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268 • <strong>MAY</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />



8<br />

12<br />

22<br />

30<br />

34<br />



Heightened Forms<br />

By Jack Cavanaugh<br />


Dance Artist<br />

By Rembrandt Quiballo<br />

Cover: Lauren Lee<br />

8 12 22<br />

34<br />


Creative direction: Sam Marinos,<br />

Photography: Maria Micsunescu<br />


Casting Connections<br />

By Jeff Kronenfeld<br />


Notes from the Road<br />

By Tom Reardon<br />


7<br />

16<br />

20<br />

38<br />

40<br />

BUZZ<br />

Women in The Arts<br />

By Robert Sentinery<br />

ARTS<br />

Laura Spalding Best<br />

By Amy L. Young<br />

Michelle Micalizzi<br />

By Jenna Duncan<br />

Kyllan Maney<br />

By Ashley Naftule<br />


Bri<br />

By Sloane Burwell<br />


Minding My Own Business<br />

By Celia Beresford<br />


Photos by Robert Sentinery<br />



Robert Sentinery<br />


Victor Vasquez<br />


Amy L. Young<br />


Sloane Burwell<br />


Mitchell L. Hillman<br />


Jenna Duncan<br />


Celia Beresford<br />

Jack Cavanaugh<br />

Jeff Kronenfeld<br />

Ashley Naftule<br />

Rembrandt Quiballo<br />

Tom Reardon<br />


Patricia Sanders<br />


Enrique Garcia<br />

Johnny Jaffe<br />

Maria Micsunescu<br />


(602) 574-6364<br />

<strong>Java</strong> Magazine<br />

Copyright © <strong>2018</strong><br />

All rights reserved.<br />

Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph<br />

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Publisher assumes no liability for the information<br />

contained herein; all statements are the sole opinions<br />

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email: javamag@cox.net<br />

tel: (480) 966-6352<br />

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4 JAVA<br />


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By Robert Sentinery<br />

BUZZ<br />

The Phoenix art scene is abuzz with an influx of talent, exhibition venues, murals<br />

and a seemingly inexhaustible energy. It’s refreshing to finally see a full recovery<br />

after the doldrums of the recession, and now, like the real estate market, the arts<br />

seem poised to reach new heights.<br />

Women are playing key leadership roles in the Phoenix renaissance, as evidenced<br />

by the number of museum directors, curators and arts administrators who are<br />

female. In fact, the numbers are so skewed that one could argue that these are<br />

female-dominated professions. This month, JAVA celebrates women in the arts and<br />

features several talented creatives who are helping move our city forward.<br />

For Lauren Lee, the path to becoming a full-time artist has been a spiritual one,<br />

about trusting her instincts and making the right moves at optimal times. It has<br />

also been about being open and acting as a conduit between the material world<br />

and beyond – channeling creativity in a way that downplays the self or ego.<br />

Lee helped kick-start the explosion of murals in downtown with her Three Birds<br />

piece on the side of the former greenHaus building, which acted as a sort<br />

of welcome sign to Roosevelt Row and the early Phoenix arts scene.<br />

She was a pioneer then and continues to innovate today (see “Lauren Lee:<br />

Heightened Forms,” p. 8).<br />

Nicole Olson uses her body as a medium for artistic expression. As a dancer/<br />

choreographer, she has become one of the most active (literally) members of the<br />

artistic community. Whether performing in the halls of Phoenix Art Museum or<br />

on the bridge at Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal Convergence, Olson seems to find<br />

the right mood for every one of her ephemeral performances.<br />

Olson’s story is about overcoming adversity that brought an end to her<br />

professional dance career in Chicago. After a long hiatus from her art, she<br />

has risen again here in Phoenix, which seems so apropos (see “Nicole Olson,<br />

Dance Artist,” p. 12).<br />

Jennyfer Stratman is a sculptor who straddles the chasm between critical<br />

acclaim and commercial success. She works primarily in bronze, which involves<br />

rigorous processes and extreme, fiery conditions. Her father was a NASA<br />

scientist and her mother was a photographer, which might explain her love<br />

of scientific processes mixed with aesthetic flourishes. Stratman married an<br />

Aussie a while back and splits her time between her rustic family farm in South<br />

Phoenix and her home in the continent down under (see “Jennyfer Stratman:<br />

Casting Connections,” p. 30).<br />

Finally, Kristina Moore ends our gender-biased exploration on a musical note.<br />

Her band kolezanka (a name that pays homage to her Polish roots) is a dreamy<br />

pop outfit driven by Moore’s stunning voice, filled with enormous range and<br />

endless subtlety. Her musical talents have caught the attention of other artists<br />

outside of AZ, and she is currently touring with the NYC-based band Triathalon.<br />

She spoke to us from the road about touring, her Phoenix favorites, collaboration<br />

and her plans to relocate to New York City in the fall (see “Kristina Moore: Notes<br />

from the Road,” p. 34).<br />


We cook till half past midnight every night of the year<br />

480.994.5576 • www.az88.com


Height<br />

ened<br />

Forms<br />

By Jack Cavanaugh<br />

8 JAVA<br />


Photo by Sarah Leslie<br />

Originally from Yuma, AZ, Lauren Lee is a Phoenix-based artist who has been producing lively and<br />

colorful paintings with intricate details of plant and animal life and equally bright murals throughout<br />

the Valley for the past seven years. The most recognizable of these was a mural of three sitting<br />

birds on the side of Greenhaus, a gallery and boutique that was demolished to make room for the<br />

Iluminate apartment building on 3rd Street and Roosevelt. Instead of becoming discouraged, Lee adapted to<br />

the circumstances. “When we can adapt, we survive. That’s part of the dance. Everything’s bound to change.”<br />

Lee was later approached by Illuminate’s developers to produce panels of the birds flying that would hang on<br />

the wall of the complex. “Three Birds in Flight” now hangs above the Dressing Room.<br />

After moving to Phoenix and graduating from ASU, Lee taught at New School for the Arts in Tempe. “I did<br />

The Artist’s Way (a popular book by Julia Cameron geared toward creativity). I was substituting for the lifedrawing<br />

class, and I was reading during my prep period. The book asked, ‘What’s your true north? What’s<br />

the end result?’ I said I would like to be an oil painter. It asked, ‘At what point would you be at true north?’<br />

I said, probably around 40 years old. ‘What about five years from now? A year from now?’ I said a year from<br />

now, I would be actively working in oil paints. Six months from now, I would be experimenting with different<br />

techniques. This month, I could just get some oil paints. Then it asked, ‘What could you do right now?’ I said,<br />

right now, I could go to the painting room and ask<br />

if there are any leftover oil paints. So that day, I<br />

went down there and the painting teacher gave<br />

me some paints. I went into my studio and started<br />

experimenting, and by the end of that year, I had<br />

filled my apartment with paintings.”<br />

Fast-forward seven years, Lee has many gallery<br />

shows and murals under her belt and has become<br />

one of the most prolific working artists in the area.<br />

I asked how she keeps the ideas flowing. “That’s a<br />

lot of inner work, because art is a spiritual practice<br />

for me. It’s a lot of energy output, so you have to fill<br />

up the well. You have to work on yourself in order<br />

to give as much as you’re giving. I see making art as<br />

an act of service to the community and to society,<br />

because if it becomes all about me, that can be really<br />

disorienting. It’s easy to fall into creating an illusion<br />

of who you are.”<br />

According to Lee, staying grounded and inspired<br />

requires intention. “You have to find those urban<br />

sanctuaries where you can reconnect. A lot of what<br />

I do is florals and botanicals. I have to have all the<br />

visuals in my mind and then collage them mentally<br />

into my work. When you’re indoors all the time,<br />

you’re seeing all these manmade things. When you<br />

go outside, you see this incredible symphony of<br />

technology; the technology of a tree or of a bird. It’s<br />

really beautiful.”<br />

In the past few months, Lee has completed a very<br />

large mural titled “Hope” for SOHO Scottsdale, a<br />

residential community near the McDowell mountain<br />

range, and has put on a solo show at Megaphone<br />

Gallery for Art Detour. When we met to talk, she<br />

was working on “18 in <strong>2018</strong>,” a project that involved<br />

painting a set of wings on the side of monOrchid<br />

Gallery. “When you’re on the river, you don’t always<br />

have time to pull over and set up camp, so you have<br />

to ‘rest on the boat.’ This has been a lot of resting<br />

on the boat. I do what I can as it comes up. It’s my<br />

marching orders.”<br />

While urban walls naturally lend themselves to large<br />

creations, Lee’s canvas paintings also tend to be<br />

large panels of exploding color. “I love using size as<br />

a factor in my work, because it has to be reckoned<br />

with. When I was doing the ‘Hope’ project at SOHO,<br />

there were a lot of workers onsite: plumbers,<br />

electricians, etc., and they would watch me paint. To<br />

them, it was impossible that someone like me could<br />

do what I was doing. They’re eating lunch and trying<br />

to reconcile this small woman painting these 15-foot<br />

flowers. ‘Where there was once nothing, now there<br />

are vibrant, huge flowers that she’s painting by hand.’<br />

JAVA 9<br />


Viewers have to confront this beauty, and what do<br />

you do with that?”<br />

Spiritual messages have also been a prevalent part<br />

of Lee’s work. The Art Detour show was titled “Wahe<br />

Guru,” a phrase from the Kundalini Yoga tradition.<br />

I asked why she felt these themes were important.<br />

“I think we need healing. I’ve seen the power of art<br />

in many ways. I’m not just talking about the impact<br />

of a big piece of art. I’m talking about people being<br />

creative, coming alive and beginning to express<br />

themselves, no matter how shaky or weird. Saying,<br />

‘I have a voice and what might that be?’ Every time<br />

you make something, you’re making a statement of<br />

‘I am.’ It takes so much courage to be creative. Part<br />

of what I get to do as an artist is create work that<br />

is hopeful. If we exert ourselves in this way, we can<br />

make something incredible.”<br />

Lee can often stand out in a crowd, with platinum<br />

blonde hair that’s typically tied up in a colorful<br />

headwrap, and a visible sleeve of tattoos. Her<br />

everyday attire is often curated for effect. “I like<br />

these heightened forms of living. You can use words<br />

or you can use poetry. You can say something or you<br />

can sing it. You can walk or you can dance. It takes<br />

courage to express life in an artistic form, but when<br />

you show someone that it can be done, you free<br />

them. That’s power, but it’s not mine. I’m channeling<br />

power. That’s important because when people see me<br />

doing things, they have all these ideas about me. But<br />

it’s not just me as an individual doing this. It’s when I<br />

let go that I’m open to create unbridled.”<br />

So how does being a woman in her field play into<br />

her work and her life? “I’m very lucky to be a woman<br />

because I get to access things like emotional<br />

narratives and spiritual themes. Because I’m a<br />

woman, maybe it’s more accepted that I explore<br />

those topics. My work can be softer, and that’s<br />

interesting because as a person, I can be fairly hard<br />

and guarded. With art, I let people into my secret<br />

world and they get to experience it, and some people<br />

even live with it. Part of being a woman is saying,<br />

‘I may be smaller, but I’m agile!’ There are hidden<br />

strengths that you wouldn’t know about. I do yoga.<br />

I’m flexible. I can contort myself to paint in a way that<br />

would maybe make someone else feel silly, having to<br />

crouch for four hours to paint something.”<br />

I asked if Lee felt compelled to address social issues<br />

in her work. “Just to exist, for some people, is a form<br />

of activism. When I was younger and did a lot of slam<br />

poetry, I talked about how I wasn’t supposed to exist,<br />

not the way I am. How can I exist as who I am in a<br />

world that tells me I’m not? Any time we become<br />

who and what we really are, it’s an act of defiance.<br />

I lead by example, and there’s a lot more serenity<br />

there. I had to stop pointing at other people and heal<br />

myself. When you can heal yourself, then you can<br />

show other people that healing is possible, and that’s<br />

powerful. Someone said the other day, ‘It’s hard to<br />

argue with a transformed life.’”<br />

“I’ve accepted that there are things in this world<br />

that are difficult and painful, and I don’t have to hide<br />

from them in my little world of art. I can integrate<br />

the trauma and become more whole. I don’t have to<br />

be the shiny illusion, and that’s hard because I’m an<br />

aesthetic. I make beautiful things, that’s what I want<br />

to put out into the world. There’s a lot of beauty out<br />

there, and it’s really what I focus on. You can focus on<br />

the pain and difficulties or you can focus on beauty. If<br />

you can add to the beauty, then you’re doing more for<br />

society and for life.”<br />

More than just an artist, Lauren Lee is a living<br />

example of what it means to make choices.<br />

Comfortable in her own skin and brimming with<br />

emotional intelligence, she can easily make witty<br />

observations and talk spirituality in the same<br />

sentence. Lee is a sage and a survivor with a perfect<br />

blend of the practical and the mystical who has made<br />

a life and a livelihood out of cherishing beauty.<br />

For more information on the artist, visit laurenleefineart.com,<br />

facebook.com/laurenleeartist and instagram.com/mslaurenlee/.<br />

JAVA 11<br />


Nicole Olso<br />

Artist<br />

Dance<br />


12 JAVA<br />


n<br />


Photo: Airi Katsuta<br />

A<br />

figure paces feverishly in a circle.<br />

Suddenly, she cascades violently<br />

to the floor, then gets up and<br />

repeats this several times, each<br />

time incrementally more restless. She weaves<br />

through weathered inverted clay vessels, while<br />

haunting music plays in the background. The<br />

audience is rapt, unconcerned that we are<br />

in a museum, among fragile works of art not<br />

intended to be in close proximity to such<br />

kinetic movement.<br />

It’s the Contemporary Forum Artist Award<br />

Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum (PAM),<br />

and the performance is a collaborative effort by<br />

ceramic artist Patricia Sannit and dance artist<br />

Nicole Olson. In years past, presenting such<br />

dynamic movement alongside valuable museum<br />

installations would have seemed implausible.<br />

But lately, there have been a multitude of<br />

performances that activate the museum through<br />

dance and music.<br />

Olson has presented site-specific works<br />

at PAM numerous times, as well as at<br />

Desert Botanical Garden, Heard Museum<br />

and various galleries and commercial<br />

spaces. This inclination to share her work<br />

in order to help overcome the perception<br />

of contemporary dance as an exclusive art<br />

form is important to Olson, exposing as<br />

many people as possible, often in places they<br />

wouldn’t normally seek it out.<br />

Olson was immersed in dance growing up in<br />

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a small town just<br />

outside of Milwaukee. “I don’t remember<br />

wanting to do anything else,” she said. At 13,<br />

she started attending the Milwaukee Ballet<br />

School. “This meant traveling and creating a<br />

schedule for me and for my parents. I was on<br />

scholarship for the duration of my studies. My<br />

focus was ballet and classical jazz,” Olson<br />

said. “I was there five days a week. It’s all I<br />

wanted to do.”<br />

Olson would advance her dance education at<br />

the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point,<br />

earning her BFA with a double emphasis in<br />

ballet and modern. “I studied dance history and<br />

choreography skills. I was immersed in dance<br />

every day for years, also attending summer<br />

intensives while on break,” Olson said. “I<br />

performed with Bauer Contemporary Ballet<br />

JAVA 13<br />


during the time I was in school. It was my first<br />

professional dance experience.”<br />

While in college, Olson created a duet inspired<br />

by Robert Browning’s Porphyria’s Lover. It was<br />

chosen to be presented at the Kennedy Center<br />

in Washington D.C. for the National American<br />

College Dance Festival. “This was one of<br />

the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, both<br />

professionally and personally,” she said.<br />

After graduating, Olson decided to pursue<br />

her craft in Chicago, performing with several<br />

notable dance companies. She flourished as<br />

a dancer, quickly achieving her career goals.<br />

However, after ignoring early signs of strain on<br />

her body, she severely injured her back. Olson<br />

soon discovered that she would no longer<br />

be able to dance at that level. This was a<br />

tumultuous period in her life. Her only goal was<br />

to be a professional dancer, and that was no<br />

longer attainable.<br />

Continuing to be around former colleagues and<br />

past dance environs in Chicago proved to be<br />

unhealthy for Olson, so when circumstances<br />

aligned to move elsewhere and start fresh,<br />

she seized the opportunity, and that eventually<br />

brought her to Phoenix. The change of scenery<br />

rejuvenated her. She remade herself, finally<br />

shedding her dance past, and started a new<br />

vocation as a massage therapist. Olson ran<br />

her own business and worked at a chiropractic<br />

office. Her new life in Phoenix was prosperous,<br />

but something was still missing.<br />

“I wasn’t being creative, or moving creatively,<br />

and I was pretty miserable about it,” she said. It<br />

had been four years since Olson last performed.<br />

One day, she took a dance class to see how her<br />

back felt. It turned out her body just needed<br />

time to heal. With lots of hard work and<br />

physical therapy, she eventually got back into<br />

dancing condition.<br />

Olson met Lisa Starry, who had created<br />

Scorpius Dance Theatre six months prior to<br />

their introduction. “I took one of her classes,<br />

and she invited me to join her company,” Olson<br />

said. “I enthusiastically said yes, and that<br />

started my journey back to dance.” She would<br />

soon perform with Valley mainstays such as<br />

Dulce Dance, Arizona Opera and Center Dance<br />

Ensemble, and she started collaborating with<br />

Liliana Gomez.<br />

Photo: Airi Katsuta<br />

Olson and Gomez became fast friends, engaging in long conversations about dance, their careers in<br />

dance and how to activate the performing arts in Phoenix. From these conversations, an emphasis<br />

on building community and a new direction of site-specific work emerged.<br />

“There has been great growth within the dance community in Phoenix, especially in the last ten<br />

years,” said Olson. “We have a number of annual dance festivals, such as Beta Dance Festival,<br />

Arizona Dance Festival, Blaktina Festival and Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance Festival, all<br />

celebrating dance in the Valley, while often highlighting nationally acclaimed artists. There are<br />

growing organizations, such as Nuebox, who are creating exciting new ventures for dance artists<br />

to explore their craft and facilitate new collaborations. New choreographers are creating more and<br />

more work, while our seasoned artistic directors are creating strong performances year after year.”<br />

Olson not only advocates for her contemporaries in Phoenix, she is also helping advance the future<br />

of dance in the Valley as the director of the dance program at Metropolitan Arts Institute, a visual<br />

and performing arts high school in downtown Phoenix. She instills core values of hard work and<br />

professionalism into a new generation of dancers. “I love teaching the exceptional students that<br />

14 JAVA<br />


Photo: Dimitri Dominguez<br />

Photo: Airi Katsuta<br />

attend the school. Their creativity and drive<br />

inspires me every day,” Olson said.<br />

The long lines and arabesque silhouettes Olson<br />

is known for are rooted in her traditional ballet<br />

training fused with modern dance. But what<br />

makes her work exceptional is the intensity and<br />

vulnerability she imbues into each performance.<br />

“My practice is inspired by the human<br />

experience and the stories each individual can<br />

tell,” she said. “I create movement to explore<br />

our environment, our culture and our world.<br />

That’s why I love site-specific work so much –<br />

you’re just out there, exposed. There’s no stage<br />

separating you from the audience, and there’s<br />

no backstage to escape to.”<br />

Olson recently presented two site-specific<br />

pieces for Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal<br />

Convergence <strong>2018</strong> in February, incorporating her<br />

work with large-scale public art installations.<br />

She is also bringing her art to the people at<br />

this month’s highly anticipated FORM Arcosanti<br />

festival by again collaborating with Patricia Sannit<br />

to create work for PAM. “Collaborating with<br />

Patricia has been a great experience; her work is<br />

stunning, and it brings out a new and intriguing<br />

aesthetic in my own,” said Olson. “I love that<br />

we are building on that energy for FORM.”<br />

Along with being a performer, choreographer<br />

and teacher, Olson is a consummate community<br />

builder. She is keenly aware of Phoenix’s<br />

national reputation as a city somehow deficient<br />

in culture. Nevertheless, she does her best<br />

to correct this misperception every time she<br />

performs out of state. This is why she prefers<br />

the term “Phoenix-based” instead of the oftused<br />

term “local” when referring to artists in<br />

the Valley.<br />

Olson understands the connotation of local as<br />

a point of pride, but thinks it can also imply<br />

a lack of ambition or a comfort level in one’s<br />

own proximity. “Artists from New York or L.A.<br />

don’t consider themselves ‘local artists.’ They<br />

consider themselves New York-based or L.A.-<br />

based,” Olson said. She firmly believes the<br />

talent here is equivalent to any other large<br />

city and that artists in the community need to<br />

think of inspired ways to represent not just<br />

themselves but also Phoenix to the world.<br />

Olson also thinks that all the arts should build<br />

upon each other, whether they be visual, literary<br />

or performance based. “All artists should<br />

support all forms of art. The more we support<br />

each other the better. Get rid of the idea of<br />

the separation of the arts,” she said. “I’m an<br />

artist. Dance is my genre. The human body is<br />

my medium. So this means I’m an artist first and<br />

foremost. We have all chosen different ways to<br />

tell our stories.”<br />

JAVA 15<br />


ARTS<br />


By Amy Young<br />

The desert landscape is as complex as it is grand.<br />

It’s not surprising that it consistently influences and<br />

inspires a broad assortment of artwork. Phoenixbased<br />

painter Laura Spalding Best is an artist who<br />

has spent several years using her work to explore the<br />

surroundings.<br />

Incorporating elements ranging from the power<br />

structures that literally electrify the desert to the<br />

relationship humans share with the land, she<br />

highlights the layered intrigue of the region. Her<br />

focus, however, wasn’t always on the desert.<br />

Best took a well-traveled route to Arizona in the late<br />

’90s from the Midwest. She came to attend ASU in<br />

Tempe, facilitating a career in art that started in early<br />

childhood. Large-scale portraiture was her direction<br />

at the time. Her thesis show, called Patterns,<br />

reflected this, as it featured life-sized females<br />

surrounded by different fabrics.<br />

Though she doesn’t do much portraiture currently,<br />

she was compelled by the “tension and pressure”<br />

that come along with painting people. By nature, she<br />

doesn’t have an aversion to facing challenges, and<br />

her work exemplifies that, informing the results just<br />

as much as her skills do.<br />

After graduation, Best didn’t waste any time; she<br />

nabbed an artist studio in downtown Phoenix, where<br />

she spent a few years until building a home studio.<br />

She also spent three years as part of the artist-run<br />

collective Five15, which she says was both exciting<br />

and beneficial. “I made a lot of lasting connections<br />

there,” she says. “Artistically, it gave me the freedom<br />

to experiment.”<br />

Experimenting is also not foreign to Best – it’s how<br />

she left painting on canvas behind and started<br />

creating her work on smooth metal surfaces. “I was<br />

in Canada and ran out of canvas, so I just found cans<br />

and objects to paint on, and I haven’t looked back.” In<br />

addition to the smooth, hard surfaces, Best says that<br />

she likes taking an object that has been discarded or<br />

is out of use and making it useful again.<br />

You’ll see her desert landscape oil paintings on the<br />

surfaces of items like signs, silver trays and bowls<br />

of various sizes, and the backs of brushes and combs<br />

from vintage vanity sets. Though those surfaces can<br />

have a sheen or ornateness that makes them visually<br />

viable as standalone items, when Best presents her<br />

desert scenarios on them, the items easily take a<br />

partnership position, enhancing her scenes.<br />

“Trickle Down Ecologics” is a two-piece painting,<br />

positioned vertically, the bottom serving as a<br />

reflection for the top. In the above painting, a desert<br />

road leads a car toward the mountains. The road<br />

continues in the bottom piece, evolving into a bit of<br />

16 JAVA<br />


a watery abstraction, making its length undefinable.<br />

While you can see the mountains in the distance in<br />

the top piece, the car’s descent into a blurry evolution<br />

gives the piece a mysterious sensibility. That is<br />

part of Best’s goal. “Mirage is a big metaphor in my<br />

work,” she says. “It’s an optical phenomenon – you<br />

can see it, but you can’t reach it.”<br />

There are a lot of ways to see Best’s work in <strong>2018</strong>. As<br />

a 2017 recipient of the Contemporary Forum Artists<br />

Grant, she will have work alongside other winners<br />

when the exhibition opens at Phoenix Art Museum<br />

on May 23.<br />

A first for the artist, she was also accepted into<br />

the Arizona Biennial <strong>2018</strong>, to be held at the Tucson<br />

Museum of Art in July. This was her first time<br />

applying to the exhibition that’s the oldest-running<br />

statewide-juried show featuring all Arizona artists.<br />

At Object Inspiration, a collaborative exhibition<br />

between Vision Gallery in Chandler and the Chandler<br />

Museum, local artists show work created to respond<br />

to objects from the museum’s collection. For this<br />

show, Best painted on a surveyor’s scope. She’ll also<br />

have a show at the central Phoenix gallery and retail<br />

store Practical Art in August.<br />

In addition to her painting career, Best is also the<br />

exhibitions manager at the Scottsdale Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art (SMoCA), and this summer she’s<br />

taking a shot at organizing a collection titled Wild<br />

Thing: Adventures with the Permanent Collection.<br />

More than 130 works from the museum’s collection<br />

that celebrate animals in art.<br />

Though Best generally works on smaller-scale pieces<br />

these days compared to those early big portraits,<br />

she still loves working on large-scale paintings and<br />

will continue to raise the level of her mural game<br />

this year. She has already beautified walls around<br />

town, including an epic piece she did last year at the<br />

Marisol Credit Union. Next up, she’ll take part in this<br />

year’s Phoenix Mural Festival, as well as creating<br />

a small mural series that features thematically<br />

connected imagery on different walls that are an<br />

easy walk or bike ride from one another.<br />

You can see Best’s work and find out more about her<br />

exhibitions at lauraspaldingbest.com.<br />

Convergence (mural), MariSol Credit Union, 2017<br />

Trickle Down Ecologics, oil on found objects, 2017<br />

Known Waterfalls of Greater Phoenix!, oil on found objects, 2016<br />

Tributary I, oil on found objects, <strong>2018</strong><br />

JAVA 17<br />


Photo: Elena and Jim Thorton<br />


Art and Entrepreneurship<br />

By Jenna Duncan<br />

Michelle Micalizzi says she originally started her<br />

company Fearlessly Deliver, LLC as a consulting<br />

firm in order to work with other companies as an<br />

entrepreneur-for-hire. She has a diverse skill set that<br />

allows her to plug into many different positions in<br />

the business world. She’s lived a life immersed in<br />

entrepreneurship, growing up in a business start-up<br />

family and running five businesses of her own.<br />

But when she began her Fearlessly Deliver social<br />

practice artwork, the art took on a life of its own and<br />

has snowballed into something much bigger than just<br />

a company and more nuanced than just an art career.<br />

“Businesses aren’t just in business to make money.<br />

They are there to contribute to the community and<br />

give back,” Micalizzi says.<br />

Micalizzi’s upcoming art show, “The Art of Fearlessly<br />

Giving Back,” shines a spotlight on the positive<br />

work of one local company and its core values. She<br />

says she chose WebPT because as she got to know<br />

about the company, she valued its ethos. “They<br />

have this idea that if you screw up, you have to own<br />

it. And also they have embedded in their culture a<br />

commitment to give back.”<br />

To tell the story of how and why a business is giving<br />

back, Micalizzi first sits down and interviews the<br />

company’s leaders. She sets up her video camera and<br />

records the interviews, which she posts to YouTube.<br />

At WebPT, she interviewed its CEO, CFO and CTO,<br />

among others. She was impressed by WebPT’s<br />

founders and their ability to construct something out<br />

of seemingly nothing. She also liked their motto: “Do<br />

mas with menos.” Next, Micalizzi sits down to blog<br />

about her interviewees, and in the process of writing,<br />

she comes up with an idea for a painting for each<br />

person.<br />

“I tell their story, which is the reason for the<br />

painting,” she says. “I interview somebody, watch the<br />

video and then look for five takeaways.”<br />

“I’ve been working creatively since I could first<br />

make a mark on a paper,” Micalizzi says. She has<br />

made art and kept a journal her entire life. “I listen<br />

to something or I interview someone and then I tell<br />

a story.” In 2014, in order to have a fresh start, she<br />

destroyed some 1,300 journals and sketchbooks. The<br />

purge allowed her to open herself to a new practice<br />

that combines all of her talents: find a subject,<br />

interview and focus, write, then paint.<br />

Micalizzi has been networking in the Valley<br />

for nine years, forming connections with local<br />

businesspeople. “The whole point of doing this<br />

exercise is to get everybody in the room and then<br />

build relationships.” So far, she has interviewed and<br />

created paintings for more than five-dozen people for<br />

her social practice art shows.<br />

No matter whom she interviews, Micalizzi always<br />

asks: “How did you become fearless?”<br />

“On a regular basis, most people have to walk<br />

through a boatload of details. And each day there<br />

may be opportunities to be scared to death,” she<br />

says. Micalizzi looks for each person’s chance to walk<br />

through that fear and to overcome it.<br />

“The Art of Fearlessly Giving Back” opens at the<br />

Arizona Science Center, Create MakerSpace, May 18<br />

from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature 16 of Micalizzi’s<br />

paintings. A percentage of proceeds from sales will go<br />

to a half-dozen charities that WebPT has selected.<br />

Boot Strap Roots<br />

Give Your Mistakes Wings Then Fly in Formation<br />

18 JAVA<br />



Sacred Geometries<br />

By Ashley Naftule<br />

Kyllan Maney was going to study graphic design in<br />

college before her senses helped her come to her<br />

senses. “The smell of oil paint was too intoxicating,”<br />

she says with a laugh. “I had to change my major.”<br />

A self-described “muralista,” Maney has enlivened<br />

walls across the Valley with her gorgeous paintings.<br />

She draws inspiration from sacred geometry and<br />

radial patterns from different cultures to create<br />

hypnotic wheels of brightly colored dots, feathers<br />

and butterflies. “When I’m working, I look at them as<br />

my meditations,” Maney says of her work’s tranceinducing<br />

qualities. “I’m trying to center myself.”<br />

One particular tradition that inspires her radial<br />

artwork is Rangoli sand art. “It’s these sand paintings<br />

women make in India,” Maney says. “I have a mural<br />

at the Indian Plaza on Apache Boulevard that’s based<br />

on those ideas.”<br />

Certain motifs crop up over and over again in Maney’s<br />

work. Birds and flowers have a place of prominence<br />

in her art, sometimes blended together. One of her<br />

most striking works depicts a skeletal bird with<br />

wings made out of lush flower petals. Maps also<br />

play a starring role as the canvases for her mixedmedia<br />

pieces. She takes old Arizona road atlas maps<br />

and turns them into pictures of birds and intricate<br />

mandala-inspired glyphs.<br />

Her map prints will be on display as part of her<br />

“Radial Pathways” show at Grand ArtHaus, opening<br />

on First Friday in May. It’s a one-woman show<br />

devoted to Maney’s fascination with radial patterns<br />

and her growing love of dots.<br />

“I still use a lot of underlying geometry in my work,”<br />

Maney says. “But now it’s turned into more of these<br />

dot patterns. I’m in love with Yayoi Kusama’s work,<br />

and I love her idea of the dot as the beginning and<br />

the end.”<br />

It’s not hard to see the power of the dot for artists<br />

like Kusama and Maney. Dots evoke atoms, the<br />

building blocks of creation. Their circular shape recalls<br />

globes and celestial bodies just as much as they can<br />

embody drops of rain or blood. Dots are small shapes<br />

that can contain vast quantities of information or<br />

come together to form massive structures.<br />

Maney saw firsthand how a few humble dots can<br />

lead to big things, after a chance encounter at one<br />

of her daughter’s playdates paved the way for an<br />

exciting new opportunity.<br />

“One of the moms had these little canvases with<br />

Q-tips,” Maney says. “She wanted to do some paintings<br />

like those dot paintings on stones, and we were playing<br />

around with that idea. I made this little canvas and I<br />

really got into it. The next day, I went to monOrchid to<br />

talk with Wayne about a mural I was going to do on the<br />

ground and up on the wall. And he said, ‘Well, I have<br />

this other wall, and I really want it to have a lot of color.’<br />

I had the canvas in my purse, so I pulled it out and said<br />

‘What about this?’ and he was like, ‘Perfect.’”<br />

Those Q-tip dabs of color led to the transformation<br />

of an entire wall. “This little 3 x 3-inch canvas turned<br />

into a whole new mural series,” Maney says.<br />

Radial Pathways<br />

Opens on First Friday, May 4<br />

Grand ArtHaus<br />

http://www.kyllanmaney.com/<br />

Map Series 148<br />

Radial Pathways<br />

JAVA 19<br />


BRI<br />

By Sloane Burwell<br />

Flavors<br />

of<br />

South<br />

Africa<br />

Located in the adorable bungalow-turned-restaurant that once housed Rice Paper,<br />

Bri is serving up creative and delicious South African–style BBQ.<br />

When I first heard about this charming spot from a friend, I have to say I was a<br />

bit incredulous. Way back in the day, my family helped with a nonprofit outside<br />

Soweto, and I’d come to love some of the tasty treats smuggled back in suitcases.<br />

If you’re not familiar with the cuisine, perhaps try some biltong (cool jerky-like<br />

cured meat), Five Roses Tea or my favorite Rajah Curry Powder, in its culturally<br />

inappropriate yellow box. Without a celebrity chef pushing its flavors, this cuisine<br />

hasn’t enjoyed the widespread understanding it should. Hopefully now it will.<br />

Bri (which rhymes with dry) is loosely translated as a BBQ or cookout as it would<br />

be in someone’s home, which makes the converted bungalow all the more fitting.<br />

You’ll see a nod to the building’s former life as Rice Paper, with some great<br />

updates. The kitchen has been widely expanded to include a wood-fired South<br />

African–inspired custom grill, which is always seen with multiple ducks hanging<br />

inside (oh my god, the duck). The entire plumbing situation has been replaced,<br />

taking its former funky smell with it. In the front, you’ll find the rooms cordoned<br />

off, with a charming note indicating the space is unavailable due to a kerfuffle<br />

with the city (seriously, Mayor Stanton, help these guys!). But everything else is<br />

in full effect.<br />

Don’t skip a seat at the bar. We totally loved the authentic red rooibos tea, widely<br />

considered a health drink in South Africa. This kicky hibiscus-like beverage is<br />

refreshing and gorgeously colored. The bartender will hit it with a sweet simple<br />

syrup should the need arise. The drinks are no joke, either. You’ll find a rather<br />

impressive collection of house-made concoctions stirred into cocktails, like<br />

the Brain on Fire ($10), a wicked mix of spiced rum, ancho chile liquor and an<br />

explosion of mango and lime juice.<br />

The menu is a very simple collection of mostly small plates, and everything is<br />

meant to be shared. Two items appear for happy hour only, but if you’re nice, they<br />

might make them for you other times. The Duck Toastie ($10) is quite possibly<br />

the grilled cheese of your dreams. Loaded with wood-fired roasted duck, cheese,<br />

onions and sauces galore, the wood-grilled bread provides a crunchy, smoky foil<br />

to the sammie. Keep the potato chips served alongside to scoop up whatever duck<br />

bits fall out of the sandwich.<br />

The other HH selection, Junkyard Nachos ($8), is a sweeping variety of quasileftovers,<br />

served atop classic American potato chips. I say quasi because the word<br />

“leftovers” implies something less than, and this is anything but. On one visit,<br />

this meant an impressive layer of duck, pork spare ribs, veggies and so much kicky<br />

house-made red sauce that we used the extra chips from the toastie to sop it up.<br />

This is my new gold standard for nachos.<br />

So back to duck – you’ll find it many ways here. I loved the Drooling Duck ($14), a<br />

crispy-skinned wood-fired breast loaded with fried chiles. Maybe I like things a little<br />

more spicy, because I wouldn’t call this tongue tingling, but I will call it fan-freakingtastic.<br />

The slow-roast approach gets rid of all of the greasiness and unwanted fat in<br />

lesser ducks, leaving nothing but succulent meat behind.<br />

I wanted to jump inside the Onsen Egg ($6), a scientific wonder, where an egg is<br />

lightly poached in the shell, then cracked into a bowl of warm pork broth and soy<br />

sauce. The white and the yolk cook at separate temperatures, which alters the<br />

egg on a molecular level. Mind and taste buds blown. A little birdie told me that<br />

Saturday, during the day, they serve ramen, and I am PRAYING that this is the<br />

broth. It would make the perfect pho or ramen broth, with a gorgeous poached egg<br />

swimming inside.<br />

Please order the Green Beans ($7), made kimchi style. Fermented in hot, funky<br />

spices, these babies are chilled and perfect. We dropped the pretense and picked<br />

them up and ate them with our fingers. You’ll find a heavy sprinkling of roasted garlic<br />

chunks on top. Don’t avoid them, chew them like Pop Rocks and thank me later.<br />

The Pork Spare Ribs ($10) are a bowlful of savory love. Marinated in fermented<br />

black beans, I half expect them to show up in the Wiki entry for umami. Savory,<br />

smoky, earthy and gone in 60 seconds. Each nugget of pork slides off the bone.<br />

They are smoked so long and so slowly, you’re able to easily access the cooked<br />

marrow. I discovered this by happy accident when I mistakenly took a bite out of a<br />

pliable slow-cooked bone. I’m not going to lie, it shocked me how salty, melty and<br />

wonderful it was, bone and all.<br />

Fans of duck and pork can enjoy rather large platters ($45 and $40, respectively),<br />

which come with mounds of meat, excellent cannellini beans and superlative crispy<br />

smashed potatoes (get them as a side for $7). Both also come with their excellent<br />

bread, virgin butter and radishes (normally a $7 menu item).<br />

I know, virgin butter. I discovered that for the owner, Vince Mellody, this is a<br />

favorite. It sounds weird and specious, but Vince says the reason it tastes so<br />

amazing is chemistry. All I know is that butter doesn’t normally taste this good. This<br />

virgin butter is soft, creamy and tastes like handfuls of honey have been stirred in.<br />

But that isn’t the case; nothing has been added to sweeten it.<br />

This version has a texture unlike softened butter and more like soft cream cheese.<br />

It is a tad denser than regular butter and yet tastes so sweet. Six wood-fired<br />

toast points come alongside, with hunks of ice-cold radish, salt, fresh-cracked<br />

pepper and olive oil. Once we ran out of toast points, we used the residual potato<br />

chips to make quick work of the remaining slick of virgin butter. I just can’t stop<br />

saying it. Virgin butter.<br />

Bri, like all of my South African favorites, is delicious and funky and not quite like<br />

anything you have tried before. It’s fitting that this charming spot is in a converted<br />

home, because that is what the food reminds me of – a warm, comforting,<br />

deliciously simple, soothing taste, just for you.<br />

Bri<br />

2221 N. 7th Street, Phoenix<br />

Tuesday to Saturday, 3 to 10 p.m.<br />

JAVA<br />



22 JAVA<br />


23 JAVA<br />


24 JAVA<br />


25 JAVA<br />


28 JAVA<br />


Creative direction: Sam Marinos,<br />

@_emotionalshawty_<br />

Photography: Maria Micsunescu,<br />

@micsunescu<br />

Clothing: Gabby Quersin for Maidermood,<br />

@maidermood<br />

Models: Andrew Vigness and Jordan Hicks,<br />

@jordan_hicks<br />

JAVA 29<br />


30 JAVA<br />


Photo: Johnny Jaffe

Photo: Johnny Jaffe<br />

Photo: Danielle Wood<br />

“I liken it to the death of a star, which relates to molten metal being instantly<br />

cooled,” Jennyfer Stratman explains to me over a picnic on a farm in South<br />

Phoenix where she lives part of the year. “I throw the molten metal on the ground<br />

and it instantly cools into these crazy shapes, very similar to a star exploding.”<br />

Stratman’s artistic vision is cosmic in scale yet personal in nature, obsessed<br />

with the interconnectivity of all things. “Then, over time, the gravity pulls all<br />

these bits and pieces back into a sphere and the whole thing starts again. It’s<br />

birth, transformation, death, renewal and the cycle of life, which is similar to my<br />

previous work with more plant motifs.”<br />

Take, for example, her large-scale piece “Connection Point,” which is located in<br />

Gilbert. A human form from the chest up, made out of an irregular lattice, emerges<br />

from the ground. Contained within it is one of Stratman’s slender human figures.<br />

While she explained the work is about the nexus of inner and outer universes, it also<br />

seems to explore the loneliness and solipsism that defines contemporary American<br />

life. The inner figure seems trapped within a prison cell in the form of a person.<br />

Another example is Stratman’s hexagonal bicycle rack design, reminiscent of a<br />

honeycomb, and one of two prototypes unveiled recently at “Pedal to the Medal: PHX<br />

Bike Rack Project and Art Show.” In collaboration with Downtown Phoenix Inc., Artlink,<br />

the City of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department and Office of Arts and<br />

Culture, the project will see 25 of Stratman’s bike racks installed around Phoenix.<br />

“I actually came up with the visual as I was laying in bed one night,” Stratman<br />

recalled. “The idea was of bike hives and how bicyclists commingle and do these<br />

rides together from place to place, like swarms of bees pollinating different areas.”<br />

Whether it’s dying stars or organic growth patterns or elongated genderless human<br />

forms, Stratman’s work conveys strong emotions while probing some of our species’<br />

biggest ideas.<br />

A sculptor working primarily in bronze, though she uses other metals and materials<br />

as well, Stratman crafts work in a number of different styles, drawing heavily from<br />

a pool of ideas she has explored since at least as early as high school.<br />

“I’ve been painting the solar system since I was 16,” Stratman said. “Even the<br />

tattoo I got when I was 18 years old, I drew while I was still in high school.” Her<br />

tattoo consists of celestial objects, both in our solar system and beyond, snaking<br />

their way from the top of her foot up her calf.<br />

Stratman’s creative drive emerged even earlier than this, though. “As a child, my<br />

mom could put a piece of paper and a pencil in front of me and just shut me up,”<br />

she began to explain – until interrupted by a male Arabian horse named Bubba,<br />

one of the three horses she shares the farm with, braying loudly and rattling the<br />

wrought iron fence between us.<br />

Stratman assures me the horse’s bravado is just his way of asking for carrots. She<br />

momentarily steps away from her 28-year-old pet iguana, Cosmo, to whom she<br />

was feeding leaves beneath a towering old pine tree. After Stratman dispenses a<br />

number of carrots, the other two horses, Willow and Amber, wander over to get in<br />

on the action. Then Stratman returns to her youthful reminiscences alongside her<br />

loving lizard. The scene is like a Wyeth painting on acid.<br />

“The first sculpture I made was when I was three,” Stratman said. “I actually<br />

remember making it, strangely enough. I think it was in the newspaper, which is

even weirder, but it’s this little clay dinosaur-looking<br />

thing with these little jewels.”<br />

Stratman’s mother was a photographer and her father<br />

was an aerospace engineer who worked for Motorola<br />

and NASA. She started getting more serious about<br />

art in high school, where her favorite classes were<br />

ceramics, jewelry making and Earth science.<br />

“I could see why I was interested in those particular<br />

subjects,” Stratman said. “As I grew into being an<br />

artist, the conceptual side of what I do is based on<br />

science, the Earth and cosmic connectedness. And then<br />

obviously there is the art side of it.”<br />

She continued to pursue these interests at ASU, where<br />

she majored in fine art and art education and continued<br />

to work in ceramics until her vision proved more elastic<br />

than her medium. “I was moving in a more sculptural<br />

direction,” Stratman explained, “trying to cast these very<br />

tall elongated forms. But I only had various degrees<br />

of success because they would often break in the kiln<br />

or after. Later, when I was installing them, it got a little<br />

bit frustrating, and one of my professors suggested that<br />

I go up to the foundry.”<br />

Stratman admits that at first the foundry was<br />

somewhat intimidating. She was unfamiliar with all<br />

the tools, the specialized terminology and the extreme<br />

conditions. At the time, she didn’t even know what<br />

a crucible (a container that holds molten metal) was.<br />

Whatever initial misgivings she may have had about<br />

the macho environment were soon overcome by a<br />

love for the process. She quickly learned the tools and<br />

began mastering the techniques.<br />

Discovering how things are made proved empowering<br />

for Stratman, and it gave her a heightened appreciation<br />

for the built environment. She started seeing things<br />

that before had been invisible. All the while, she<br />

continued to refine her conceptual approach while<br />

experimenting with a range of styles and motifs.<br />

“I was doing a lot of hands and different body parts,<br />

even vaginas. I had a very feminist approach to my<br />

work in college,” Stratman said. “It was probably also<br />

a reflection of the times, in the early ’90s.”<br />

“The figurative work came in the mid 2000s, which is<br />

really funny because I was much more abstract and<br />

conceptual in college and I never thought I’d move in<br />

that direction. Toward the end of my college years, I<br />

steered away from the more conceptual because it just<br />

didn’t bring me a lot of joy.”<br />

“I had a commission to do a piece with hands<br />

coming from a tree root. It was all about connecting<br />

with humanity and the earth. In a previous piece<br />

32 JAVA<br />


the client had seen, I had put buildings on one hand and a hole in the other hand, a kind of symbolic raping<br />

the earth. He wasn’t interested in that.”<br />

“I thought, what if I put little figures on the hands, like there’s the single figure on one hand, which kind of<br />

represented me, and then it came down into this root system and the other hand had a series of figures on it.”<br />

The crowded palm of the other hand represented her community and homeland. The figures were meant to be<br />

genderless and faceless, the essence of bodies. In time, these figurative elements would become something<br />

like her signature.<br />

“It was my way of connecting the other bits of my work, the more nature-based or cosmic stuff, into humanity,”<br />

Stratman said. “I am very interested in those archetypical shapes found in nature. It could be from when you look<br />

under a microscope and see cellular structures and then you look out into the cosmos and you see similar patterns.”<br />

“Or the veins in our bodies. Tree roots. You could liken it to so many things. I remember early on, when I<br />

was doing more feminist work and was in Monterey. I was watching the seaweed wash up on the beach and<br />

those pods were shaped like breasts. I just started casting them and referencing that.”<br />

One of the more magical elements of Stratman’s work is the way she captures transient forms and then<br />

immortalizes them in metal. She is married to an Australian, Brad Wilson, and the couple currently splits their<br />

time between the two continents. She maintains a sizable garden down under, which in addition to providing a<br />

significant percentage of her diet also furnishes material for her art.<br />

“I have a succulent garden in Australia, so I’ve got<br />

a myriad of plant forms,” Stratman said. “At certain<br />

times of the year, when things are flowering, I’ll cut<br />

those off and dip them in wax, which sort of freezes<br />

their form, though not always successfully.”<br />

Stratman walked me through her process. She begins<br />

by dipping an original object, a flower or root, for<br />

example, in wax. Next, the wax forms are dipped<br />

into ceramic shell slurry and dusted with sand,<br />

which picks up the details of the wax mold to an<br />

astonishing degree.<br />

“It’ll even take fingerprints,” explained John<br />

Tuomisto-Bell, another artist and sculptor, who helps<br />

Stratman cast her works at a foundry located in the<br />

backyard of his Phoenix residence.<br />

Once a sufficient number of layers of ceramic shell<br />

and sand have been built up, the molds are placed<br />

into a burnout kiln, where the wax is removed,<br />

leaving a hollow form holding the original shape.<br />

Molten bronze is poured into this, and once it cools,<br />

the fun work of removing the ceramic shell begins.<br />

“Some of this stuff just pops off, but the rest is taken<br />

off with jackhammers and sledgehammers,” Tuomisto-<br />

Bell explained. “That becomes the real work.”<br />

The artists explained the process as they loaded old<br />

sprues into a crucible. Sprues are a waste product<br />

formed when metal cools in the various feeder<br />

channels that molten bronze is poured into. When<br />

casting, they use a mixture of old sprues and fresh<br />

bronze. It takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour for<br />

the metal to melt, slowly slumping into the red-hot<br />

crucible. The furnace roars like a small jet engine as<br />

flames, mostly invisible in the afternoon sun, reach<br />

up like the branches of one of Stratman’s works.<br />

Stratman’s pieces are as varied as her zip codes. Her<br />

strong artistic vision and well-honed production skills<br />

have ensured not only her continuing success as an<br />

artist, both commercially and critically, but perhaps<br />

have also granted her (much like the roots and flowers<br />

she transmutes) some measure of immortality.<br />

“The whole process of getting these base materials<br />

from the earth and then creating an alloy that you<br />

can melt and mutate is similar to the cycle of birth,<br />

death and transformation,” Stratman said. “This<br />

stuff formed in the earth millions of years ago.<br />

Then we dig it up and repurpose it. Who knows, my<br />

sculptures may last for a very long time, until the<br />

sun gets closer and it all melts away and perhaps<br />

reforms into something else.”<br />

stratmanstudio.com<br />

JAVA 33<br />


34 JAVA<br />


Notes from the Road<br />

By Tom Reardon<br />

Photo: Nicole Bush

Tell me about your tour.<br />

Tour has been phenomenal! Did the first two weeks<br />

with ROAR, which is always a pleasure. Being on the<br />

road with Triathalon has been a dream. The shows<br />

are exciting and the band is incredibly kind and so<br />

hardworking. I feel very lucky to be a part of it. We<br />

also spent the first month touring with Inner Wave<br />

(LA), which was wild (heavy emphasis on “wild”) fun.<br />

We love those guys so much.<br />

What is your favorite part about touring?<br />

I really just enjoy touring in its entirety. For however<br />

many weeks or months, my job is to travel around<br />

doing something I love with people I love every single<br />

night. You’re immersed in a new place with new<br />

people every day.<br />

What about tour challenges? What makes being<br />

on the road tough for you?<br />

Lack of sleep can get pretty severe. Sometimes<br />

you’re not packed up until 2:30 a.m. and you’ve<br />

still got to get to your sleep destination, and then<br />

leave at 9 a.m. for the next city. Also eating well<br />

can be difficult. Especially when you’re always<br />

on the go and you have no proper way to store<br />

perishable fruits and veggies.<br />

Photo: Josh Loeser<br />

Just as snake charmers use an instrument known as a pungi to help captivate their snakes, Phoenix<br />

artist Kristina Moore uses her music – whether singing or playing guitar and keyboards – to enthrall<br />

audiences. There is a meticulous nature to her work with kolezanka, a band that more than dabbles<br />

with being dreamy, yet comes together in a way where there are no wasted notes and everything<br />

seems in its proper place.<br />

Moore’s voice is strong and beautiful, framing her captivating lyrics with a confidence that would make even<br />

the most accomplished vocalists jealous. Checking out kolezanka is both highly recommended and essential<br />

for everyone who supports music in the Valley. Joined by band mates Ark Calkins and Winter Calkins, Moore<br />

shines when she leads her own band, but is also becoming a sought-after addition for touring outfi ts from<br />

around the country.<br />

Currently Moore is playing keyboard on tour with the New York City band Triathalon, which is where we caught<br />

up with her to talk about life on the road, her music and her fondness for Phoenix.<br />

How do you pass the down time in the van<br />

(assuming you’re in a van)?<br />

I’m a pretty avid reader on tour. In fact, I have a<br />

problem with packing too many books and only<br />

reading about half while on the road. We obviously<br />

listen to music too, as well as podcasts. Oftentimes<br />

we just sit in silence. The drive might be the only<br />

moment you have with your thoughts. It tends to be a<br />

fairly introspective time.<br />

Do you have a hard time explaining what you<br />

do to people, especially those who have no<br />

concept of the life of a touring musician?<br />

I think there are a lot of wild assumptions about how<br />

we’re living, this tour in particular. Some people have<br />

asked what our tour bus is like or what nice hotel we<br />

are staying at, which is funny to hear when you slept<br />

in your van in a Walmart parking lot the previous<br />

night. Most people get it though.<br />

JAVA 35<br />


Photo: Alejandra Lara<br />

Photo: Alejandra Lara<br />

Any place that has surprised you for having great food that’s easy to find?<br />

I am actually in Lincoln (Nebraska) now and we happened upon three really good<br />

shawarma places all on one block, all right next to where we are playing!<br />

How did you get hooked up with Triathalon?<br />

Pro Teens (from Phoenix) are labelmates with Triathalon and also friends of mine.<br />

So when Triathalon came through Phoenix about three years ago, we all hung out and<br />

hit it off. I stayed in touch with Adam. Every time I’d come to NYC to perform he’d joke<br />

about me playing keys. But during this last tour with ROAR in November, he hit me up<br />

and asked if I wanted to play keys for real. So I agreed, and now I’m in the lineup.<br />

What are some other Phoenix bands/performers/artists that you are into?<br />

So Pro Teens for sure! Definitely Nanami Ozone, I lived with them while they were<br />

coming into fruition. They’ve changed and grown so much and I’m excited to see<br />

what happens next. GABI is a favorite (and Gabi Manning herself is also a new member<br />

of kolezanka). Willetta is incredible. James Band will kick your ass live, I don’t think<br />

anyone in our city puts as much into a performance as Michael Madrid. I am super<br />

stoked on Tatiana Crespo and Las Chollas Peligrosas right now. As a fellow accordion<br />

player it’s tight to see another woman shred the squeeze box. Dovi (formerly Blush) is<br />

also a new love of mine and I’m excited to hear some recordings from them. The illusive<br />

band Hiccups always blows my mind, I think Chaz is such an innovative songwriter.<br />

Honestly I could go on and on, I think Phoenix is a musical goldmine.<br />

What are your favorite venues to play? How about places to see and find<br />

art in town? Favorite restaurants or places to hang out when home?<br />

I really love playing at Valley Bar. The sound is good and a bunch of friends work<br />

there so it always feels comfortable. I’m definitely either at Gracie’s or Lost Leaf<br />

36 JAVA<br />


don’t think we’d have half of what we have if it wasn’t for their hard work and<br />

perseverance.<br />

On the subject of tunes, how you got into playing music? First instrument,<br />

first band?<br />

I took piano lessons when I was young, about eight. I did that for a year or two.<br />

My grandparents had a field recorder and I’d sing melodies into it as early as then.<br />

I remember the first song I ever wrote was a girl power anthem inspired by the<br />

Spice Girls and Dream. I tried to start a band with some elementary school friends.<br />

It definitely didn’t happen. I just always had music in my head. I was writing a lot<br />

on piano back then as well. I sang in an adult Catholic church choir quite young<br />

and learned a lot about how to use my voice there. I got kicked out of a punk band<br />

in middle school for being a girl. I was in a band in high school for a few years.<br />

Then Finding Grampa’s Monsters was the first band I played in that reached the<br />

Phoenix scene. I was playing accordion, autoharp and glockenspiel. When I moved<br />

back from Omaha in 2011, I started Where Are All the Buffalo? That project took<br />

many shapes and names over the past few years.<br />

How would you describe kolezanka? What are your goals with the<br />

project?<br />

I would characterize kolezanka as dream pop, I guess. Trying to lock down a genre<br />

feels so convoluted. I like to explore a lot of space and texture in this project.<br />

It was also the first time I was writing guitar, so a lot of the music served as a<br />

learning platform. My only goal with kolezanka is to have a outlet to continue<br />

learning and to challenge myself while creating.<br />

on any given night. Lola is probably my favorite coffee spot to post up at. I like to<br />

take myself out on dates to Cibo or Gallo Blanco or Welcome Diner. And I hit up La<br />

Frontera for tacos as often as possible. I also just like walking or biking downtown.<br />

Sometimes on a weekend night I’ll walk aimlessly around downtown for hours. But<br />

probably still end up at Lost Leaf for last call.<br />

What are your thoughts about the current state of the music scene here?<br />

I’m really excited for Phoenix, I think it’s in a really good place. There’s a lot going<br />

on that spans between a generation of veteran Phoenix musicians and young<br />

newcomers, and I believe we’re very lucky in that our scene is more supportive,<br />

collaborative and familial than it is competitive or cutthroat. I’ve been stoked to<br />

see some diversity and more opportunity in when and where music can be seen,<br />

especially after hours. And also, shout out to communities like the Tempe house<br />

show scene and DIY all-ages spaces, most notably The Trunk Space, for fighting<br />

through adversity and providing places for all kinds of music and art to thrive. I<br />

What do you look for in collaborators?<br />

Previous to this year, it was rare that I found myself writing with others. Most of<br />

the music I’ve made has been composed on my own. But lately I’ve been working<br />

more with my bandmates to write our songs, and it’s been rewarding. With<br />

collaboration, like in any relationship, one must be humble enough to pull back<br />

while being comfortable enough to lean in. Communication is key. I think the one<br />

thing I have no patience for is a big ego. My bandmates, Arkie and Winter, are<br />

exceptional musicians with brilliant ideas. But our objective is never to outshine<br />

one another. We work as a team, and I could have it no other way. Having Gabi<br />

join feels so natural. They are all great communicators with great ideas. I’ve<br />

surrounded myself with a ton of like-minded musicians and artists who believe in<br />

others’ work as much as their own. We all work to uplift each other.<br />

What can people here in Phoenix see/hear you doing in the near future?<br />

When I get back from this tour I’d like to jump right into recording some new<br />

material. I’m also excited to get our live set together, as Arkie transitions to live<br />

drums and Gabi hops on bass.<br />

I guess it’s prudent to mention that I’m moving to New York City this fall, so I’m<br />

going to try and enjoy my time in Phoenix, play some shows and get something<br />

released before I head Eastward.<br />

JAVA<br />

37<br />



Minding My Own Business<br />


Minding my own business, and more importantly<br />

keeping my business to myself, were values that<br />

have always seemed to be a part of life. I don’t recall<br />

being explicitly taught that these things were important;<br />

it’s just kind of what you did. When your parents<br />

told you to buzz off, or butt out or just generally to get<br />

the hell out of the way, you just did it.<br />

When your mom or dad overheard you telling your<br />

friends a story that could make them look bad, a perfectly<br />

timed look of death quickly sent the message<br />

that you better shut up if you ever wanted to feel the<br />

warm rays of their love again. I’m becoming afraid<br />

that with the internet’s diabolical plan to take over<br />

people’s brains, the ability to distinguish what is personal<br />

and private, and what is appropriate in public,<br />

is slowly eroding.<br />

Which is more irritating: a very loud talker – someone<br />

having a phone conversation on speaker while in a<br />

public place – or an idiot who thinks he’s smart and<br />

interesting when he is really a big moron? Now, roll<br />

these offensive qualities into one person, add copious<br />

amounts of alcohol, and then you will have the<br />

person that ruined my relaxing day at the hotel pool.<br />

Prior to his arrival I was having a pleasant time<br />

reading and lying in the sun with my friends. We<br />

were chatting like normal people, i.e. at fewer than<br />

4,000 decibels, and then this character and his posse<br />

busted into the pool area. I may sound like an audio<br />

scientist when I throw around words like “decibel”<br />

but I’m just guessing normal talking is like, maybe 40.<br />

Anyway, his whole crew was a bunch of loud drunk<br />

talkers, but compared to this guy they were like quiet<br />

little mice.<br />

He started with some loud stories letting everyone<br />

know how clever he was. He was blabbing about<br />

some leftover World War II bombs being discovered<br />

in Berlin, which caused a part of the city to be evacuated.<br />

He kept calling it “Berlin City,” which only made<br />

him sound like a bigger idiot. He went on and on<br />

about this story like he was there detecting bombs.<br />

No one seemed to care about what he was saying,<br />

which only caused him to talk even louder – something<br />

I hadn’t thought was possible. Then, thankfully,<br />

his story was interrupted by his phone ringing. Little<br />

did I know, this would only make things worse. The<br />

drunky girl he was talking to/yelling at about defunct<br />

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The crazy cashier at the Circle K in our neighborhood<br />

had a habit of talking on speakerphone<br />

while drinking a baby pool-sized soda and<br />

ringing people up.<br />

bombs asked who was calling him. When he said it was his dad, she told him to<br />

answer it because, “that will be fun to talk to your dad. Then we can call my dad!”<br />

The moron answered his phone. On speaker. “Hey old man, I’m here drunk at the<br />

pool” was the gallant greeting he gave his dad. He proceeded to then subject<br />

anyone in the vicinity to his dad explaining his recent problems with the mom.<br />

Sounds like she left the dad and her new guy is abusive, so she keeps calling him<br />

(the dad) to help her get things and take her places that the new guy won’t go.<br />

This totally sounds like a conversation your dad would want you to share with a<br />

bunch of strangers at the pool, right?<br />

Sonny boy really wanted to take the opportunity to let everyone know how smart<br />

and like a therapist he was. So, still on speaker, he shouted words of encouragement.<br />



He continued to word vomit, loudly, for about 10 more minutes. You could just<br />

hear in his voice how brilliant he thought he was.<br />

Is this fair? I know it’s not fair to me, or any other human who had to listen to<br />

him, but I mean is it fair to not let the other person know they are on speaker?<br />

When did it become even remotely acceptable to subject the strangers around<br />

you to your damn phone conversations?<br />

When I eventually left (or more accurately, was auditorily chased out), I came<br />

home and told my husband about this social violation. He reminded me of his<br />

own experience with a speakerphone offender. The crazy cashier at the Circle<br />

K in our neighborhood had a habit of talking on speakerphone while drinking a<br />

baby pool-sized soda and ringing people up. Much like the pool guy, the cashier<br />

was giving advice, loudly, to her father on how to handle the drunken mother. “I<br />


HER.” Turns out she kicked the dad out of the house and it wasn’t the first time.<br />

Something you definitely want to share with all the strangers in line at the Circle<br />

K, I’m sure.<br />

I am considering this a public service announcement. I want everyone to remember<br />

what I’m saying, so here are some handy social rules slogans. If you are in a<br />

public place, do not answer your phone on speaker. Just remember: “When you<br />

answer the phone, you’re not alone.” If for some reason you must answer on<br />

speaker, always tell the person you are talking to. Remember this: “If you must<br />

be on speaker, don’t keep it a seeker-et.” (Secret, get it? That one might need<br />

some work.) And finally, to all you loud phone talkers, keep the volume down.<br />

Stop hurting everyone’s ears and hearts. Just memorize this: “Talking to your<br />

caller? No need to holler.”

NIGHT<br />


Photos By<br />

Robert Sentinery<br />

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1. Mello’s colorful new do<br />

2. Jim Manley with Flower at Phoenix Film Festival<br />

3. Container Gallery artists Merryn Akala and Sam Frésquez<br />

4. Laura in front of Cami’s painting at Young Rising Stars art salon<br />

5. Deise and friend at Found:Re<br />

6. The duo behind “The Best People” at Phx Film Festival<br />

7. Dana, Yuki and Dani at Practical Art<br />

8. Pbody and Jane at the Vig Arcadia<br />

9. Lexie gets sandwiched at For The People<br />

10. Ashley Czajkowski’s opening at Eye Lounge<br />

11. Peter Bugg and wifey Melissa McGurgan at Framed Ewe

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12. Jessica, Rembrandt and Marcelle at the Young Rising Stars art salon<br />

13. Platinum Passes for Phoenix Film Festival<br />

14. Yuko, Thaddeus and Fausto at Ashley’s b-day fete<br />

15. Opening night at Phoenix Film Fest<br />

16. Ashley, Steve and Sienna at Practical Art’s 10-year show<br />

17. Parking lot shot at Phx Film Fest<br />

18. Lisa from Practical Art with her hubby<br />

19. Phoenix Modernism icon Wayne Chaney and co at For The People<br />

20. Opening night VIPs at Phoenix Film Festival<br />

21. Practical Art 10-year show opening<br />

22. “Up to Snuff” filmmaker at Phx Film Fest<br />

23. Silly selfie at the Night Ranger concert<br />

24. Nadar was the official photog of opening night at Phx Film Fest<br />

25. Shocktop Beetle encounter<br />

26. Isaac is rockin’ the dayglo<br />

27. Danalyn, Scotty and Troy, Sunday fun at the Vig<br />

28. Musclekingz Car Show and Concert<br />

29. In the tent at Phx Film Fest

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30. Travis, Morgan and Cami at Young Rising Stars art salon<br />

31. Getting their Stellas on<br />

32. Michelle with Phoenix Film Festival founder Chris LaMont<br />

33. Cheyenne Randall mural at Heard Museum<br />

34. Snapped at For The People<br />

35. Art wunderkind Papay Solomon and friends<br />

36. More fun at the Practical Art 10-year opening<br />

37. Stella and smiles opening night at Phx Film Fest<br />

38. Practical Art’s 10-year anniversary show<br />

39. Capital Grille in the house<br />

40. Rockin’ Red For Ed at Unexpected<br />

41. Opening night festivities at Phx Film Fest<br />

VISIT<br />

US<br />

ONLINE<br />

w w w . J A V A M A G A Z . c o m

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42. Practical art opening and party<br />

43. Snapped at the Young Rising Stars art salon<br />

44. Jesse gives Sara a birthday hug<br />

45. All together now for Ashley’s b-day soiree<br />

46. KJZZ’s Stina gets some love from her guy<br />

47. A trio of trouble<br />

48. Art mavens Beth and Jerre Lynn<br />

49. DJing Ashley’s party at the Regency<br />

50. Red wine time for Liz and pal<br />

51. Friends who came to wish Ashley a happy b-day<br />

52. A piñata for birthday girl Cassandra<br />

53. All together now for Cassandra’s b-day<br />

54. Photographer gets snapped in the red hall at Unexpected<br />

55. Mello and Mykil at Found:Re<br />

56. Rafael, Stacey and Fausto & photo-bomber Justin<br />

57. Michael Marlowe’s opening at Bentley Gallery<br />

58. Drinks and fun at Ashley’s pad<br />

59. Group shot: Young Rising Stars art salon

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60. Painting for #redfored at Unexpected Space<br />

61. All together now at Framed Ewe<br />

62. Phoenix Film Fest VIPs on opening night<br />

63. William LeGoullon’s “Terraforms” opening at Shortcut Gallery<br />

64. Handsome trio at Ashley’s<br />

65. Snapped outside of Bentley Gallery<br />

66. Wine-ing trio at Vaiden’s b-day<br />

67. Up close and personal with Chris and Katherine<br />

68. Julie and friends at Unexpected Connections<br />

69. Container Gallery on Roosevelt curated by Xico<br />

70. “Terraforms” opening with a little guy and another in the oven<br />

71. Rosé lover at Vaiden’s b-day<br />

72. Craig and Michael at Bentley Gallery<br />

73. Jon and Radford<br />

74. Dan Vermillion and co at Michael Marlowe’s opening at Bentley<br />

75. Armstrong-Prior in the house at at Bentley Gallery<br />

76. Eye Lounge with Melanie from Tilt Gallery and friend<br />

77. Setting the vibe at Phx Film Fest opening night

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78. These guys showed up for Ashley’s show at Eye Lounge<br />

79. Sister Christian…<br />

80. Framed Ewe’s in-house optician<br />

81. Jun Kaneko sculpture at the David Wright House<br />

82. Chris and Sam are messing with a Mad Dog<br />

83. Champagne for Vaiden<br />

84. Ashley’s pretty birthday dress<br />

85. Some people have to carry the weight of the world<br />

86. Joe shares his bead collection with Kim<br />

87. Guadalajara/Phx art exchange, let them eat cake<br />

88. Unexpected Space supports Red For Ed<br />

89. Birthday girl Vaiden has her drinking and dancing shoes on<br />

90. Matthew and Liliana and Cassandra’s b-day party<br />

91. This DJ trio is rocking the Unexpected Space<br />

92. Rembrandt Quiballo artwork<br />

93. Guadalajara/Phx art exchange peeps<br />

94. Jessica Palomo speaks at the Young Rising Stars art salon<br />

95. This DJ rocked Cassandra’s b-day party

PATTI WARASHINA, Scrutiny (detail),<br />

2011, Low-fire clay, underglaze,<br />

glaze, mixed media, 55 x 82 x 85<br />

inches. Photo credit: Rob Vinnedge.<br />

FREE Opening Reception:<br />

Fri, May 11 (7-10pm)<br />

*FREE<br />

TRAN<br />

ANSI<br />

SITO<br />

TORY<br />



TIONS<br />

*Patti Warashina<br />

Admission!<br />


We the People<br />

Contemporary American<br />

Figurative Art<br />

Adventure and Control<br />

Rachel Bess<br />

Life & Death Portraits<br />

Marilyn Szabo<br />

It Is Important to Be Nobody<br />

Colin Chillag<br />

One East Main Street • Mesa, Arizona 85201 • 480-644-6560 • MesaArtsCenter.com


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5538 N 7TH ST<br />

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last chance<br />

@smoca<br />

Don’t miss SMoCA’s summer exhibitions Akunnittinni:<br />

A Kinngait Family Portrait: Pitseolak Ashoona I Napachie<br />

Pootoogook I Annie Pootoogook, southwestNET Acid<br />

Baroque and Today’s Norms Are Tomorrow’s Luxuries:<br />

Luis Alfonso Villalobos, only on view through May.<br />

Related Programing<br />

May 10 I 7 p.m. I Free<br />

Artist Talk: Claudio Dicochea<br />

Hear artist Claudio Dicochea talk about his exhibition<br />

Acid Baroque and its exploration of fandom, race,<br />

science, national identity, pop imagery and visual culture.<br />

Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait, Pitseolak Ashoona | Napachie Pootoogook | Annie<br />

Pootoogook is organized by the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe,<br />

New Mexico. Curated by Andrea R. Hanley, Navajo. Sponsored locally by Dr. Eric Jungermann.<br />

southwestNET Acid Baroque: Claudio Dicochea is<br />

organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.<br />

Sponsored by the Jane A. Lehman and Alan G. Lehman<br />

Foundation and Security Title Agency.<br />

Today’s Norms Are Tomorrow’s Luxuries: Luis Alfonso<br />

Villalobos Organized by Scottsdale Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art. Sponsored by the Andy Warhol<br />

Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Walter and Karla<br />

Goldschmidt Foundation, and SMITHGROUP JJR.<br />

SMoCA.org I 7374 E Second St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 I 480-874-4666

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