Norther Arizona's Mt Living Magazine March 2019

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Jun Maker Holly Lyman of Wild Tonic


Pub Essentials at Uptown Rock ‘n’ Wine in Jerome Artist Talaina Kor


M a r c h 2 0 19

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JUN MAKER An infant company out of Cottonwood, Arizona, is making a big splash in the beverage industry, and behind it all is a woman whose desire for a healthy,

energizing drink has grown into a wildly popular brand of kombucha.

Women in Business Advertising Special

starts on page 16.

Photo by Nancy Wiechec

DEPARTMENTS MATTERS OF TASTE MIND & BODY When it comes to a pub, the essentials A new Canadian study offers three tips 26 18 are fine company, good grub and raising a on how children can grow up smarter. glass. A longtime uptown spot fits the bill. OUTDOOR LIFE BY THE BOTTLE 28 Larry Hendricks takes an 11-mile hike through pines and wetlands for a winter 21 This Jerome-based winemaker puts on a view of Sycamore Falls. good show, and his bottles hit the mark as well. DISTINCTIVE SPACES THE ARTS 32 Like a little black dress that never goes out of style, ebony in the kitchen can 22 Bringing darkness to light: The surreal add elegance and stand the test of time. photographic works of northern Arizona Experts tell us how to use it right. artist Talaina Kor.



Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

ON THE COVER Holly Lyman, creator and founder of Wild Tonic jun kombucha, stands amid her company’s fermentation tanks at Good Omen Bottling in Cottonwood, Arizona. Photo by Nancy Wiechec.

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his month we celebrate women entrepreneurs and those making their mark in business in northern Arizona. One such example is Holly Lyman, a Sedona resident and founder of Wild Tonic organic beverages. Successful in art and the art business, Lyman never intended to own the company she does today. You might say that her Wild Tonic organic jun kombucha grew somewhat organically from her kitchen into a top-selling product. It all began as a challenge from her husband when she pointed out that the energy drinks he was accustom to having were not all that good for him. He said, “We’ll you create something better.” And, she said, “OK, I will.” Now Lyman’s unique brand is in their home refrigerator and refrigerators across the country. (My favorite new beverage is Wild Tonic’s Raspberry Goji Rose.) I love the Wild Tonic story. Like many women who start a business, Lyman sought to share with others something she created and loves. As her product became more in demand, production grew and so did her company’s workforce. Good Omen Bottling, the makers of Wild Tonic, is now the largest employer of any new business in the Cottonwood area, where the company is based. American Express has been tracking the development of wom-

en-owned businesses in an annual report. Last year, it reported that between 2007 and 2018, total employment for women-owned companies was up 21 percent, while for all businesses total employment declined by less than 1 percent. The number of women-owned businesses continues to grow in the U.S., and apparently, these businesses are creating the bulk of new jobs as well. This is something to celebrate. But, like in other years, the report points out that many women lack the resources to expand their businesses into revenue-generating companies that have signif icant impact on economic gains. For this to happen, communities must lend support and invest in business development. In northern Arizona, we are fortunate to have some great resources for training and support for new businesses. The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Flagstaff Business Connections, Flagstaff Independent Business Alliance, Coconino Small Business Development Center and Moonshot at the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, are some of the most notable groups that assist in local business development. As individuals, we can help most by buying local goods and services. Let’s all drink to that.

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ABOUT TOWN Favorites of the month from the area’s abundant offerings in art and entertainment





Museum of Northern Arizona, 2-4 p.m. Join archaeologists and demonstrators for this kid-friendly program exploring how prehistoric people lived. Try out ancient technology and weapons, create your own pinch pot and try some Anasazi stew. Museum admission is $12 for adults, $8 for ages 10-17, free for museum members and children 9 and under.

Orpheum Theater, doors at 7 p.m.

One of the most versatile bands in contemporary American music, this Grammy Award-winning sextet has spent nearly two decades bending and shaping the bluegrass aesthetic and wedding it to elements of pop, country and folk-rock. Opening is Viola & the Brakemen. General admission: $24.





Ardrey Memorial Auditorium, 4-6 p.m. The innovative State Street Ballet interprets a classic story with drama, humor and powerful choreography. The Jungle Book show brings to life the mystical land of wolves, snakes, monkeys and panthers, showcasing relationships and alliances in an iconic coming-of-age story. Tickets are $5-$35, available through the NAU Central Ticket Office, (928) 523-5661.

Ardrey Memorial Auditorium at NAU, 7:30 p.m. The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra presents an evening of music by master composers Johann Strauss II and Johannes Brahms and contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen. Program opens with Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz, a piece that received popular attention in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Tickets are $20-$74, available through the NAU Central Ticket Office, (928) 523-5661.



Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 7 p.m.

The Grand Canyon Guitar Society presents in concert João Luiz and Douglas Lora, the Brasil Guitar Duo. Playing together for more than 20 years, they combine a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos with traditional Brazilian dance forms–choro, samba, maxixe and baião. Tickets are $25, available from the guitar society at or (928) 213-0752.



Northern Arizona University Art Museum, noon-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday Calling to mind the inventiveness and ingenuity a creative process of their own … to discern the of the 20th century, Circuitous: Sculpture by Todd true function of the objects amidst varying levels Volz is a collection of objects that evoke the of real and imagined functionality.” The artist “gear and girder” age. Volz says the forms and will give a public presentation March 29 at 4 p.m. finishes he uses are “meant to engage viewers in Free admission. March19



Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine


H O L LY LY M A N O F W I L D T O N I C By Nancy Wiechec


ike bees buzzing around a picnic table, an Arizona-made line of drinks is disturbing the nation’s beverage industry, and the woman behind the buzz is Sedona resident Holly Lyman. Lyman brews and bottles the Wild Tonic brand of organic jun kombucha, a unique style she ma k e s w it h hone y. Just approaching four years in business, Lyman’s company, Good Omen Bottling, distributes Wild Tonic in non-alcoholic and alcoholic varieties to nearly all 50 states, and the brand has been labeled a top innovation by Beverage Industry Magazine as well as a “leader and disrupter” by Food & Beverage Magazine. “We’re f inding our place in the market very quickly,” Lyman says. “For example, Wild Tonic is now the top-selling beverage in craft brews at Whole Foods in northern Arizona.” In addition, the company reports growth of 2,600 percent in the last year—a quick and substantial rise that is rare in the ultra-saturated beverage industry.

The popularity of Wild Tonic’s alcoholic drinks is even more impressive considering its main competitor is craft beer. But Lyman says the millennial population—young adults in their mid-20s to mid-30s—are looking for and buying this style of adult beverage. She said more than 60 percent of millennials drink kombucha, and Wild Tonic is a popular choice because it has a smoother and more pleasing taste than regular kombucha. It’s also gluten free, sulfite free, contains probiotics and beneficial acids, and has fewer calories than the average glass of beer or wine. “Beer sales are now down, and I think people are more health conscious in general,” Lyman says. “Kombucha is considered a healthy beverage, and people read labels, they read ingredients, they want a quality product. They are looking for drinks they can enjoy and not feel bad about.” Lyman’s company was the first to bring a hard jun kombucha to the adult beverage market. With only a few other makers out there, Wild



actually brew I brewed.” In the end, Lyman’s favorite concoction turned out to be jun kombucha, which utilizes honey as the feed for the yeast and bacteria during fermentation. Standard kombucha uses sugar in the fermentation process. The difference in taste is significant. “Jun has a milder, gentle f lavor that appeals to more people. It doesn’t have the vinegar taste found in other kombuchas,” Lyman says. “I fell in love with jun and wanted to bring it to the world at large even though it’s considered an ancient culture and kind of taboo to brew. We’re very much pioneer makers of modern jun.” Wild Tonic has a slight fizz and original f lavor profiles, like Tropical Tumeric and Raspberry Goji Rose, that please the taste buds without being overbearing. Because it compares to sipping a light sparkling wine or Moscato d’Asti, jun is often called the champagne of kombucha. Like wine making, Lyman says there is quite a creative force behind Wild Tonic, and its thick cobalt blue bottle gives it an appealing and distinct look. “It’s kind of liquid art,” she says. “What I like about brewing is you’re creating an experience that people can enjoy together. You’re creating a beverage that is very community oriented, something that people can share time around together and enjoy.” As it happens, art and the business of art is something quite familiar to Lyman. Before creating Wild Tonic, she was a painter and gallery manager as well as business manager for American glass artist William Morris. She traveled a lot and became adept at business, bringing those skills to Wild Tonic. When asked about her management style she says she’s “very much hands-off,” Annie Tentindo, a co - owner of Kickstand Kafe sips a preferring to put the right people in place Wild Tonic drink at the cof fee shop. who can carry the business. Her company’s chief operating officer Tonic hard kombucha is the top-selling ing Naked 7.6 f lirts with notes of Zinfan- came with 10 years of experience at Cocabrand, and it swept the alcoholic kombu- del grapes, which come right from Lyman’s Cola. Other key staff came from Wild Turcha category in the 2018 Great International small organic orchard in Sedona. key Distilling Company and Boston Beer Beer, Cider, Mead and Sake Competition. Wild Tonic first emerged in Lyman’s Company, the makers of Samuel Adams. Of course, the thing that makes Wild Wild Tonic produces a 5.6 alcohol by kitchen when she was living in WashingTonic kombucha unique is its use of honvolume product in the same f lavors as its ton. Her experiments began as a challenge non-alcoholic drinks, and last year it in- from her husband to create something ener- ey. There would be no Wild Tonic without troduced 7.6 AVB reserve bottles with tan- gizing yet better for you than products like bees. In fact, food production, in general, talizing names and f lavors. Wild Love 7.6 Red Bull or Rockstar. is reliant upon bees. More than 80 percent “I fermented anything I could get my of crops grown for human consumption are has notes of blackberry and lavender, while Mind Spank 7.6 is an energizing blend of hands on. I made milk kef ir, water kef ir, said to need bees or other insects for polcoffee, chocolate and maple tastes. Danc- ginger beer, regular beer—anything I could lination. But according to scientists, the 10 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

‘ What I like about brewing is you’re creating an experience that people can enjoy together.’

A worker carries spent tea leaves to spread as mulch at Lyman's Eagle Mountain Orchards in Sedona. March19


Wild Tonic is fermented, brewed and bot tled at Good Omen Bot tling's Cot tonwood headquar ters. 12 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

world’s bee population is in alarming decline. Some factors of the loss include decreased habitat, disease, climate change and the use of herbicides, chemicals and pesticides in agriculture. To make Wild Tonic, Lyman must source most of the organic honey needed from countries outside the U.S. There’s just not enough organic honey available in the states. She says this concerns her on a few levels, so she’s established an organic orchard in Sedona that not only supplies Wild Tonic with fruit, botanicals and herbs for the drinks but also provides a location for honeybees to thrive. Lyman also collaborates with Patrick Pynes, a Northern Arizona University lecturer in environmental studies, an organic beekeeper and president of the Northern Arizona Organic Beekeepers Association. “The bee is an indicator of health in our environment, the health of us as people. If they start disappearing, then we have to look at what are we not doing right as humans,” Lyman says. “We want to help the Northern Arizona Organic Beekeepers get the word out and learn more about how to create a world that’s more bee-friendly.” That message is built into much of Wild Tonic’s marketing. Some of the repeat slogans include: “Bee aware” and “Enjoy the buzz without the sting.” Figures of bees are embossed on Wild Tonic bottles, and the Wild Tonic website has bee-friendly information and tips. Lyman says the last four years in business has been a whirlwind of activity and fun, all for good. “I don’t think we’re growing too large because we’re still having fun as a group. The minute we stop have fun, we’re probably too big. … Everyone here really thrives on all of the exciting new launches that we’re doing, and they are excited to see Wild Tonic products going into new locations. Last week, we just opened up in New York, and I just returned from Hawaii, where we opened up distribution. It kind of has a life of its own right now.” According to market analysts, the kombucha industry is still ripe for growth, expecting to be valued at $3.5 billion by 2025. Forecasters cite increasing demand for “functional beverages,” ones that are good or healthy for consumers. As for Lyman’s life, it revolves around March19


her business. But that’s okay with her because she sees it as a creative outlet, and she still uses her home kitchen to experiment with cultures and f lavors. She does, however, offer this advice to people thinking about starting a business of their own: “Be ready for 24-7, for years on end. There is no break. When you own your own business, you will be working weekdays, weekends, weeknights and weekend nights.” If it’s like Lyman’s—the right product at the right time—it could be a wild adventure. In Flagstaff, Wild Tonic is sold at Safeway stores, the Walmart Supercenter, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Beaver Street Liquors. Campus Coffeebean, Proper Meats + Provisions, Criollo Latin Kitchen, Matador Coffee and Kickstand Kafe also carry Wild Tonic beverages.

Hives at home at Lyman's Eagle Mountain Orchards in Sedona.

14 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

The beverage is sold at several Flagstaf f locations, including Kickstand Kafe on Humphreys Street.




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Fine company, good grub, raising a glass By Gail G. Collins


hen it comes St. Patrick’s Day, everyone claims a bit of Irish, even if it’s merely a wearing o’ the green and a proper toast: “May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.” Filling your cup is truly a Gaelic matter though, so let’s travel a wee bit of Great Britain’s whiskey trail. Scotch whiskey hails from five regions in Scotland and is aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. Single malt is made solely from malted barley, while single grain adds another grain to the mash. Each is produced at a single distillery. Two or more single malts from different distilleries create a blended malt, and a similar ratio of grains designates a blended grain. A blended whiskey, however, mixes malts and grains and constitutes the majority of such spirits. Scotch is distilled twice, while Irish whiskey is distilled thrice. Both make a worthy whiskey. Uptown Pubhouse in downtown Flagstaff has long encouraged raising a glass with friends. It opened in 1993 as Uptown Billiards with pool tables and an extensive beer selection. Later, it began serving spirits, especially whiskey.

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Today, owner James Jay stands behind the copper-topped bar and offers suggestions. He prefers 10-year Ardbeg Uigeadail when it’s cold. “Its peatiness is like an earthworm crawling in the soil, loamy,” he said. “It’s especially good with our Guinness stew.” Sirloin ends are slowly simmered in broth and Guinness with onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and potatoes and served with dinner rolls to mop up every drop. Jay’s 15-year vision was not merely a bar, but an Irish pub that “would offer food anyone can feel comfortable with while enjoying the social component—no need to bounce from spot to spot.” Nearly two years ago, Paddy’s Grill opened to fill the bill. Order at the window with pager alerts for pick-up. Chef Nick Clark launched the menu. “It’s a simple pub with a little of everything for everybody,” he said. His aim includes quality fare with a tight turnaround for diners. The true test of any pub is its fish and chips. Clark’s batter is lightened with Smithwick’s Irish ale and seasoned with garlic, ginger and onion. Four hearty hunks of haddock—a British standard—come with chips (fries) in a newsprint-lined red basket, reminiscent of British



vendors, who serve the street food in a newspaper cornet. Douse liberally with malt vinegar, a spritz of lemon and tartar sauce. Paddy’s Reuben stacks tender, shaved slices on toasted, farmhouse-thick marbled rye. In preparation, the corned beef is marinated in Guinness and cured for up to two days with mustard, juniper, allspice and peppercorns. The choice of sandwich sides includes fries, tater tots or beer-battered onion rings. Paddy’s favorite appetizers are built on fries. The curried ones are slathered with classic, golden curry gravy plus a parsley sprinkle. Dig in. They’re also vegan, like the Impossible™ Burger, made with heme protein and utilizing fermentation to achieve a browned ground-round effect. For a bigger bite, try the barbacoa, slow-cooked with orange juice, ancho chili paste, oregano and more. The shredded heaven is heaped on cheesy fries or tater tots and capped with sour cream, avocado, jalapeños and salsa verde. For an ooey-gooey close, choose the deepdish chocolate chip cookie, served in a skillet with ice cream and chocolate sauce. It’s enough for two. This traditional pub offers authentic grub for St. Paddy’s Day, too. Corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes and carrots, is available while supplies last. “It’s popular, and we sold out entirely last year,” said Clark. An Irish pub is a connection spot, and Uptown creates opportunities to do just that. Sundays offer Celtic music jams, the Literary Society meets on Mondays with books to lend, and Wednesdays are Trivia Nights. Six billiard tables form the pub’s central corridor with flags bearing coats of arms. It’s not fancy, but it promises fun, as if the memory of good times lingers in the air, beckoning. A handful of regulars recognized that a dozen years ago. A snowstorm had blown through, and they warmed themselves at the bar. Aloud they mused at the number of whiskeys behind the bar and how long it would take to taste them all. “I guessed we had about 70,” said Jay. “And I began keeping track of their trials on napkins behind the bar.” It’s still recorded on paper, but Uptown has over 1,000 earnest sippers working their way through the bottles now. Upon completion, they will join honorees on Uptown’s Scotch Wall. Clark’s favorite whiskey is Hell-Cat Maggie, an Irish spirit, of course, which also rotates amongst the specials. “Join me in a glass,” he suggested. “Or better yet, buy me one.” Sláinte! 20 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine


Rock'n'Wine IN JEROME By John Vankat


mong Arizona’s best known and widely respected wineries, Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards were started by Maynard James Keenan. Famous as the vocalist for rock groups such as Tool and Puscifer, Keenan has been described more broadly as “the embodiment of the archetypal artist.” While entering rock stardom in the mid-1990s, Keenan, who grew up in small towns in Ohio and Michigan, fell for the landscape and the vibe of not Los Angeles or New York City but central Arizona’s small, hillside-perched, historic mining town of Jerome. Keenan moved to Jerome and was captivated by similarities with wine-producing landscapes of parts of Europe he had seen while touring. This inspired him to begin growing grapes and making wines, mainly of Spanish,

Merkin 2017 white blend “Chupacabra Blanc, Willcox” ($22) This unusual blend of 75 percent Riesling and 25 percent Chardonnay is beautiful in the glass. Forward on both nose and palate, it features appealing texture and attractive fruit with a hint of sweetness. Merkin 2015 red blend “Shinola, Cochise County” ($25) Nearly equal percentages of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Refosco produce an Italianstyled, lean, food-friendly wine that is strong on the attack with controlled tannins and expressive personality. Caduceus 2017 white blend “Nagual del Agostina, Yavapai County” ($40) This Vermentino with a touch Malvasia Bi-

French, and Italian grape varieties. Unlike many celebrity owners, Keenan is very hands-on, including being the winemaker. The 2010 film Blood into Wine offers a fascinating and often humorous view of Keenan’s early years in wine. Keenan’s first wine was the Caduceus 2004 Primer Paso, a blend of Syrah and Malvasia Bianca. His fame as a rock star may have facilitated sales and reviews, but the quality of his wines soon earned respect among wine lovers. Keenan’s reputation in wine has soared over the last 15 years. Today, Caduceus Cellars annually produces 2,500 cases, focusing on higher-end wines, while Merkin Vineyards produces 6,500 cases of less expensive wines. They are available throughout Arizona, and the winery will ship orders to other states. Plus there are tasting rooms in Jerome and Cottonwood. I recently enjoyed several of Keenan’s wines:

Caduceus 2014 red blend “Primer Paso, Cochise County” ($50) This 10th-anniversary bottling is an attractive blend of mostly Syrah and Grenache. It Caduceus 2015 red blend “Anubis, Will- has beautiful color, full body, forward fruit cox ($50) and crisp acidity, along with refinement, Lightly hued, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, complexity and personality. Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah is impactful on the attack with lean, well-balanced fruit and Caduceus 2016 Monastrell “Nagual del medium-soft tannins, followed by impressive Agostina, Yavapai County” ($70) complexity, refinement and integration. The light color of this Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre) belies its strength and complexCaduceus 2014 red blend “Nagual de la Naga, ity on nose and palate. Finely crafted, proCochise County” ($50) ducing well-honed balance and a prolonged Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon combine finish. in this tasting experience to excel on the palate with focused, excellently balanced fruit, Recommended wines can be ordered from your fine integration, pleasing tannins and appeal- favorite Arizona wine store or from the winery. ing complexity. Write to John Vankat at anca is special on the palate with its strength, rounded body, forward fruit, superb balance, impressive refinement and lingering finish.





Darkness The photographic works of Talaina Kor By Kaitlin Olson


’ve never felt so intensely happy that I had to put

it into a photo,” says 22-year-old Talaina Kor, a photographic artist from northern Arizona. So she has nearly exiled the sentiment from her art, including the 18 photographs that are being featured at the Coconino Center for the Arts through April 13. Instead of focusing on a weaker emotion, she uses digital techniques to blend reality with darker themes, creating surreal scenes that appear to be pulled straight out of Stephen King’s universe. The images can be so provocative, in fact, that Kor once witnessed a mother pulling her child away from a display, shielding his eyes as they fled. But Kor says she prefers it this way; creating something discomforting is much more gratifying than unremarkable alternatives. Whether the works are a viewer’s style or not, they certainly stray from the mundane. Scrolling through Kor’s online portfolio, the scenes have the potential to overwhelm. Yet, they are so compelling it’s a challenge to look away. A severed arm sits on a kitchen counter while a man’s reflection stares back menacingly. A woman’s neck is bro-

22 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

ken as easily as a dropped flower pot. Gargantuan moths latch onto the light in a woman’s eyes. Each image seamlessly blends fantasy with reality, leaving viewers wondering what kind of waivers the models had to sign to create these pieces. But that is the magic of it all. Kor says most of her works are about 50 percent genuine photographs and 50 percent Photoshop. She uses resources like punctured cardboard affixed to the models to simulate bullet holes and to make the final product as genuine-looking as possible. “A lot of people view Photoshop negatively, but it’s a tool, like painting,” she explains. “The paintbrush doesn’t do it for you. You still have to do the work.” The fun is making every detail look real. Behind the lens, though, things are not as morbid as they often appear after the final edits. One might expect to find a peculiar individual at the root of these scenes; however, they will instead discover a friendly young woman who admits to bribing her loved ones with ice cream to convince them to model in her photographs. It’s here where the real

joy and happiness of the creations are hidden. Rather than utilizing a dark studio, unfamiliar models and professional lighting, Kor makes use of what she has: a home, a group of dedicated supporters and resourcefulness. Her indoor shots feature her own house, and the male faces that appear in several of her photographs are of her two brothers. “My mom always said it was a blessing to have good-looking brothers,” she jokes. Friends, her mom and even the photographer herself have also been featured in the shots, along with a variety of props collected from local thrift stores. Without a designated studio space, she has taken an untraditional approach to lighting, using LED strips and laptop screens to light her models, often creating a somber low light befitting her photographic style. Despite the prominent positions her creations have earned in art centers and even a billboard and album covers, Kor happily admits she is not the professional she seems. Although she studied briefly at the California College of the Arts and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she learned most of what she knows through experience and watching YouTube tutorials. It all started with a flip phone and a newsroom camera. When she was 13 years old, Kor would tape her mom’s cell phone to the ceiling of her

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Although she says each of her pieces have fragmented room and take images using the timer, experimenting with perspective. She later started work at her hometown news- connections to her own life, viewer interpretation is espaper, where she was able to familiarize herself with more sential. traditional photography using better equipment. “I definitely prefer for people to have their own connecHer art reached new heights when she was 18, dur- tions and to make their own background for it,” she explains. ing which time she designed a billboard for the City of Several of her more recent works, especially those of Holbrook featuring a not-so-gruesome cowboy, a Cadillac her Plant Series, were prompted by the loss of her friend and dinosaur figure. Yarrow to cancer a few years ago. In the series, she explores “I always had people talking about it, kind of like the the fragility of the human body and the danger that could highlight of my life was this billboard. So it was like, ‘What be lurking within. do I do now?’” “I was interested in taking something inanimate and In response, she plunged deeper into more conceptual making it animate. I took plants and I made them into agwork. gressive parasites, like cancer cells, that feed off bodies. [The “At the time, I could not afford Photoshop, so I would project] became more about my friend and her battle with use really bad free websites to edit things. The beginning cancer and how physical the human body is—how much it was terrible,” Kor recalls. “The better I got at it, though, does and how it can be hurt.” Kor says she is thankful to have been raised in a home the more of an outlet it became for me, and I began to put meaning behind it.” free of censorship, despite the conservative town where Her growing collection hints at Kor’s most painful she grew up, because it has allowed her to achieve these experiences, her fondness of horror and even her relation- artistic feats. ships with loved ones. The images are not so crowded with She is not afraid to pose naked or depict her family meaning, though, that they prevent equally intense viewer members covered in blood, aspects that might make her interpretations. neighbors uncomfortable.

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She advises others who are attempting to break from the norm: “For women in particular, it’s really important to be self-motivated and to realize that you can be better than everyone else. What you’re making is more important than people’s opinions.” Kor hopes to encourage artists of all types, though, especially those who may think they lack the resources to succeed. Kor says they merely need self-motivation—a lot of it. If they have that, things like money, teachers or a professional studio are unnecessary. Kor lacks many of these things, yet that has not hindered her work. She focuses on the joy her art brings her, describing her experiences as fun and meaningful. The resulting creations, products of fantasy and reality, joy and sorrow, allow viewers to see reflections of Kor’s life—and maybe even catch a glimpse of themselves. Talaina Kor’s first solo exhibition, Color Study, is being featured through April 13 at the Coconino Center for the Arts, 2300 N. Fort Valley Road, and can be viewed during open gallery hours. Her works can also be seen online at

RIGHT: Talaina at home. Photo by Gabriel Granillo

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THREE THINGS to help children grow up smarter By Dr. Zorba Paster


y wife and I are the proud grand- dren–a 10-year Adolescent Brain Cognition parents of two wonderfully perfect Development study–looked at teen smarts. grandchildren. Every night when Through innovative iPad technology, they they stay over with us, we read to them just studied such things as language development, long- and short-term memory, attention, prolike their parents do. Why read to your kids? Because we know cessing speed and executive function, which reading encourages the brain development is the ability to take in information and make decisions. that’s so important for any growing child. We all want smart kids. Reading helps to By taking measurements and applying socreate them, not sitting them down in front ciety norms, researchers came up with a new version of IQ–one that reflects the fluid intelof the TV. But what about middle-schoolers and ado- ligence so important in a constantly changlescents? What will encourage their brain de- ing world. You want your kids to adapt to new velopment? That’s where a new Canadian study technologies, new ways to look at things all published in The Lancet medical journal fits in. the time, because you know the world we live Researchers wanted to sample what activities in today is not the world we’ll see tomorrow. may make kids that age smarter on IQ tests. I was brought up with paper and pencil, This landmark study of nearly 4,500 chil- no calculators at all. I viewed the multipli26 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine

cation table and long division as something I would need all the time. Not true. I use it for estimating, but I trust my hand calculator more than my pencil and paper if I want accurate results. And as for spelling, yes, you need it. But if you type a document with autocorrect, spelling is not nearly as important as it was back in the day. My point is, giving your kids the right toolkit is the key to good parenting. Crystallized intelligence is the springboard for the next generation, and this study shows that how we raise our kids makes a difference. What they found were three main things that correlated with the best “new IQ” outcomes: getting eight to nine hours of sleep a night, one hour of daily physical activity and limiting screen time to two hours a day. They

have named the recommendations resulting from this study the “Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children.” Only 5 percent of the kids in the study hit all three benchmarks, with only 50 percent getting enough sleep and a measly 12 percent getting enough exercise. What’s more, two out of three kids were getting too much screen time. The kids who got all three areas right had higher IQs than the kids who got two out of three and much higher than the kids who scored zero. With that in mind, parents, if you want your kids to be smarter, if you want them to succeed in life, then you should take action to try to get them to do all of the big three recommendations. For many kids, that means more sleep, more physical activity and less screen time. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s easier to recommend than it is to get those teens to do. But as my mom would say, “If you don’t try, you don’t get.” My spin: On sleep time, work toward more. I bet if you tried, you could get your kids to get more sleep. Kids do like sleep. They don’t like to shut off the lights, but they do like to wake up refreshed. Start tonight. On screen time, we must adjust to the here and now. When my wife and I raised our kids, it was easy to regulate the TV–we only had one in our house. These days, screens are all around us. So sit down with your children and lay out a workable framework to move toward that two-hour-per-day limit. And, by the way, keep in mind that if you’re on the screen all the time, they will be, too. And finally, on physical activity, consider group sports and doing things as a family. Getting kids off their butts not only will help their brains but will help them shed pounds if they’re overweight. This is a monumental study that should guide any parent. If you want your kids to succeed in life–and we all do–then look at this simple big three recommendations and take action. If you don’t try, you don’t get. Stay well. Dr. Paster practices family medicine in Oregon and is the co-host of “Zorba Paster On Your Health” on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio. His column provides general health information. Always consult your personal health care provider about concerns.

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Sycamore Falls near Williams drops down into the rock-climbing hotspot of Paradise Forks and is an amazing sight to behold in winter. By Larry Hendricks

28 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine


oots crunch on mid-morning snow. The sun hasn’t softened the snow too much yet, but the calves burn from the effort anyway. Breath fogs and the smell of warming pine needles f ill the still air under cloudless skies. We hear the sound of leaves rustling, but it’s winter, and there are no leaves, which can only mean one thing: Running water. We peer over the lip of the canyon and milky ice transitions into clarity near the swiftest passage of the creek ’s f low. Birds chirp and sing. Not another human is around. A winter trip along the Sycamore Rim Trail to Sycamore Falls is worth the somewhat-sketchy drive on snow-packed roads. My friend Evan Burris and I were lucky enough to have a weekday off from work and decided to give it a try in hopes of f inding the falls running and covered in ice. We were not disappointed. The Sycamore Rim Trail makes an 11-mile loop through pine forests with stunning views of Bill Williams Mountain, the Peaks, wetlands and more. In the late spring and summer months, the area is lush with vegetation and wildf lowers. Animal life–deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels and more–is abundant. It had been nearly 30 years since I’d been to the area. I remembered it as beautiful, serene. The f irst plan of attack was to start the trail off Forest Road 56. After getting there and scoping out the ground conditions–3 to 4 inches of snow would have made the 4-mile hike to the falls (and another 4 miles back) a long day–we opted, instead, to hit the Pomeroy Tanks trailhead off Forest Road 109, which is about a 1.5-mile hike to the falls. We could have traveled a bit farther down Forest Road 109 to the trailhead to the falls, but that would have made the hike much March19


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too short. About 3 miles in snow sounded just right. Signage at the trailhead gave us information about the trail as well as a description of the Overland Road Historic Trail nearby. Warmly dressed, we headed south, following the trackless path. About a quarter-mile in with the rim in sight, we scampered down into the shallows to check out the frozen pools. The sun was shining brightly, melting the ice and snow, causing a moderate f low of water through the area. I calmed, took deep breathes and remember the wonder of being alive and in nature. After snapping photos and reveling in the fact that there were no human beings around (nobody had been out there since the snowstorm two days before), we continued south. Sometimes, we followed the trail, and sometimes, we skirted the ice-covered creek. The only footprints were those of rabbits, squirrels and a herd of elk that had come to the area for water. In about half an hour, we heard the falls. Water was running hard and fast, and the chilly air had partially frozen the falls all along the igneous rock faces. The area below the falls is known as Paradise Forks to rock climbers, but there was nobody out climbing as Evan and I gazed at the rushing water. We stepped close to the upper edge of the falls to get a good view down into the canyon. The pools below rested shrouded in blue-colored ice and shade. After a giddy photo session at the fall’s edge, we moved farther south to get a full view of the entirety of the falls. We hustled past the Sycamore Falls trailhead, and we saw our f irst set of human tracks–just one set, put there probably the day before. Whoever that person was had a good sense of where the best view was, so we followed the footprints and found the view we were after. Evan and I remarked on how good life can be at times. We shot our f ill of photos. At about 11:45, I not iced how t he sun was making the snow pretty soft, so we decided to get SYCAMORE RIM TRAIL back to the Jeep for the drive out. The Length: 11.1 miles total soft snow made the going a bit sl ick Difficulty: Easy to difficult (depending on distance and whether and even harder on there’s snow on the ground) the calves, and the drive out was slipDirections: From Flagstaff, take Interstate per y but manageable. 40 west to the Garland Prairie exit (Exit 167), I remembered turn left onto Garland Prairie Road (141) the area as beautiand take it to the Forest Road 109 junction f u l and serene. I to Whitehorse Lake. Make a right and head remembered right. southwest for about 3 miles until you start I’m not going to seeing access points to the trail on the left wa it 30 yea rs to side of the road. For more information about visit again. the trail, visit the Kaibab National Forest website at

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Why ebony may be the answer for your new or remodeled kitchen By Erik J. Martin

A casual game room kitchen incorporates black into the cabinetry and is balanced with warm reclaimed wood shelves and a Calcutta Gold marble backsplash.

There’s a reason why Darth Vader is the most visually memorable character in the Star Wars universe: Yes, the dark side of the Force is alluring, but it’s Vader’s dark costume design that catches the eye and captures the imagination. Your kitchen may be in a galaxy far, far away from Darth’s domain, but the same tenet holds true—black can make a powerful and stylish statement in this most important of rooms, and it’s a tone that’s trending, say experts. “For some, using black in the kitchen is a backlash against the all-white kitchen movement that has dominated kitchen design for so long. For others, it’s an opportunity to go bold, adding drama to an otherwise utilitarian space,” says Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer and president of Susan Serra Associates

in Huntington, New York. “Black in design, fashion and the arts has always been used as an element to evoke strength or elegance. It’s an attention getter and can upgrade common objects if used effectively.” Brooklyn-based Jason Pickens, the HGTV digital host of “Talkin’ Shop,” seconds the sentiment that black is the new white in kitchen design. “Eventually, a too-white kitchen can start to feel sterile. When used appropriately, black is wonderfully modern, withstands use well and never goes out of style,” says Pickens. On the plus side, black contrasts nicely with other hues and metal finishes, including copper, brass and nickel, notes Lauren Jacobsen, an interior designer in Toluca Lake, California. “Black also conceals smudges and fin(Photos courtesy of Ryan Garvin)

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A bar area incorporates black in the cabinetry (Sherwin Williams color: SW7069 Iron Ore) and backsplash. A soft black look doesn’t feel too harsh with the quartz countertops or white elements.

gerprints, promotes a feeling of protection, and feels minimalistic and classic,” Jacobsen adds. However, too much black can make a kitchen look dark and depressing. “Integrating black into the design without a plan for the entire room can upset the balance of color in the kitchen,” cautions Serra. Done willy-nilly, “it can make the room look visually busy and segmented rather than looking like a cohesive design.” For these and other reasons, Serra recommends dabbling delicately with black—preferably as an accent color. “I would use the color sparingly in a new kitchen design. Perhaps an island can be black, or lower base cabinets might look nice in black,” says Serra. “Black looks fantastic against soft, warm colors like warm whites and pastels and against medium to light wood stains.” Tracy Lynn, owner of Tracy Lynn Studio in San Diego, on the other hand, suggests that black can comprise the kitchen’s dominant color scheme if planned carefully. “You can go with all black cabinets and balance it with lighter tones in the countertops, fixtures

and wall colors,” says Lynn. “This option gives a dramatic and elegant look that provides contrast and depth.” Another option is to add only a small dose of ebony, “such as using merely a matte finish black in cabinetry and plumbing hardware and light fixtures to create a contrasting pop of the room’s tone,” Lynn adds. Remember: Even a little black goes a long way. “It’s a heavy, dense and powerful color, so you must apply the appropriate balance, especially when combining with other colors or materials,” recommends Jacobsen. A different twist on this formula is to employ slightly lighter blacks, “such as deep charcoal colors that offer a bit of a softer but still dramatic look,” says Serra, who advises using black swatches next to other chosen colors to see if they harmonize. Concerned about “jet” lag or black quickly falling out of fashion? Relax, say the pros; black, when used appropriately, has solid staying power. “Black isn’t going out of style, although how we use it will certainly continue to change,” Pickens says.

Black can feature well in a traditional kitchen with wood cabinets. March19



Penning books for children, teaching pride in individuality

By Gabriel Granillo


rowing up, children’s book author and with Gonzalez, she said she was hesitant at first. After flying out to New York professor of English at Northern Ar- to meet Gonzalez and her family, she knew this was a series she needed to do. izona University Monica Brown said “I’ve never collaborated in this way, but I decided to because of how there was a lack of Latin representa- compelling Sarai Gonzalez’ story is and because we shared so much in comtion in literature, specifically children’s books. mon,” Brown said. “I found that, like me, she’s the child of an immigrant, When she had children of her own, that absence and not only that, she’s the daughter of a Peruvian mother whose mother was still there in the books they were reading. was born in the same town as my mother [Piura, northern Peru]. So I felt “I wanted them to learn about their culture, like that was a sign.” their Peruvian culture, their South American Gonzalez shared with Brown how her grandparents’ home was being heritage, and I was shocked that there were no sold and how she was using her cupcake business and other means to raise children’s books on people like Gabriela Mis- money to save their home. Moved by Gonzalez’ selflessness, that story betral, the first Latin American to win the Nobel came the inspiration for the first chapter in a four-part series, Sarai and the Prize for Literature, or people like my favorite Meaning of Awesome. The second book, Sarai in the Spotlight author, Gabriel Garcia Márquez. So I decided looks at an unlikely friendship. The third and most reto write the stories I wanted them to read. And cent book, Sarai Saves the Music, released Jan. 29, folnot just for them, but for all children.” lows Sarai as she attempts to organize a benefit concert Brown has written biographies for chil- to save her school’s music program. dren on Mistral, Márquez, Frida Kahlo, Pablo For Brown, the series has become an essential fixPicasso, Brazilian soccer player Pelé, poet Pablo ture for looking at the lives of immigrant families and Neruda and singer Celia Cruz. From her fiction Latin culture. “It’s pretty amazing to have a little Latina protagoto biographies, Brown’s work touches on racial nist from a major publisher who doesn’t look like Selena and social issues, identity and belonging. Brown’s book Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Gomez or Demi Lovato and who has dark skin and black Match uses her Peruvian and Jewish heritage hair,” she said. “I’m proud to have a series that highlights to celebrate multicultural backgrounds and to an immigrant family, recent immigrants. I want those teach pride in individuality. Her Lola Levine se- positive stories in a time of this divisive national rhetoric. ries, featuring 20 award-winning books, follows It’s very important to me. And the fact that both Sarai and Lola as she navigates through her young adult I are both the daughters of Peruvian immigrant mothers is life. Each book in Brown’s catalog is meant to why I absolutely couldn’t say no to this.” inspire and motivate children, or at the very Immigration, social change, mulleast, give them a safe place. ticultural heritage, belonging, identity, “I am inspired from the world around me in self-worth. These all seem like heady which I am an active and joyful participant. I’m ideas for children to wrap their minds a political person, in that I’m an activist, a liter- around, but Brown argues not. She remembers writing about acy activist. And I’m an activist for children, so I hope my books contribute to a better world for Márquez and attempting to teach them,” Brown said. “I hope my books, wherever magic realism to children when “I any child is, they can open it up and escape into realized that they understand it something interesting, inspiring or feel happy.” better than adults because their For Brown’s most recent work, she’s col- imaginations are still so open. laborated with Sarai Gonzalez, an American They can hold the magic and the Latina child actress, social activist and author, real in each hand. Kids are way for a semibiographical chapter book series based smarter than anyone guesses.” on Gonzalez’ life. Gonzalez made her acting The Sarai series is availdebut at age 11 when she was cast in the music able through Amazon and video for “Soy Yo” (“That’s Me”) by Bomba Es- Scholastic. The fourth and téreo, and since then she’s become a Latin icon f inal book, Sarai and the for female empowerment and self-worth. When Around the World Fair, will Brown was approached by Scholastic to partner be released March 26. 34 Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine


Northern Arizona's Mountain Living Magazine


Jill Sans

Artist and Owner of the HeArt Box

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m the owner of the HeArt Box, I curate the HeArt Box and I’m an artist. I grew up in the Midwest in rural Iowa, and I always did art as a kid; it was this thing I just did, I enjoyed it. I also spent a lot of time playing in the groves, the cornfields and in rundown barns with my brothers. We had a lot of imagination because there was not a lot going on where we lived. There was this wide open world available to me in some ways. My parents always wanted to move away from the Midwest, and my mom got a job as a nurse practitioner in Flagstaff. So we moved here my senior year [of high school]. We drove across country, and I remember the minute we got close to the ponderosas, the smell of all those trees. That was a memory I’ll never forget. Oh, that wonderful smell. How do you describe your art? It’s mandala inspired. Mandalas come from many different cultures, and there are different ways to do them. I’m trying not to take from the cultures that use mandalas. It’s just this way I see things. It’s almost like seeing moments in time, or light, or life and energy, but in a different way. People see different things in them. I don’t always see what another person sees. So, I do this kind of work that’s mandala inspired, but then I also paint a lot of other things. I have a lot of conceptual art that comes from things I’m going through in life and how I understand it. I also love to do environmental art, raising awareness of our connection to the natural world.

What is the HeArt Box? The HeArt Box is a lot of things. It’s a working gallery. It’s also a space where I have classes and community events. I showcase artists on one wall and that changes every month. Sometimes that wall has been used by people coming in and just painting on the wall, like a mural. The HeArt Box is like this jewelry box where you put your very special things, and then you share it, you wear it. It’s also like a heart; this pumping force. It’s the heart of who we are. It’s a space that can connect us as human beings. It’s so many things. It’s only been the HeArt Box since August, and it’s continually evolving. Is the HeArt Box open every day? It’s open Thursday through Saturday, 2-7. I also keep studio hours here during the week, but those are the main hours. Who are the artists you’re currently showing? They are two female artists. Rebekah Nordstrom is the painter and Katy Kyle is the jewelry designer. This has been a really cool show and the first show I’ve done this year. Rebekah does these series, every once in a while, of different things, where she has to paint every day. Last September she decided she would go out every day and paint the sky. So I said to her, ‘Let’s see those all in one space when they’re done.’ And Katy needed an outlet to create something she hadn’t done before and to push herself. So the two of them decided to collaborate on this show. Katy cre-

ated pieces based on the sky and the clouds. In March, I’ll be showing Flagstaff FemFest artists. There will be some really young artists in that show, and I’m really excited. I’ve got Emma Gardner, who’s an established artist, but I’ve also got Talaina Kor, a young artist who has her first show now at the Coconino Center for the Arts. How do you see the arts in Flagstaff? I think Flagstaff has so much potential for the art community, but I kind of feel that there’s a little bit of a disconnect in some ways. We have this huge resource of all these people coming through town all the time from all over the world, and yet many amazing artists here have to get their art outside of the city to get support. I think there are still ways we can come together as a community and make art stronger. When you’re not working on your art or at HeArt Box, where might we find you? I can sometimes be found at FLG Terroir upstairs from the HeArt Box. It is a great place to relax after a day of work, a great place to have conversations with other creatives and unwind. And, I love supporting other local businesses when I can. They have been a great support for me as well. The HeArt Box is located at 17 N. San Francisco St. Suite 1B. Enter through the door in the alley or through the Artists’ Gallery. March19


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