Images Arizona March 2020

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DC Ranch


ECRWSS Local Postal Customer


PV Gainey Ranch McCormick Ranch

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North Scottsdale Luxury Real Estate Update Homes Sold for 100% of List Price or Higher Recently SOLD North Scottsdale Luxury Properties Sales Price of $800,000 or Higher



Original List Price $2,400,000 $2,299,000 $2,249,995 $2,200,000 $1,995,000 $1,875,000 $1,795,000 $1,724,065 $1,500,000 $1,250,000 $1,150,000 $1,040,000 $949,000 $910,000 $899,000 $899,000 $875,000 $860,000

Sold Price

$2,400,000 $2,370,000 $2,250,000 $2,200,000 $1,995,000 $1,900,000 $1,795,000 $1,724,065 $1,525,000 $1,250,000 $1,150,000 $1,045,000 $975,000 $910,000 $899,500 $899,000 $875,000 $860,000

Beds 4 5 6 4 3 4 5 3 4 3 6 3 3 4 3 4 3 4

Baths 4.5 4.5 5 3.5 3.5 3.5 4.5 3.5 4.5 3 4.5 3.5 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 2 3.5

Sq Ft 4,792 5,674 5,108 4,142 3,705 4,561 4,352 4,907 4,093 2,914 5,770 3,137 3,109 2,840 3,709 2,967 2,257 3,148

DOM 5 110 4 1 349 73 734 1 34 28 77 25 44 3 119 67 30 71

Sales information compiled from MLS for all brokerages. Jan 1-Feb 18, 2020


Cathy Hotchkiss | 480.236.3336 | |


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CERAMIC SPLENDOR Writer Shannon Severson Photography Courtesy of Grace Renee Gallery




COMMUNITY EVENTS Writer Joseph J. Airdo


QUIRKY CACTI Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography by Dave Wilson





Writer Amanda Christmann Photography by Loralei Lazurak and Bill Watters/Air Major Media


INTRICATE BEAUTY Writer Shannon Severson Photography Courtesy of Baiyang Qiu Jewelry


GRANDMA’S RED MEAT SAUCE Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly

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PUBLISHER Shelly Spence



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Joseph Airdo Amanda Christmann Sue Kern-Fleischer Kyndra Kelly Shoshana Leon Shannon Severson

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bryan Black Kyndra Kelly Loralei Lazurek Carl Schultz

ADVERTISING SALES Cooper Langston 480-544-8721

Images Arizona P.O. Box 1416 Carefree, AZ. 85377 623-341-8221 Submission of news for community section should be in to by the 5th of the month prior to publication. Images Arizona is published by ImagesAZ Inc. Copyright © 2020 by ImagesAZ, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or part, without permission is prohibited.


As we enter March, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride in our Valley communities. We live in such an exceptional place filled with many extremely talented individuals and wonderfully generous organizations. In this month’s photo essay, nature and landscape photographer Dave Wilson comments that many people who live in Arizona often take saguaros for granted. It is an inevitable phenomenon that, no matter how extraordinary something is, we humans become desensitized to its remarkability after we have been around it for an extended period of time. For those of us who have lived in the Valley for a while, saguaros may not be the only things we take for granted. It is only when we slow down and take time to look around that we recognize these things and realize just how fortunate we are to call this place home. Just as Wilson’s gorgeous photography inspires us to view Arizona’s incredible cacti with a fresh pair of eyes, I hope that the stories in this month’s issue of Images Arizona rejuvenate your appreciation of our state’s many fabulous artists and organizations. Each and every one of them is responsible for giving our communities a unique personality, similar to how the saguaros that line our deserts give our state a distinctive identity — one that cannot be found anywhere else. From the Southwestern flair that can be experienced during Cave Creek Rodeo Days and Taco Fest at Salt River Fields to the fascinating stories that can be found among Andrea Markowitz’s vintage hat collection and Brandon Reese’s ceramic sculptures, I am grateful to live among such grandeur.

The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited material.

Local First A R I Z O NA

I am also grateful to have the opportunity to share it all with each of you. Even after more than 20 years, I never take for granted how lucky our talented team of writers and I are to bring this magazine to you each month. Cheers! Shelly Spence Publisher, Images Arizona magazine 623-341-8221


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Experience chic South Sea pearls by Alessandra Donà — ultimately feminine and uniquely Italian.


March 27 & 28

Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. with wine & appetizers 4–7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Grace Renee Gallery 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. # 7 | Carefree, AZ 85377 Open Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Open Late Thur.–Sat.until 7 p.m. 480.575.8080 10

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Alessandra DonĂ Timeless Collection: South Sea pearls and 18-karat gold with diamonds march 2020

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Writer Shannon Severson Photography Courtesy of Grace Renee Gallery


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Artists are known for pushing boundaries. They test and stretch concepts, materials and audience perception. Ceramicist Brandon Reese takes his medium to the absolute edge of what is possible for such a fragile substance. “My work pushes the boundaries not just because it’s large, but because of how it’s built,” Reese says. The Oklahoma-based artist, whose work is now on display at Grace Renee Gallery in Carefree, is known for his large-scale sculptural pieces that beautifully defy possibility. He often combines ceramic and native wood, either carved or simply smoothed down and presented in a natural state. At first glance, they appear to be forged of steel or iron. “Once I committed my career to sculpture, I’ve always been interested in larger scale works,” Reese says. “I think it comes from my background growing up around construction and being outside and involved in sports. I really like to be immersed in the material. It’s like a dialogue; I am building it and responding to the materials. We interact back and forth.”

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His interaction with materials is also a conversation with those who see the final masterpiece. Reese is inspired by his relationships, community, memories, family and the teachers and ceramic masters who made an impression on his career. One of those impactful relationships is manifested in his “Circle” series. Reese’s close friend Aaron Macy was one of the first to hear about the artist’s plans for doing something big and challenging with ceramic as his medium — giant circles that are sculpted and fired in pieces, then fastened together with hidden grommets, gaskets, silicone, glue and bolts. Sadly, Macy passed away before the project was complete.

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“Aaron was diagnosed with leukemia when I was making my first circle,” Reese says. “I titled it ‘Macy’ after him because he was part of the birth of that idea.”


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Ceramicist Brandon Reese takes his medium to the absolute edge of what is possible for such a fragile substance.


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EMBRACING CHALLENGE Reese’s “Circles” and similar pieces are built horizontally. There are usually 6–12 segments per sculpture. He then divides them to fire, places holes for gaskets and grommets, glazes, fires again and carefully assembles the work, adjusting and cutting to fit as he goes. It’s a process that requires a few people to help raise the piece vertically and decide just the right point at which it will sit. If pressure is in the wrong spot, the entire piece will shatter. After all, his artwork is made of the same delicate material as coffee mugs and dinner plates. “Nothing is finalized until that moment of truth when I set them up,” Reese says. “There is a lot of problem solving. It’s that engineering part that I enjoy. I teach at a university and helping students problem solve is part of the job. Artists have to be good at finding alternative solutions and workarounds.” The mediums he now uses to such fantastic effect actually began as the solution to a problem. “In school, I studied sculpture and I worked with steel, wood, glass, bronze and iron casting,” Reese explains. “I became fascinated with bronze and iron pours and making pieces that way. I’ve always enjoyed the fire aspect. I wanted a certain scale, but couldn’t afford bronze and so began looking for another material.” That search led him to water-based clay — bonus points for the process involving fire. He had to familiarize himself with new materials, properties and methods. Clay is forgiving in the beginning when it is wet, but that changes as it begins to dry. Reese must work quickly in an extremely painstaking process. He re-dampens the clay as needed, building and shaping the piece, propping with with foam, stilts and shims or sticks which myst be removed before the piece begins to dry and shrink. Once dry, the clay is at its weakest point. Reese describes it as similar to compacted powder. The slightest jarring will make the piece implode.

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Part of my work is that I leave fingerprints and imperfections. The evidence of the artist’s hand in the

finished work is something I’ve

always enjoyed. Brandon Reese


“I don’t use armatures because clay shrinks so much and will crack when it dries,” he says. “With all my works –– the bars and pieces that are grid-like or the overlays of clay patties that are more like lace –– they’re all patted out by hand.” Reese studied and learned different types of glazing and firing processes: salt, electric and gas — which produce different colors and texture. All affect the surface of the glaze or clay in unique ways. Salt firing, a process that is relatively uncommon, requires salt to be thrown into the kiln during firing. Salt reacts with the surface, the glazes and clay to create surface variations. The amount of salt can give a variety of surface effects. “I use all different glazes in the salt kiln,” Reese says. “I don’t really know exactly how things are going to come out until they’re done. It’s sort of like Christmas. You kind of know the size and shape of the package, but when you open it, it

might be less than what you hoped for or more than you imagined.”

BEAUTY IN IMPERFECTION This mix of art and engineering is infused with his own personal history and small “imperfections” he purposely leaves behind — a reference to the human experience. “Part of my work is that I leave fingerprints and imperfections,” Reese says. “The evidence of the artist’s hand in the finished work is something I’ve always enjoyed. I could make it slicker or perfect, but that’s not what it’s about or what I am about. “My work is simple, but I try to make it accessible. I want to leave the marks from my hands or the glaze or dents that happen as I’m shaping. The kiln makes its own mark, giving one more layer of history. I embrace it instead of erase it. As people, we are made of all the pieces that impact our lives. We are marked by our history and experiences.”

The Art of Brandon Reese i m a gApril e s a r i z9o |n4–7 a . c op.m. m m|ar c h 2Renee 02 0 Gallery | Historic Spanish Village | 7212 E. Ho Hum Road, Carefree | 480-575-8080 | Grace 16Thursday,

Reese’s choice to incorporate wood into many of his works is also a reference to history because the raw wood he uses, cut from trees near his Oklahoma home, tells its own history in trunk rings and negative spaces where bugs have burrowed. He tends to keep the wood natural and unstained, occasionally charring or burning pieces to add aesthetic or color. “Some trees have bits of barbed wire that the wood absorbed as it grew,” Reese says. “Those are the things I enjoy and I leave those in. The imperfections create a dialogue and a history before this history. It’s like seeing kids grow up and watching how experiences shape them.” His "Tower" sculptures are reminiscent of daringly built, childhood block towers. Also on the playful side, Reese’s small-to-medium "Pillow" sculpture wall works series gives the impression of being soft and light. He uses a variety of colors and textures, and sometimes uses both wood and clay, their fastenings hidden from view. “When I started doing the pillows, I watched my how my twins interacted with each other and that translated to relationships that the pillows represent,” Reese says. “Two friends, a husband and wife, siblings –– the sum is greater than its parts. Something is added in the coming together rather than two things on their own. With wood and clay or two people, both add something the other doesn’t have.” As Reese continues to live, teach, create and raise a family in the town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, he draws upon his own sense of keen observation to create remarkable art that is awe-inspiring –– embracing challenge and the beauty found in imperfection.

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Miguel Edwards Come meet Miguel and view his bold, colorful sculptures on display in our gallery and courtyard located in Historic Spanish Village. Wind down from your week while enjoying wine and light appetizers with the artist.

Thursday, March 19 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.


Grace Renee Gallery 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. # 7 | Carefree, AZ 85377 Open Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Open Late Thur.–Sat.until 7 p.m. 480.575.8080


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Ascent Steel, glass, stainless 94”x 36”x 36” march 2020

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2020 MARCH

Writer Joseph J. Airdo

March 2

WONDERFUL WILDFLOWERS Join Steve Dodd — a legacy steward with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy — for a seminar about wildflowers. Dodd will discuss what makes for a great season and share tips for wildflower viewing and identification. The seminar is sponsored by the Desert Awareness Committee of the Foothills Community Foundation. Free. 6:30–8 p.m. Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale.


March 1

The Arizona Center for Nature


Conservation and the Phoenix Zoo

Sonoran Arts League will present its

perform a concert featuring works

are collaborating with select local

fourth annual juried fine art show,

by composer Gabriel Fauré, who

artists to display their work in the

featuring more than 200 works

delighted in infusing traditional

zoo’s new Savanna Gallery. The

by Arizona artists — including

forms of music with a mélange of

rotating exhibit aims to communicate

paintings, drawings, sculptures,

harmonic daring and a freshness

the importance of national and

jewelry, photography and mixed

of invention. $18; discounts

international conservation efforts. Art

media. Free. Mondays–Saturdays

available for seniors, students and

is available for purchase with a portion

9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sundays 1–4 p.m.

groups. 3 p.m. La Casa De Cristo

of proceeds benefiting the zoo’s

Sonoran Arts League’s Center for the

Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell

conservation initiatives. See website for

Arts, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Suite

Road, Scottsdale. 480-305-4538;

times and prices. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N.

144, Cave Creek. 480-575-6624;

Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 602-286-



Feb. 21–March 15

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CELEBRATE FAURÉ CONCERT The Sonoran Desert Chorale will

March 2–6


Teresa Joy. A portion of admission and wine-tasting proceeds will benefit the Sunset Kiwanis of Fountain Hills. $3. 10 a.m–5 p.m. 16810 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills. 480-837-5637;

Scottsdale Artists’ School course and learn how to simplify the painting process and create landscapes that more effectively express your vision as an artist. Most time will be spent painting on location in Gold Canyon, which will allow for closer proximity to painting locations. Instruction

March 6–8

TOUR D’ ARTISTES STUDIO TOUR AND SALE Fountain Hills Arts League will present its

will focus on light, design, color, value,

9th Annual Tour d’ Artistes Studio Tour and

edges and brushwork. $600. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Sale, showcasing the work of more than 60

See website for location information. 480-

artists in 13 studios and galleries. Attendees


can interact with local artists and observe them in the process of creating original

March 5


works — including paintings, mixed media, glass, metal sculptures, digital photography, fiber art and jewelry, all of which will be available for purchase. Free. 10 a.m.–5

Arts at the Rocks will present a concert

p.m. See website for location information.

by Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet.

The group will play selections from Mendelssohn Op. 44 No. 1, Smetana Quartet No. 1 “From My Life,” Four Seasons for String Quartet and other classical selections. 7 p.m. Free. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N.


Desert Foothills Land Trust will host

Tom Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. 480-

its sixth annual juried art exhibit and


sale designed to promote conservation and wildlife protection through

March 6–8


representational art. Artists of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to submit their work by Friday, Feb. 7. Entry is $25 per piece. All works of art must be 2D and representational of a Desert

Thunderbird Artists will feature stone

Foothills Land Trust preserve. An opening

sculptor and artist Carlos Moseley during

reception is scheduled for 6–8 p.m.

its 16th Annual Fountain Hills Fine Art

Thursday, March 5. Proceeds will benefit

and Wine Festival. The event will integrate

Desert Foothills Land Trust and Desert

superior fine art and fine crafts with a

Foothills Library. Free. Desert Foothills

vast selection of imported and domestic

Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road,

wines, local microbrews, flavored spirits,

Cave Creek. 480-488-6131;

tasty food, delectable sweets and live musical entertainment featuring violinist

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March 8

GERRY JONES HOME TOUR Experience the innovation and drama of Gerry Jones’ architectural design by touring six of his signature homes. Participants will visit the homes via chauffeured buses in three shifts throughout the day. Residences are multi-level and are not ADA accessible. $75. 9 a.m.– noon; noon–3 p.m.; 3–6 p.m. Cave Creek Museum, 6140 E. Skyline Drive, Cave Creek. 480-488-2764;


Kendra Kathak Dance, DMJ Dance

March 7

and Step's Junk Funk. $20+. 6:30


Arizona Broadway Theatre will bring

p.m. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700

Gather your friends and colleagues,

its production of La Cage aux Folles

W. Rio Salado, Tempe. 480-350-

put on your hiking boots and enjoy

to Herberger Theater Center. The


the beautiful desert scenery while

Collective, Kairo Tribal Belly Dance

precursor to the well-known 1996

empowering those experiencing

film “The Birdcage,” Jerry Herman’s

homelessness and poverty to gain

six-time Tony Award-winning show features power ballads, rowdy show tunes and dreamy duets. $44+. See website for times. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. 602-252-8497;

March 7



dance troupes will include Kalaa

March 7

EASY FITNESS STRATEGIES AND INJURY PREVENTION Wendy Farrell, health and wellness specialist and author of the new cookbook “Make it Healthy,” will discuss a variety of options to keep fit, the concepts of ergonomics and

More than 30 flamenco, belly,

the art of applying mindfulness to

tango, contemporary and classical

your actions and movements. $20.

Indian dancers will perform during

10 a.m.–noon. RSVP. Desert Foothills

a spectacular night of colorful

Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road,

and vibrant dancing. Participating

Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

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self-sufficiency through quality employment. Participants may choose between a leisurely 1.5-mile outand-back trail and a more moderate 4.5-mile loop. Adults $35; youth $20. 8 a.m.–noon. McDowell Mountain Regional Park, 16300 McDowell Mountain Park Drive, Scottsdale. 602-223-3467;

A/C Tune-Up

• W

March 7

SPY STORIES OF WWII Mary F. Cook, a member of the International Foundation for Art Research, will share incredible true stories of how the OSS — now the CIA — trained women to spy during WWII. All

Includes: • • • • •

30 + point Inspection Testing of all Functional Parts Inspection of Refrigerant Cycle Standard Cleaning of System Testing and Flushing Drain Lines Membership Price:

proceeds will benefit Desert Foothills Library. $6. 10:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

March 8

MUSIC IN THE SOUTHWEST CONCERT Arts at the Rocks will present a concert of big band classics

$79.00 Normally

Call or Text 480.478.3384 to Schedule your Appointment!

and symphony sounds by the University of Northwestern St. Paul Symphonic Band and Orchestra. The ensembles will perform a diverse range of contemporary and classical repertoire, including two new pieces written and orchestrated by noted University of Northwestern alumni and featuring guest alum performer, Grammy-nominated songwriter Natalie


Cromwell. 4 p.m. Free. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Scottsdale. 480-488-3384;

March 8 and 10

Language Immersion PROGRAMS AT CCUSD

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET AUDITIONS Fountain Hills Theater will audition potential cast members for its upcoming production of “Million Dollar Quartet.” Auditionees will be asked to sing 16–32 bars of a song of the style that also best shows off their voice and range. An accompanist will be provided. Sunday 6 p.m.; Tuesday 7 p.m. RSVP. Fountain Hill Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. 480-837-9661;

March 10

MUFFINS, BARS AND BREAKFAST Dr. Fabio his wife Cindy Almeida, a certified nutritional counselor, will share recipes for healthy alternatives to highly processed baked goods. Recipes include blueberry oat muffins,

Contact us today to learn more about our language immersion programs:

Desert Willow Elementary 480.575.2800 ______

Desert Sun Academy 480.575.2900 ______

Horseshoe Trails Elementary 480.272.8500

banana muffins, go-to bars and homemade granola. The class will feature food demonstration, recipe packets and education. $50. 10 a.m.–noon. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

480.575.2000 march 2020

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March 13–15

50TH ANNUAL SCOTTSDALE ARTS FESTIVAL Browse and purchase a variety of works as well as enjoy live music and entertainment, participate in hands-on activities and experience food from several gourmet food trucks and eateries during this year’s Scottsdale Arts Festival. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, festival organizers curated a retrospective exhibition and commissioned an original piece of artwork from this year’s featured artists — husband and wife printmakers Stephen and Bonnie Harmston. $12. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale. 480-499-8587;

March 11


host its annual fundraiser, which will

crafts, specialty gift items, health

include a full dinner, live and silent

and wellness products, boutique

auctions and entertainment. Proceeds

clothing, jewelry and home décor as

will provide scholarship funds to

well as local food vendors. Free. 10

College professor and photographer

graduating high school senior women

a.m.–5 p.m. 16872 E. Avenue of the

Andy Seagle will share a personal

and fund local nonprofits. $85.

Fountains, Fountain Hills. 602-332-

story about his older brother Tim, an

Grayhawk Country Club, 8620 E.


archaeologist, that led to the discovery

Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale.

of a cave in the Sedona area that gives

back to the study of the Colorado Plateau. The lecture is presented by the Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society. Free. 7–9 p.m. The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 E. Cave



Arizona Broadway Theatre will present the story of a housewife and wannabe nightclub dancer who

Magic Bird Festivals will celebrate

maliciously murders her on-the-side

Creek Road, Cave Creek. azarchsoc.

the spring season with its annual

lover in its production of the musical


market coinciding with St. Patrick’s

“Chicago. See website for dates, times

Day weekend, during which

and prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre,

attendees may browse handcrafted

7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. 623-

fine art and custom designs. Henry


March 12



March 13–15

March 13–April 19

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Molder will perform native-style flute music throughout the event, which will offer a wide selection of exhibitors with fine arts and

March 14




Carefree Desert Gardens will welcome Logan Simpson Design Senior Landscape Architect Judy Mielke for a discussion about how to create an inviting landscape. Mielke’s methods include combining a variety of hardscapes with beautiful plants that provide shade, color and even food. Mielke will also discuss mulch materials — both rock and organic — as well as water harvesting ideas during the seminar. The program will include a plant raffle. A $5 or more donation is appreciated. 9:30 a.m.–noon. Town Council Chambers, 33 Easy St., Carefree. 480-488-3686.

March 14

CELTIC FIRE CONCERT Experience Ireland through “The Songs and Stories from an Irish Notebook” as vocalist Michael McCall and harpist Jocelyn Obermeyer perform as part of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church’s Living Music Performance Series. $25. 4 p.m. Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, 9205 E. Cave Creek Road, Carefree. 480-488-2081;

March 15

ARCHIEPALOOZA 2.0 Join Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley and other local athletes and celebrities for a street carnival filled with games and contests. Competitions during the charity event will include axe throwing, archery, putt-putt, pop-shot, corn hole and more. Proceeds will benefit the OdySea Aquarium Foundation. $25+. 4–9 p.m. OdySea Aquarium in the Desert Courtyard, 9500 E. Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale.

March 18

CRAFT CHOCOLATE 101 Explore the world of micro-batch, bean-to-bar craft chocolate making, learn how cocoa beans are transformed into chocolate and discover the natural flavors in craft chocolates. The seminar, hosted by Zak’s Chocolates owners Maureen and Jim Elitzak, will include a sampling of single-origin dark chocolates. Free. 5–7 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

6130 East Cave Creek Road • Cave Creek, AZ march 2020

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March 22

ANDREA MARKOWITZ HAT SHOW Andrea Markowitz will host a hat show during which she will raffle and auction off more than 50 vintage hats from the 1950s through the 1980s that belonged to her late mother. Markowitz will also share stories about hats and their designers, offering attendees insight into a time during which women wore hats for every special occasion. Admission includes five raffle tickets as well as tea and cakes provided by English Rose Tea Room. Proceeds will benefit Desert Foothills Library. $35. 2–4 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

March 18

installation artist whose brilliant red

delicate aesthetic with strong, wearable

steel and cast glass sculpture Ascent

art. Much of her collection is design-

recently made its Arizona debut at the

focused and inspired by nature. Free.

Carefree gallery. Rising nearly eight

10 a.m.–6 p.m. Grace Renee Gallery,

Southwest Wildlife Conservation

feet in height and stretching three feet

7212 E. Ho Hum Rd., #7, Carefree.

Center will host an informative

wide, the entire sculpture seems to float


seminar about how the McDowell

weightlessly on a breeze as separate

Sonoran Conservancy and its

elements intertwine symbolically. Wine

partners monitor the impact of

and appetizers will be offered. Free.

urban stressors on wildlife through

4–7 p.m. Grace Renee Gallery, 7212 E.

the use of camera trapping and

Ho Hum Rd., #7, Carefree. 480-575-

radio telemetry Mule Deer Collars.



The program will be preceded by a short tour of the center. Free. 5–7 p.m. RSVP. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, 27026 N. 156th St., Scottsdale. 480-471-3621;

March 19



1920S MURDER MYSTERY PARTY Help find out who is on the level and who is on the lam by trading clues,


gathering information, and solving a crime during Desert Foothills Library’s 1920s Murder Mystery Party. Costumes are encouraged

Grace Renee Gallery will welcome

with awards given to best dressed.

Baiyang Qiu, a Chinese-born

H’orderves, and cocktails will be

goldsmith whose jewelry recently

served. Must be 21+ to attend. $45. 5

made its Arizona debut at the Carefree

p.m. RSVP. Desert Foothills Library,

gallery. By combining traditional

38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave

fabrication with new technologies,

Creek. 480-488-2286;

Grace Renee Gallery will welcome

Qiu’s work — which is created with

Miguel Edwards, a sculptor, world-

extremely fine gauge wire of high karat

renowned photographer and

gold and platinum — combines a

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March 21

March 22

SCOTTSDALE PHILHARMONIC CONCERT Scottsdale Philharmonic continues its eighth season with a classical music concert featuring works by composers Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Gounod. Free; VIP reserved seating available for $15. 4–6 p.m. La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. 480-951-6077;

March 22

BANDEMONIUM Salt River Brass will present a concert that features audience and band favorites from music director Patrick Sheridan’s 19-year collaboration with the group. Experience a spontaneous eruption of music from old warhorses to fresh new songs. $18+. 3 p.m. Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 480-644-6500;

March 25

EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF ESSENTIAL OILS Aromatherapists Ellen Powers and Deb Johnson will share information about which essential oils to use, how best to use them and the ways that they can support your journey to emotional balance. $10. 3:30–4:30 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

March 26

TASTE OF FOOTHILLS TICKET TO RIDE Foothills Caring Corps will host its 16th annual fundraiser, featuring gourmet food tastings, a live auction and live music. Attendees will enjoy a celebratory evening filled with sweet and savory tastings from local restaurants and live music by Harry Mathews during the social event, which benefits independence and mobility for seniors. $50. 5–8:30 p.m. Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church Parish Center, 36811 N. Pima Road, Carefree. 480-488-1105; march 2020

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April 4

TACO FESTIVAL AT SALT RIVER FIELDS Taste tacos and tamales from more than 30 restaurants, food trucks and chefs while enjoying a robust schedule of colorful entertainment. In addition to $3 tacos, the event will boast a robust schedule of colorful entertainment, a tango dance instruction course, a colorful Day of the Dead Circo, traditional Lucha Libre performers, a Tiny Taco Dog Beauty Pageant and more. A Tequila Tasting Experience that includes 10 samples will also be available at an extra charge. $12+. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale.

March 27


and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Performance Series. The program

Free. 11–12:30 p.m. Desert Foothills

will include selections from “Lakme,”

Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road,

“Madame Butterfly,” “La Forza del

Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

Destino,” “Carmen,” “It Trovatore”

Six-time Grammy Award-winning

and more. $25. 4 p.m. Christ the

music artist Amy Grant will perform

Lord Lutheran Church, 9205 E. Cave

an intimate evening of music that transcends the boundaries of genre. $48+. 7:30 p.m. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler.

March 28

BOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD Experience the spirit, artistry and history of India’s famous film

HISTORY OF THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment,

March 28

colorful costumes and stunning visuals. $38+. 7:30 p.m. Chandler

Explore a display of 19th and early

Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona

20th century objects that are no longer

Ave., Chandler.

March 28

seen today. Learn about each object’s design and use and ask questions of local collectors. The exhibit will be facilitated by Greg Hoffman, a collector of antiques and folk art.

Paula Cullison will take attendees


on a journey through powerful

The Arizona Opera Chorus and the

women. Historical figures who will be

Cave Creek. 480-488-2286;

Marian Roose Pullan Young Artists

discussed include Susan B. Anthony,

will perform some of opera’s greatest

Rosie the Riveter, Betty Friedan,

melodies as part of Christ the Lord

Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem

Lutheran Church's Living Music

AZ Women’s Partnership founder




industry through dance, live music,

March 27

Creek Road, Carefree. 480-488-

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Free. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road,

Each Visit includEs:

March 29

BROADWAY BOUND CONCERT Scottsdale’s premier adult choir the Upscale Singers will perform a spring concert filled with songs from beloved Disney movies as well as the music of “Grease,” Abba and Andrew Lloyd Webber. $75. 5:30 p.m. Desert Mountain Golf Club, 37700 N. Desert Mountain

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In honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday this year, Scottsdale Musical Theater Company will present “Sweeney

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A v a i l a b l e

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I n s u r e d

Todd: In Concert.” Jason Chacon will star as the title character opposite Elizabeth Blair. $42+. 7:30 p.m. Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale. 480-499-8587;

April 4

HATS AND HORSES: A DAY AT THE RACES Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak will host its annual fundraising event, a pre-Kentucky Derby event that will include a buffet luncheon, a cash bar, betting tips, a 50/50 raffle, live and silent auctions and more. Proceeds will benefit local charities for women and children in need. $125. 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix.

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Writer Shoshana Leon Photography Courtesy of R Entertainment


With our beautiful weather and diverse culinary scene, the Valley is an ideal spot for food and drink festivals for every taste — from wine and beer to chocolate and barbecue. But one food emerges as one of the most popular with Arizona festivalgoers. Americans eat an estimated 4.5 billion tacos each year. That number is set to increase this year with the debut of a new festival in Scottsdale that highlights not only tacos but also tamales and tequila. Taco Fest at Salt River Fields will delight fans of the Southwestern fare Saturday, April 4 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, offering up a variety of food, drink and entertainment options. “Taco Fest at Salt River Fields will deliver one big delicious party to celebrate tacos, tamales and tequila wrapped in an entertainment experience,” says Dave Dunne, general manager at Salt River Fields. “We’re delighted to expand the menu and invite people inside the stadium for a day of food, fun and good times.” Attendees may choose from a variety of $3 tacos from more than 30 restaurants, food trucks and chefs. Several options will be available, including traditional beef, chicken and pork as well as vegetarian varieties and even some unique, sweet flavors. Several savory and sweet tamales may also be sampled. Participating vendors that will be showcasing their tacos and tamales include Red Fire Cookery, Taco Head, Los Sombreros, International Truck of Tacos and Mas Tacos. Attendees, who will have an opportunity to vote for their favorites, may also purchase margaritas, beer and other tasty libations during the event.

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EXPERIENCE Taco Fest at Salt River Fields i m a gApril e s a r i z4o n| a11 . c oa.m.–7 m m arp.m. c h 2| 02 Salt0 River Fields at Talking Stick | 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale | $12+ | 32Saturday,

General admission for Taco Fest at Salt River Fields is $12. For an additional $20, attendees can experience a tequila tasting with samples from several brands. A Primo ticket for $80 includes food and drink tickets as well as access to an exclusive lounge. In addition to food and drink, several types of entertainment will also be on tap throughout the event. Experienced dancers will be teaching attendees how to tango with free lessons. Meanwhile, stilt walkers, aerialists, jugglers and other costumed performers from Day of the Dead Circo will also be roaming the venue. Lucha Libre wrestling will provide yet another source of colorful entertainment for guests to enjoy. Attendees are also encouraged to dress up their pooches for a chance to win fun prizes in a tiny dog beauty pageant. And, for the more daring taco enthusiasts, there will even be a hot chili pepper eating contest. From the authentic Mexican fare and festive beverages to the slate of fun activities, Taco Fest at Salt River Fields is sure to become an Arizona festival favorite.

march 2020

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The lights go down and the murmurs of the crowd slowly begin to fade. The smells of salty popcorn and sweet funnel cake fill the air. Suddenly, a spotlight turns on with an audible click, revealing a man in a red jacket and top hat standing before you. The man raises his left hand into the air and cracks a whip with his right. The roar of a lion echoes through your eardrums as a large African cat pounces before the man and pauses as if waiting for its next cue. To the man’s left, a clown juggles bowling pins while balancing on a big ball. To his right, a woman bends herself into what can only be described as a pretzel while maintaining a handstand on a galloping horse. The explosive burst of a cannon draws your eyes upward to see a man flying through the air, passing in between a flaming ring before being caught by a woman swinging from a trapeze. The Arizona Wind Symphony aspires to evoke that imagery with its Circus Magic concert at Tempe Center for the Arts. The 90-piece concert band — comprised of music professionals, non-professionals and students — will perform songs such as selections from the 2017 movie “The Greatest Showman” during the Thursday, April 9 program. The Arizona Wind Symphony’s conductor William J. Richardson says that the ensemble selects concert themes that it believes will keep the band members challenged and the audience entertained. “What more appropriate music than circus music to fill both of those goals,” he says.

Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography by Jim Stephens

David Melkin, president of the Arizona Wind Symphony’s board of directors, adds that the ensemble polls band members at the end of each season to determine the kinds of things that they would like to play the following year.

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“The circus theme is one that a number of members have brought up before,” Melkin says. The trumpet player — a founding member of the ensemble — says that because the Arizona Wind Symphony is a community band, its content can be much more varied than what audiences might hear from other symphony orchestras. “We are able to do a mix of pop-style music along with some modern band music, marches and selections from movies and musicals,” Melkin explains. He adds that the appeal of circus music is similar to that of movie scores in that the audience hears a song and immediately makes a connection to an experience, a memory or a feeling. It is one of several genres that we often take for granted despite their significant place within our society and our culture. “Everyone thinks of the circus as being something that is very entertaining,” Melkin says. “There is a childlike wonder or amazement about the circus itself. It is an experience that is very family-oriented.” Most people have very fond memories of the circus — of attending the circus as a child and being awestruck by the incredible acts, and of attending the circus as a parent and being even more awestruck by their children’s precious reactions. “Those are moments that music can help recreate for the audience,” Melkin says. “Music is a medium that sparks a memory, which brings a great dynamic to the program. When done right, it really can produce a powerful performance and one that the audience is going to enjoy and remember.”

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Melkin adds that through its Circus Magic concert, the Arizona Wind Symphony hopes to provide the audience with the feeling of being at the circus. “We are not going to have any lions or tigers standing in front of the audience but we can create the music that will give them that imagery,” he says. “We can take them to the circus that night even though there will not a single person spitting fire or taming elephants.” Melkin notes that the Arizona Wind Symphony is considering inviting some sideshow circus entertainers — such as jugglers and silt walkers — to perform at some point during the evening as a means to accentuate the experience for the audience, but the star of the show will be the music itself. That music will include “Barnum and Bailey's Favorite,” a 1913 march written by Karl King for the circus of the same name, and “Entry of the Gladiators,” an 1897 march written by Czech composer Julius Fucik. “There will be circus music that will be kind of fast and loud and take the audience on a wild ride,” Melkin says. “Then we will throw in ‘Send In the Clowns,’ which is a little bit more subdued and very appealing. We will use that music to create the imagery of being at the circus.” Richardson, a music educator with more than 30 years of service in Arizona schools, notes that the Arizona Wind Symphony came together at the turn of the century and will soon be celebrating its 20th season. “I am honored to be conducting one of the finest community groups in the state and possibly even in the southwest area,” Richardson says.

MUSIC Arizona Wind Symphony’s Circus Magic i m a g eApril s a r i z o9n|a7 . c p.m. om m ar c h 2Center 02 0 for the Arts | 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe | $12+ | 480-350-2822 | | Tempe 38Thursday,

Melkin agrees that the Arizona Wind Symphony is one of the highest caliber ensembles in the Valley but adds that it is just one of many groups who, together, make our community a hub of arts and culture. “It speaks to the liveliness and the vitality of the art scene in Phoenix that there are so many options,” he says. “I think that we are a key part of the Valley’s community involvement in the arts. That is an important thing to keep going. We want to represent the Valley well with a diverse group that includes members of all different ages and all levels of experience who are thrown together.” Melkin adds that the Arizona Wind Symphony has grown from the roughly two dozen members with which it started in 2000 to more than 90 members today — as well as a waitlist of instrumentalists hoping to one day join the ensemble on stage. “We have members from all parts of the Valley who come together to make these performances happen,” he says. “Music is a never-ending journey. We are always learning as musicians and we are always seeking opportunities to continue playing. This is a lifelong skill of ours. “What we really wanted to emphasize was good musicianship in terms of building a fun and interesting group to be a part of. I think that what we have been able to do over these last 20 years is just that. “This band has really been a neat experience for me as a player. It has been exciting to watch it grow. We are looking forward to continuing our journey and seeing what other experiences we can offer the audience.”

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Writer Joseph J. Airdo Photography by Dave Wilson


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The weirder the saguaro, the better. Some of the best are crested saguaros, which are sometimes called mutant saguaros. Those are the ones that have a genetic mutation that causes their tops to spread out like a spiny green fan. Dave Wilson


Nature and landscape photographer Dave Wilson believes that many people who live in Arizona—himself included—often take saguaros for granted. “People who come from other parts of the country must think that saguaros look like plants from another planet,” he says. “They are the most bizarre things. When people from the east coast see saguaros in person, they are astonished at just how tall they grow, how dense a cactus forest can be and how diverse their shapes can be.” Those diverse shapes are the focus of this month’s photo essay. It is our hope that by showcasing some of the quirky cacti that can be seen around our state, Images Arizona will encourage you to rediscover our native plant species and be overtaken by their majestic and almost mythical appearance as if you were visiting Arizona for the very first time. If anyone can truly attest to the fact that saguaros are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike, it would be Wilson—who makes it a point to hike off the beaten path to in an attempt to make his photos stand out in what has become an immensely crowded outdoor photography marketplace. “I often end up heading into landscapes that most people would not consider all that glamorous,” Wilson says. “I go into a lot of places that are really plain. But I believe that the mark of a truly great photographer is the ability to wander into any landscape—even the most seemingly mundane places—and come away with something spectacular.” That something spectacular may be a single tree, an unusual rock formation or—in many cases—a particularly silly looking saguaro. As illustrated by this month’s photo essay, saguaros seem to have a sense of humor unlike any other element of our southwestern landscape. Moreover, they are true icons of our state. “You only see saguaros in Arizona,” Wilson says. “If you are driving from Phoenix or Tucson and you are going to California or New Mexico, you see millions of saguaros along the highway. But as soon as you cross the state line, they disappear. It is like saguaros know that they are citizens of the Grand Canyon state and they refuse to live anyplace else.”

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As a photographer, I tend to be partial to saguaros with downward-swinging arms. When you stand near them, it is like they are reaching out to you. If you photograph a low-swinging arm without showing the rest of the cactus, it can look like a spooky appendage from some sort of alien. Dave Wilson


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I try to look at saguaros with a creative eye. I try to shoot them at dynamic angles or in quirky light. A good photographer can make even a normal saguaro look interesting. Dave Wilson


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FOR THE LOVE OF NATURE Dave Wilson considers nature and landscape photography to be synonymous with hiking. “I was hiking long before I ever picked up a camera,” he says. “What motivates me the most is basic wanderlust; the opportunity to get off the beaten path and explore; that sense of discovery and adventure that comes with outdoor photography.” Even on days that Wilson returns home from a hike without any great photos, he still feels greatly rewarded simply by having spent the day wandering around in nature. “I find life in the city horribly confusing,” Wilson says. “I feel like I do not understand a thing about anything or anyone. But the wilderness makes perfect sense to me. I cannot explain why but it just does.” Wilson’s process involves looking for what he calls “little, rectangular vignettes of perfect harmony in balance that exude a profound sense of wellbeing.” In fact, one art dealer who buys a lot of Wilson’s work describes his photographs as “healing art,” placing them in medical facilities throughout the Valley. “I never saw my photos that way but I like it,” Wilson says. “They create a little sense of permanence of something beautiful.” Unfortunately, Wilson worries that “something beautiful” is growing increasingly less permanent, though. He believes that global warming is the single greatest threat to our planet.

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“When I am out doing photography, I have a sense that I am among the last generation to document the American southwest before it is ravaged by our changing climate,” Wilson explains. “In fact, I have this fear that future generations will look at my images and think that they have all been Photoshopped beyond reality. “They will not believe that in southern Arizona, lush, tree-lined creeks and rivers used to flow among saguaros and prickly pear cactus. They will not believe that the mountains of northern Arizona had so much greenery. I feel I am currently photographing places in Arizona that, unfortunately, will look much less impressive to our children and grandchildren.”

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Dave Wilson first discovered his love of photography while embarking on nature hikes as a teenager. “I would hike in the mountains around Tucson and I would always see wildlife like deer, javelina and bighorn sheep,” Wilson says. “I would come home and tell people about what I saw but they would either not believe me or think I was exaggerating.” Wilson easily put those doubts to rest by bringing a camera along with him on his treks. For quite some time, his photography simply served as a record of his exciting sightings. “Back then, I did not approach photography as an artist,” he explains. “I basically saw it as a form of hunting. Some people hunt with a gun. I hunted with a Canon. My goal was simply to get close enough to an animal for a killer shot.” Wilson eventually obtained a career in public relations, serving as communications coordinator for the Downtown Mesa Association for 12 years. Commercial photography was an integral part of his job and, in turn, helped him hone skills that he later applied to nature and landscape photography.


“I have participated in all kinds of creative endeavors but the endeavor that I keep returning to more than any other is nature and landscape photography,” Wilson says. “That is probably because it is something that I can do completely alone. With outdoor photography, I can walk away from civilization altogether and work completely alone. And that is where I am most comfortable.” Completely alone may be a bit of an exaggeration, though, as Wilson often brings with him his favorite hiking partner—his three-legged Australian cattle dog Jessee. “I would rather hike with my dog than any person,” Wilson says. “But I carry 25 pounds of camera equipment plus my own water. I cannot carry enough water for my dog. So my choices of where I am going to hike are often limited to where I can take my dog—which means I gravitate toward places with natural water. “I often choose to take photography near creeks, rivers and lakes just so I can bring her along. She has a ridiculously high impact on my outdoor photography.”


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Writer Shannon Severson Photography Courtesy of HDE Agency


There’s just something about a barbecue that puts everyone at ease. Food grilled in the great outdoors, a beer in hand and good tunes are the backdrop for many happy memories. The 11th Annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival encompasses the best things in life March 28 at a new, bigger venue — Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park. Country music stars Lee Brice and Craig Morgano will coheadline the event, from which a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Greater Cause Foundation. Landon Evans — owner of HDE Agency, which produces the event — says that the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival has become a culturally sound event that supports the community in a variety of ways since its inception more than a decade ago. “Building strategic partnerships with iHeart Media, the city of Chandler and many other local businesses has allowed the event to catapult to new heights,” Evans says. “The new location will allow us to spread our wings and allow our partners to activate and build experiences that go beyond barbecue.”


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Those experiences include a Main Lawn concert area with plenty of room for patrons to spread out blankets and set up lawn chairs to hear Brice and Morgan as well as country superstars Locash and Caylee Hammack. Meanwhile, hometown favorites Jim Bachman and the Day Drinkers, Blaine Long, Tommy Price and the Stilettos and Jacob Morris will take the stage at the Live and Local arena. “This is an incredible musical lineup,” Evans says. “We are thrilled to partner with KNIX to bring this star-studded festival to Chandler for one of our largest events of the year.” Meanwhile, 20 signature barbecue pitmasters will light their smokers to feed the masses at the festival, which is known as the largest barbecue event west of Texas and has earned “outstanding event of the year” honors. Your palate does not need to be confined to barbecue, though. Tacos, dessert treats and kid-friendly fare are also on the menu. The “For the Love of BBQ” lounge, VIP tent, Bourbon Street and BBQ Pit Row are the perfect spots to sit down and enjoy a plateful of delicious food as well as a beverage — or two — from more than a dozen cocktail and beer purveyors. The festival even has sports fans covered with its March Madness Zone, where TVs will be broadcasting all of the college hoops games to make sure they don’t miss a moment of the action. Evans notes that the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival is a familyfriendly event throughout both the day and the evening, entertaining patrons of all ages with a Family Zone featuring a petting zoo and carnival rides. Flair performers will also be roaming the venue throughout the event. With nationally acclaimed talent and 10 activated zones, the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival has found a winning formula for family fun. What began 11 years ago as a way to support the viability of Chandler’s downtown district has grown from 6,000 attendees to 40,000 attendees, many of whom are drawn from other states across the country. “Our goal is to build a festival that attracts an audience of all ages with programming and memorable experiences throughout the day,” Evans explains. “With a larger venue, we can turn up the heat and crank up the volume.”

EXPERIENCE 11th Annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival Saturday, March 28 | Noon–10 p.m. | Tumbleweed Park | 745 E. Germann Road, Chandler | Adults $15+ | Children Under 13 Free march 2020 imagesar iz ona .c om


Writer Amanda Christmann Photography by Loralei Lazurak and Bill Watters/Air Major Media


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Carefree's First House


About seven decades ago, two men, KT Palmer and Tom Darlington, had a wild idea. They wanted to create an upscale community in the Arizona desert — the next Palm Springs — where the rich and famous could live and play. They imagined homes integrated into the striking desert terrain, and peaceful vistas where luxury was second only to privacy. Off of desolate dirt roads left rutted by cattle and horses, the two men found a vast expanse of desert where Precambrian granite outcrops appeared as if they were dropped by giants. Giant saguaros, ocotillos and teddy bear cholla spread bouquets of color through granite and schist crags, hidden by wild groves of mesquites and ironwoods. They discovered an old goat farm with a well tapped into a sizeable water source, and in 1955, they bought the homestead and its 400 surrounding acres for $44,000. This would be the place they’d begin their own community — a place like none other. That place would be Carefree, and in the coming years, Darlington, Palmer and a colorful character named Gerry Jones would turn their little section of Arizona into one of the most famous towns in Arizona.

GROWING THE DREAM In 1952, Darlington and Palmer found themselves in need of someone who could bring their ideas to fruition. They needed a design architect, and not just anyone with a drafting table would do. They needed someone who was passionate about creating homes where indoor spaces were seamlessly interwoven with outdoor spaces. They needed someone who could envision something great before a single foundation was poured. And, to be real, they needed someone determined enough — or naïve enough — to drive 30 miles up bone-jarring dirt roads to hear what they had to say. march 2020

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Gerry Jones was that man, and when Darlington and Palmer told him they wanted to build luxury homes in what felt like the middle of nowhere, he didn’t blink. Instead, he got to work.

CAREFREE BY DESIGN Conceptualizing a community like Carefree was not an ordinary endeavor; but then again, Jones is not an ordinary guy. Born on an Indiana farm during the Great Depression, young Gerry began working the night shift at a bakery at the age of 11 to help his family survive. He served as a sergeant in the Marines during World War II and Korea, then remained in China, where he was intrigued by Far East concepts of history, politics and philosophy. He studied martial arts and jai alai, and sought answers to questions much deeper than his Midwest roots. While in Asia, Jones was fascinated by the design and feel of ancient Buddhist monasteries. Instead of being built upon the land, they were integrated with the land. Not only did the natural surroundings remain undisturbed by their construction, it appeared to have become part of the landscape.


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This became the foundational principle of Jones’ designs, and it was exactly what Palmer and Darlington were looking for in the creation of Carefree.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Jones didn’t always agree with Darlington and Palmer on the details. In fact, though Darlington and Palmer were enthusiastic about the street names the town is now known for, Jones was not. Never Mind Trail, Huff N Puff Place, Lazy Lane, Tranquil Trail and more were decided when, at a dinner party, Palmer mentioned that street names had not yet been chosen. As the story goes, jovial guests began contributing their ideas, and so they came to be. Jones was less than convinced. In fact, he didn’t think anyone would want to live in a place with such silly names. It was one of the few topics Jones was wrong about, however. Before long, even major nationwide publications were talking about the leisurely community in the desert where one could walk down Easy Street.

LAYING THE GROUND WORK When it came to laying out the roads and plats, like everything else he did, Jones took a bit of an unconventional approach. An avid rock climber, he hiked and climbed through every acre of untamed land, sketching a map as he went along. He used his rough maps to lay out roads and configure lots. He also documented guidelines, creating rules for development that would eventually become part of the Maricopa County Hillside Ordinance. In 1958, just one year after the three men shook hands, Jones broke ground on the first two homes in Carefree. The first, located on Bloody Basin Road, was to be the DeMille House. The second home, located on Long Rifle Road, was to be the home of KT Palmer. Darlington’s home would later be built on Peaceful Place.


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RESIDENTIAL Houses in Carefree sold for about $80,000 to $90,000, about six times the cost of a home in Phoenix. Though the price was exorbitant at the time, it would have been an incredible investment today. For example, a 2.5acre improved lot on Black Mountain sold for $2,700 in 1959. Today, it would be valued at about $850,000. In all, Jones designed and built about 140 homes in Carefree, and about 300 homes in the Valley, including on Camelback and Mummy Mountains, Pinnacle Peak, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Clearwater Hills and Cave Creek. He brought his expertise to Taliesin West’s Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, where, for 17 years, he taught extreme terrain architecture. His unique style, a bit of Spanish Mission architecture mixed with a more contemporary use of flow, light and open spaces with lowslung rooflines and natural materials, continues to define the community. Gerry Jones maintains that he is not a founder of Carefree, but looking at the scope of his work and the accomplishments he continues to achieve, the line between founding the community and defining it is blurred.



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HUGH DOWNS, PAUL HARVEY AND EXTRA LARGE UNDERWEAR Along the way, Gerry Jones built a life that included experiences that, even decades later, seem a bit surreal. Carefree became quite the spot for the country’s who’s who, and Jones was right in the middle of it all.


Among his memories are times he spent hiking and rock climbing with Hugh Downs. Jones designed a residence for

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the “Today” and “20/20” personality and his wife, Ruth, and he remembers putting the first repelling bolts in the Carefree boulder pile while Downs’ daughter played below. In 1968, Downs and Jones decided to build the first fly-in home in America in what is now Carefree Airpark. After designing, building and decorating it to the nines, the home was marketed as a pilot’s dream. From golf to its own private hangar, it was quite the to-do. On opening day, Downs flew his plane in and taxied up to the home’s hangar. Aware of his audience, he grabbed his golf clubs and sauntered into the wine reception taking place. It was a large statement — and a brilliant one — but it didn’t work quite as they’d imagined. As it happened, the home was purchased by Earl Bartholomew, an engineer and inventor who didn’t fly, didn’t have an airplane and was not a golfer. Bartholomew ended up using the hangar as his workshop, where he developed several industrial patents. Paul Harvey and his wife Angel were also Carefree residents, moving into their home on Lot 266 of Carefree Drive in 1968. The home was built with a sound studio so Paul could broadcast his nationwide program from Carefree in the cold winter months. Paul loved to walk and hike, and Jones often hiked with him. Once, during his show, Harvey referred to American deaths during a Vietnam battle as “light casualties.” Jones, whose service during World War II and Korea had left lasting impacts, confronted Harvey while the two climbed Elephant Butte, saying that there was no such thing as a light casualty. Harvey never used that term again.


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Allan Mayer, heir to the Oscar Mayer company, and his wife, Lois, were considering the purchase of a 20-acre parcel high on Black Mountain in 1972. The problem was that there was no road, and the lot was unimproved. Jones took the couple on a steep and strenuous climb up the mountain from Stagecoach Pass. For hours they climbed, and when they reached the destination, they looked out over the Valley and took in the breathtaking views. Glancing into the distance, Jones spotted a dust storm coming in. Keeping his cool, he encouraged the couple to head back down the mountain’s steep slopes. Their descent began too late, however, and they ended up taking cover behind a large boulder. Winds blew, cholla balls flew into the trio, and they were pounded with rain as they huddled behind the rock. Over the howling of the wind, during the worst moment of the storm, Lois leaned her face into Jones’ ear and shouted emphatically, “No sale!” The couple instead bought a five-acre parcel in Carefree Highlands. They also bought the Black Mountain lot and donated it to Maricopa Mountain Preserve. Another story that still brings a laugh happened in 1974 when Carefree residents Ross and Phoebe Slingman rented out their house to Orson Wells. Ross Slingman drafted a strict lease forbidding Wells and his housemate, John Huston, from photographing or filming at the home. They asked Jones to watch over the house in their absence.

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Sure enough, the two filmmakers couldn’t resist setting up cameras. Jones reported his discovery of lights on the patio, and Wells and Huston were promptly evicted. Upon their return, the Slingmans were greeted with a devastating sight. A car had smashed in the front wall of the guest house, and some of their most valuable heirlooms, including a Louis XIV desk, were floating in the swimming pool. The place was all but destroyed, and among the mire were several pairs of Wells’ size 68 underwear. Once remodelers and time had healed the Slingmans’ wounds, they made the most of the situation. Each year, on the anniversary of the fateful eviction, they ran a pair of Wells’ extra large underwear up the flagpole and enjoyed a bottle of wine.

EXPERIENCE Gerry Jones Home Tour Sunday, March 8 | 9 a.m.–noon; noon–3 p.m.; 3–6 p.m. | Tickets $75; available at Cave Creek Museum | 6140 E. Skyline Drive, Cave Creek 480-488-2764 |

Gerry Jones Featured Exhibit Wednesdays and Thursdays 1–4:30 p.m. | Fridays 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. | Saturdays and Sundays 1–4:30 p.m. | Cave Creek Museum m aSkyline g e s a r i z oDrive, m ar c h 2 |02 0 Cave Creek 480-488-2764 | 586140 iE.

A CELEBRATION OF LEGACY Through the years, Carefree has grown and morphed into a quiet town where the rich and famous still live and play in relative anonymity. Arts and culture have made a resurrection of sorts, as the community has welcomed and nourished an increasing number of artists, musicians and performers. Jones is the last of the original Carefree trio. He finished his latest home in Black Mountain’s Nighthawk subdivision in 2018, and his signature design has etched its way into the landscape just as sunshine has etched lines in his skin. March 8, Cave Creek Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the Gerry Jones featured exhibit and a one-day home tour of six unique and outstanding residences he created. Workshops and special events will be held at the museum and at other locations to celebrate Jones’ legacy throughout February and March. Home tour participants will visit the homes via chauffeured buses in three shifts throughout the day, 9 a.m.– noon; noon–3 p.m.; and 3–6 p.m. Residences are multi-level and are not ADA accessible. To quote Cave Creek Museum director Karrie Porter Brace, the exhibit and home tour “celebrate the imagination, aesthetic and resolve that initiated and continues to give the desert foothills its wonderful signature character.”

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Writer Shannon Severson Photography Courtesy of Baiyang Qiu Jewelry


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Ring with One Diamond II

As ephemeral and delicate as a dandelion’s downy fluff or the wings of a dragonfly, artist Baiyang Qiu’s exquisite fine jewelry is a wonder of masterful skill and creativity. “Jewelry is such an interesting art object,” Qiu says. “My jewelry is wearable sculpture. It is art that must be touched and held in the hands. When it is worn, that’s when the art is complete. That’s when my work is done.”

Sapphire Ring with Diamond

Diamond Square Earrings

Qiu’s jewelry line will make its Arizona debut this month exclusively at Grace Renee Gallery in Carefree. “I met [Grace Renee Gallery owner] Shelly Spence at the Couture Show in Las Vegas, which is the most premium show in the world for fine jewelry,” Qiu says. “She appreciated my strong art background and we both speak the language of artists. My work is very sculptural, so she felt it would fit right in at the gallery.” Born in Jiangsu Province, China, Qiu first came to the United States to attend Savannah College of Art and Design, where she received a Master of Fine Arts. Having also earned a degree in industrial engineering, she excels regardless of which side of her brain she is using. That engineering background is evident in the geometric qualities of many of her pieces and in how she has managed to make the majority of her pieces durable enough for everyday wear — particularly her earrings, rings and necklaces.

Cocoon Brooch

“I have many, many sketchbooks,” Qiu says. “I draw from many different perspectives. I start with expressional drawing and then go to the engineering part of how to put it together, the thickness of the wire … I make a CAD model on my computer just like a builder would. It helps me make fewer mistakes in my handwork because computer mistakes can be easily adjusted. It’s much more painful to correct during the handwork process.” Using 18k gold and platinum wire, she painstakingly creates earrings, rings, necklaces and brooches, some with gems and some without, but all with a strikingly unique intricacy. It can take an entire week to create a single pair of earrings. Qiu bends and molds wire made from the precious metals. Each tiny length and intersection is formed with different curvatures and welded one at a time. “Some jewelry makers use a soldering process where they introduce other mediums that are melted during soldering,” Qiu says. “My pieces are like paper maché –– the joint is the weak spot of the whole object, so I can’t use another metal for connection. I use highly concentrated heat on the tip of the gold, just hot enough so the metal will fuse together and it will be strong.”

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Childhood Daydream Brooch

INSPIRED BY NATURE Qiu draws design inspiration from many sources, but nature is at the top of that list. “I love nature and plants and spend a lot of time in my yard and with my houseplants,” she explains. A dandelion inspired a particularly spectacular brooch in the tradition of vintage pieces of its kind, but with a modern approach that highlights the intricacy of structure. The response was so clamorous, Qiu created a series of everyday wearables, as if tiny bits of the brooch had scattered in the wind and each became its own piece. Earrings, rings and necklaces with round, rose quartz stones or pearls — often encased in spheres of gold and platinum — represent the bulk of the collection. “The dandelion brooch was the first of my natural inspirations,” Qiu says. “It’s beautiful, but a lot of people don’t have an occasion to wear a piece like that in their everyday life. I expanded the line for those who want to wear their jewelry every day. I call them ‘Seeds.’ I made all the studs and necklaces as the floating seeds of the dandelions. I want things to still fit the scene, but with geometrically abstract shapes.” A trip down her garden walk on a rainy day was the impetus for a stunning pair of earrings, in 18k gold and set with small rubies, that earned her a first-place Vision Award for Professional Design Excellence from the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America in 2015 — one of nearly a dozen she has earned over the years. “I walked into my yard and there was a flower petal lying on the ground with water droplets clinging to the petals,” Qiu recalls. “That kind of beauty is so temporary; it could disappear in a day. I wanted to

EXPERIENCE Baiyang Qiu’s Fine Jewelry Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 | 10–6 p.m. | Grace Renee Gallery | Historic Spanish Village | 7212 E. Ho Hum Road, Carefree | Free i m a g e s a r i z| n a . c o m m ar c h 2 02 0 62480-575-8080

capture that moment with my skill and materials to become a permanent wearable piece of art. I try to mimic the delicacy of nature, but the jewelry itself can’t be too delicate.” Qiu set about voraciously researching and drawing flower petal forms, followed by creating a 3D version in CAD –– and all of that before she picked up a single jewelers’ tool. She didn’t endeavor to replicate nature exactly, but to recall the idea of it as she determined the curves and connections of the delicate ear baubles.

DESIGN-FOCUSED Qiu chose to use rubies for these particular earrings, but not all of her creations incorporate precious stones. “Some designers start with gems and design from there,” Qiu says. “For me, it’s the design first. Then I ask, ‘Do I need to add a diamond or some other gemstone?’ Maybe not. My work is design-focused and the gem is the icing on the cake. It needs to fit the whole design. When I do use them, I love to use very premium stones because finer stones last longer.” Choosing stones is something she recalls doing with her father during her childhood in China.

Gold Marquise Necklace

“My family owned a jade business and I grew up watching them carve and produce pieces,” Qiu says. “Precious metal was not allowed, so my father would choose carefully and look for the quality. Sometimes we would go to the mine to see pre-cutting and grinding. I tell my mom that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

Ruby Ring with Diamond

Today, Qiu credits the support of her family, her husband, her patrons and the many mentors with whom she connected during her schooling and early years at juried American Craft Council shows in Baltimore and Philadelphia. She shares her own expertise with young jewelry makers who reach out to her. Some say her success looks effortless. However, she reminds them — as she reminds her own children — that every success is the result of hard work and refusal to quit.

Square Necklace with Diamond, Gold Award-winning Earrings Platinum and Saphire

“My husband and I are both workaholics and we work really hard,” Qiu says. “We are a team. I explain to my kids that if you really like something, you have to try harder. Think twice before you quit. You don’t have to be successful at everything, but try every possibility. Life is short and you have to do something you really love.” Bubbles Brooch march 2020

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Citrus Salad with Marmalade Vinaigrette Winter citrus makes not only a beautiful salad but also a delicious one! The vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and its sweetness can be customized to your liking by using more or less orange marmalade. Serves: 4–6

Ingredients: 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar 1–2 tablespoons orange marmalade 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 5-ounce head organic red butter lettuce 1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and sliced 2 oranges, peeled and sliced 1 Meyer lemon, peeled and sliced 1 avocado, peeled and sliced 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped Feta cheese (to garnish) Candied walnuts or pecans (to garnish)

Directions: In a small jar with a lid, combine olive oil, champagne vinegar, orange marmalade, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Shake well and refrigerate until ready to use. Arrange butter lettuce in a large serving bowl. Place citrus and avocado slices in a pleasing pattern atop the greens and sprinkle with mint. When ready to serve, shake vinaigrette and drizzle over salad. Garnish with crumbled feta and candied nuts.

Chef's Notes: Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly


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Organic red butter lettuce can be found at Sprouts in the packaged greens area.

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Grandma’s Red Meat Sauce My grandma made this meat sauce ever since I was a little girl. It was my absolute favorite — and still is today. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash or whatever you’d like! Serves: 6

Ingredients: 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 pound grass-fed ground beef 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 26-ounce carton Pomi finely chopped tomatoes 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce 1 6-ounce can tomato paste 1 cup water 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef to the pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until liquid is evaporated. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water to the pot. Stir mixture until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered with a splatter screen or lid partially on, for one hour. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if desired.

Chef's Notes: Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly


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This sauce freezes very well and is nice to portion into Ziploc bags or freezer containers.

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