. This year marks the 15th anniversary of dance at DMDA, and many of the academy’s students have come together to celebrate the success of their beloved dance studio.   Born and raised in Phoenix, studio owner Tiffany Rollins has spent her entire life dancing. She began lessons at the age of three and, once introduced, she never stopped.   Tiffany graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in performance and choreography. She spent her performing career dancing with Center Dance Ensemble, Showstoppers, Dance FX and AzDance Group. She also had the opportunity to train with prestigious organizations such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey Dance Company throughout her career. She is currently a wife and mother to a 12-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.   Tiffany has owned her own dance studio for 15... More

Josh The Otter

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Sam Paul
Sometimes significant events happen in our lives that bring us to our knees and render us helpless. Times like those also seem to present the greatest opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.   Such was the case with the death of young Joshua Collingsworth, son of Kathy and Blake Collingsworth of Lincoln, Nebraska. The scenario itself is so common, particularly in Arizona; it is almost a cliché. A beautiful day by the pool spent with family and friends – a moment or two lapses when each parent mistakenly believes that the other is watching their child, until someone says the words, “Where is ….”   The day this happened to the Collingsworth family changed their lives forever. Little Joshua was found floating in the pool, and after spending three days on life support at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, his parents made the agonizing decision to remove the machines that were keeping him alive.   To honor little Joshua, the Collingsworths created the Joshua... More

Meet the Woodruff Family

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Family


Photo Credit: Jay and Jess Photography
Gabriel and Hannah Woodruff started 2014 with a secret, but it didn’t last very long. The young couple was hosting a New Year’s Eve party with about 100 revelers at their home in Cave Creek when, at the stroke of midnight, Gabriel got down on one knee and quietly asked Hannah to marry him. She said yes.   Elated, Gabriel couldn’t wait to share the news.   “I took the microphone from the DJ, thanked everyone for being there and announced we were getting married,” he says, smiling.   According to Gabriel, Hannah has always had that effect on him, ever since he met her at a young adult group at Scottsdale Bible Church.   “I started noticing her,” he says. “We went on a Lake Havasu trip and I made an extra effort to be everywhere she was. It worked.”   After an emergency appendectomy laid Hannah up in bed, Gabriel kept her company by visiting and texting, then got the courage to ask her out on a date.   “He asked me if I would like to go hiking sometime,” says... More

Seger Saloon

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Family


Photo Credit: Loralei Photography
When Kurt and Kim Seger set out to purchase a new home three years ago, two tall items were on their wish list: a stable for their daughter’s horse, and a full-sized guest house for Kim’s aging parents.   “I really admire how well my wife takes care of her parents,” says Kurt. “So it was important that we found a property where they could live with us.”   With a stable on a 2.5-acre plot, plus endless public horse trails nearby, and an 1,800-square-foot guest house for Mom and Dad, the Segers found a North Scottsdale residence that exceeded their expectations – and begged for more. Industrious and inspired, Kurt spent the next three years transforming the home into a true escape from city life and a unique step back in time.   My tour of the home begins in their backyard, which is perhaps typical with its pool, grass, loungers, cats, and dogs; except the Seger yard also includes the peering noses of five curious, beautiful animals through the backyard fence: Honey, a... More

Mariposa: A Love Story

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Photo Credit: Paul Markow
There are many among us who walk through life looking down at the pavement as they travel their paths, content with the knowledge that it is there, firm beneath their feet. Their roads are wide and well trodden, and they live safely and securely, smiling at their assuredness.   Beyond these superhighways of life are smaller roads, then wild pathways that lead through thickets of brambles and scattered, gnarled roots. Those who choose to follow these life paths often forge their own way, risking it all for the chance of finding something so special and fulfilling that the challenges and struggles are worth the prize.   For Sedona Chef Lisa Dahl, the path has been full of hills to climb and rivers to cross, but she has not walked it alone. Look closely at her footprints as they lead through the forest and there is a nearly invisible pair just in front of her, holding her hand and guiding her way.   Many Valley residents know Dahl from her award-winning, innovative Sedona restaurants:... More

True to the Game

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


Photo Credit: Jordan Phillips
“Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself, but never your subject. It is a contest, a duel, or a melee, calling for courage, skill, strategy and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial of honor, a revealer of character. It affords the chance to play the man and act the gentleman. It means going into God’s out-of-doors, getting close to nature, fresh air, exercise, a sweeping away of mental cobwebs, genuine recreation of tired tissues.”   The game of golf has evolved tremendously since David Forgan first spoke these words, a part of what he authored as the Golfer’s Creed, in 1899. As the son of a master golf club manufacturer hailing from St. Andrews, Scotland, Forgan traveled to Canada and then the United States, watching the game grow every step of the way. But as quickly as it grew, not even Forgan could have envisioned the game today.   Technological advancements in every aspect have changed the game; it could be argued for better... More

Meet the Stanton Family

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Family


Photo Credit: Loralei Photography
To say the Stanton’s Grayhawk home is a busy one would be an understatement.   With three teenage boys and one ’tween daughter, Matt and Tracy Stanton often find themselves hosting countless impromptu dinners and last-minute sleepovers for their kids’ friends. It’s not unusual to see every table in the house filled with upwards of 18 to 20 hungry teenaged boys feasting on a home-cooked meal, or to hear them call Matt and Tracy “Mom” and “Dad.” And with family living close by, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles are often part of the mix, too.   But the Stantons wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s comforting to know that 17-year-old twins Connor and Spencer, 15-year-old son Quinn and 12-year-old daughter Sophie feel that their house is the one their friends and family are always welcome in.   “Our door is always open,” says Tracy. “You don’t have to knock.”   And they’ve even made sure to have a big enough car to haul everyone where they need to... More

Take a Hike

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
There are those who spend their spare hours beneath the fluorescent lights of the gym, television screens mounted in front of their eyeballs, machines whirring and whizzing and a constant flood of music playing on overhead speakers.   Then there are those who like to take life at a different pace. They prefer the calmness of a light breeze to the clanking of weights, and the smell of acacia and desert lavender to the scent of sweaty towels and hand sanitizer.   These are hikers, and the near-perfect weather we enjoy here in Arizona for much of the year makes our own back yard one of the biggest and best playgrounds in the world.   Terravita residents Brian and Judy Rea are among the latter group. Sure, they still spend some time at the gym, but if they had their druthers, they’d spend their days in the great outdoors, enjoying all the desert has to offer.   And they have enjoyed quite a bit of it. Brian is one of only nine people to have left his footprints on 89 trails and... More

Catch a Rising Star

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Those who believe in reincarnation may point to Kate Godfrey of North Scottsdale as a supporting anecdote, if not conclusive evidence.   If she hadn’t been an actress in a previous life, how else did young Kate blossom so quickly? It certainly isn’t hereditary or learned familial behavior; as her mother Susan notes, she herself only had a bit part in a high school play. Kate’s dad, Rich Godfrey, is a “gear head,” and of their other four kids, “nobody’s into theater or dancing.”   Yet here is 11-year-old Kate, who in just three years has gone from dancing fork in her first play to the star role in DC Dance AZ’s “Matilda” production June 20 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.   It didn’t take Kate long to go head-over-heels for acting. “I really did fall in love with it,” she says, with about the sweetest, most unpretentious voice you can imagine. “It’s really fun. I love how you can be a different person and see what other people’s... More

All The Right Moves: Pom Star Dances Through Her NDP Career

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


One of the brightest sparkles for Notre Dame Prep’s Class of 2015 is a pom girl who shatters the stereotype of cheer and dance girls in school for the social scene. “I get that at school - ‘Is that all you do? Throw your pom poms in the air and go home?’ I’m more into branching out in my life and getting involved,” says Stephanie Nyberg, an NDP senior who will graduate this month.   She is in NDP’s Summa Cum Laude program, and for all four of her high school years has been on varsity pom, firing up the crowd at sporting events with routines far more dance-oriented than cheerleading. Stephanie was captain of this year’s pom team, which finished second in the state and seventh in a national competition.   On top of that, Stephanie breaks the typecast by being active in the National Charity League and has maintained a near-4.0 grade point average of 3.98. Her weighted GPA, factoring in honors and advance placement classes, is 4.28.   A finalist for the AIA Scholar... More

Stronger Together: The Sonoran Distance Project

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


At 51 years old, Susan Loken is preparing for her fourth Olympic Marathon Trial. With her agile body and determined spirit, it would be hard to believe that she didn’t start running until the age of 35, after the birth of her third child.   “I was the girl that skipped gym class, hated to get her hair sweaty and was always picked last for any team sport,” she says. “I had no idea there was an athlete hiding inside my body for over 35 years! I began walking, and then running, to give myself some alone time, get outside in the beautiful sunshine, lose weight and feel personally accomplished. The gift that running gave me was the lesson to believe in myself.”   Now she is the athlete everyone looks up to, sweaty hair and all, as she trains with 15 other female runners as part of the Sonoran Distance Project (SDP), an elite all-female running team where members are hoping to qualify and compete in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, and ultimately, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio... More

Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 50 years

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


The technology has changed; the message and mission remain the same.   The Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce has been the glue that has held the area business community together for the past 50 years.   From its dusty Old West beginnings to the commercial hub it is today, one thing has remained consistent for the business community: the chamber’s supportive efforts to promote and foster the civic and economic welfare of its member businesses.   In 2015, as the organization commemorates its 50th anniversary, it continues to grow and thrive, providing networking opportunities, relevant educational tools and business advocacy efforts to offer a solid foundation to the local business community.   Today, the non-profit serves more than 300 members, according to Patty Villenueve, chamber executive director. “Our members represent those who have businesses within the community, and those from outlying areas who want to do business within the community. Membership is evenly... More

Andy Warhol: Portraits & More at Phoenix Art Museum

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Art


An exhibition of portraits by Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century, is on display at the Phoenix Art Museum until June 21. It contains the largest showing of his work ever in Phoenix and spans his career from student artist in the 1940s up to the end of his life in 1987. This broad-based show includes a large variety of pieces including nearly 200 screen prints, paintings and drawings, photographs, and many surprises.   The exhibition examines Warhol’s interest in capturing the likenesses of celebrities, as well as of himself. The portrait subjects range from Prince and Queen Elizabeth II to Jackie Kennedy and Sylvester Stallone, along with many whose 15 minutes of fame has since faded. There are also several paintings, photographs, photo-booth pictures and Polaroids – which, in his time, were an innovative, instantaneous and spontaneous way to capture images. He took many images of himself, presaging today’s passion for... More