Among the elements of a Heard Museum dialogue will be the screening of a short documentary about Gregg Deal and his performance piece 'The Last American Indian on Earth.'

Among the elements of a Heard Museum dialogue will be the screening of a short documentary about Gregg Deal and his performance piece ‘The Last American Indian on Earth.’

This Sunday, October 9, the Heard Museum in Phoenix hosts an event that examines important intersections. “A Conversation at the Intersection of Art, Law and Indian Identity” will include a panel discussion of attorneys and American Indian artists. Some of the questions addressed will be, How does an artist’s vision implicate such identity? And what are the consequences, both legally and in the wider community?

For the event, the Heard is partnering with the Native American Rights Fund and the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Admission is free, but RSVP here is required. A reception begins at 3:30 p.m., and the program begins at 4 p.m.

Kevin Gover will moderate the panel discussion. He is the director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Panelists will include:

  • Brett Shelton (Oglala Sioux Tribe), artist and staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund
  • Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute), contemporary artist/activist
  • Matika Wilbur (Swinomish/Tulalip), artist and social documentarian in Indian Country. She is founder of Project 562 which explores Native identity and experience through a dedication to photographing contemporary Native America.

Organizers say:

“The program will include the screening of a short documentary The Last American Indian On Earth, about contemporary artist Gregg Deal’s first performance piece ‘The Last American Indian On Earth’ (TLAIOE), a piece he carried for a year. TLAIOE explores the romantic, misunderstood and often racist interactions average Americans have when encountering an Indigenous person. The performance allows Deal to explore this strange American interaction, the problems with it and the critical thinking that goes in to asserting identity and enacting change.”

For more background, here is a great video with Gregg Deal speaking in Washington DC. (at Creative Mornings in July 2014):

More information including a link to the free tickets is on the event’s Facebook page.


Lawyers and their design clients: Collaboration of the right and left brain

Lawyers and their design clients: Collaboration of the right and left brain

Let’s get creative, shall we? It’s 2016, and it’s high time we engage all portions of our brains.

 That thought occurred to me when I heard from the smart and talented folks at Daza Design. You can read more about them at the bottom of this post (and maybe even contact them with a small or large design request). Someone at Daza asked me whether my readers ever have to interact with clients who are artists, performers, or designers? If so, those clients might have special needs that require special handling.

I bit, as I was interested in the topic and thought you might be too. What they sent follows below, in today’s guest blog post. Enjoy, read, consider, and then do something creative with your day!

In this day and age, content for so many different media platforms is created every day by creative agencies, design studios, or even freelance designers. With the amount of content that’s put out into the internet, there are bound to be legal issues that arise with all the intellectual property floating around.

daza-design logoMore than any time in the world, designers need lawyers and their legal advice. It’s become increasingly apparent, even painfully so, that the general public doesn’t understand legalese. As a professional communicator — which lawyers can be described as — it’s your duty to better understand the needs of your designer client. Knowing your designer client will help you connect with them and allow you to share your legal advice more effectively.

What you must know is that there is one thing that universally connects all designers: their content. Intellectual property theft is the one fear that unites all designers. Failing to protect their intellectual property rights can lead to serious repercussions for a designer’s career. Designers know this and it’s what makes your role as a legal advisor and their lawyer that much more crucial to their success.

All designers need contracts!

Designers want to trust their clients, but any good lawyer would tell them to use a contract before initiating any business negotiations. Experienced designers are aware of this and never fail to present a contract before proceeding with a client’s project, but designer neophytes may find themselves without one. Help them understand that the contracts you draft for their services will help protect their rights.

As a lawyer, you want to be as competitive as possible to attain (and in some cases, retain) the services of your designer client. Time is of the essence in any profession, but more so for designers and design agencies of whom are always working against the clock to deliver their contracted projects. This means that your designer client may expect you to draft up a contract specific to their needs as quickly and as effectively as possible. As their lawyer, it’s your responsibility, and obligation, to match their pace step-by-step.

Understanding the designer client requires a specific focus.

Understanding the designer client requires a specific focus.

Every designer needs their own terms and conditions.

The nature of the designer’s business is the rendering of services. As essential as contracts are for designers, it’s just as crucial that designers provide their own terms of service. These terms and conditions are another added layer of protection that a lawyer can develop for their designer clients. Many times, designers simply don’t have the time nor the experience to draft their own. Sometimes drafting short disclaimers or finding generic templates online aren’t as helpful as teaming up with a local lawyer.

Designer clients seek a lawyer who can not only draft the terms and conditions in the shortest amount of time, but who has the ability to individualize and customize their terms for them. This is your chance as a lawyer to show the initiative of establishing certain components of their terms that they may not have thought of themselves. Adding conditions related to their hour availability or their hourly rates in the terms and conditions can go a long way in making life easy for your designer client.

 Protect their copyright!

As we mentioned, protecting their intellectual property is of top priority for all designers. This part can get especially challenging for designers who have yet to consult with a lawyer. Your legal advice is instrumental to their success. The rights to their work give them the right to collect royalties for the additional use of their designs. Not only that, but it will also keep their work protected from manipulation—another important distinction for your designer clients as their brand and reputation is as important than their design services itself.

Helping designers distinguish how to sell their work without selling their rights is an important thing to clarify with designers. Oftentimes, contracts will have clauses that abolish the designer’s rights over their work. Helping your designer client identify these clauses to have it removed or its scope mitigated will protect your client’s copyright. Lawyers that show initiative in this regard will help them develop more meaningful relationships with their designer clients.

Designers need lawyers more than ever. Whether they’re a freelancer or belong to a large creative studio, designers today are learning that acquiring legal services and advice will be crucial to their career’s success. It’s up to you to take them there.

About Daza Design:

Daza Design is an online design agency that provides website, logo, and print design services. Their top-notch services have helped clients in a wide range of industries. They love all things design. Its what they do from pixels to print.

You can reach Daza Design at:

Filmstock Film Festival logoMaybe it’s the artist in all of us, or perhaps many attorneys hear from artist friends with legal questions—whatever the case, I’ve heard positive murmurs when I report out about attorney Stephen Nebgen’s workshops, aimed to assist on artist-related topics.

More on his next workshop in a moment. But first, let me mention that he will be a panelist on a symposium focused on “Breaking in and Staying in The Business” at the Filmstock Film Festival:

“Filmstock is a short-film festival that stretches over four cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico in September; Denver, Colorado in October; Salt Lake City, Utah in November; and Tempe, Arizona in December. Each festival event has its own unique official selections, programming and venues, but films that win awards at any one of these events are eligible to be screened at the other three, garnering more regional exposure to short films than any other festival.”

This is a festival that includes more than 40 short films, a live actor’s showcase, plus other opportunities to meet the filmmakers and industry pros.

More Festival info is here.

Curious about the Festival? (You know you are.) Here’s a trailer:

As Stephen says of his panel, “It’s free and the various panelists will be discussing many important aspects of getting a toehold in the industry—and then staying there!”

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Wade Nebgen

When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 1:00 p.m.

Where: Harkins Valley Art, 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe 85281

Parking: 117 E. 5th St., Tempe (validated at Filmstock Arizona)

So that’s Saturday. And then the second in his series of Entertainment Law Workshops will be held next Wednesday, December 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Collins College – 14th Street Studios, 1425 W. 14th Street in Tempe. Stephen’s first workshop was on copyright (I mentioned it here); this next workshop focuses on trademark law.

(Subsequent workshops will be held on the second Wednesday of every month.)

The workshop cost is $50, but it’s $35 if you are a member of any arts organization, or $25 if you are a student. RSVP: (480) 463-3055

See you at the movies.

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Stephen Nebgen is at it again—offering information that may be helpful to artists and writers—and the lawyers who serve them.

I wrote about Stephen and his entertainment law mixers before. And next Wednesday, November 12, he holds another in his series of entertainment law workshops. This one will be in downtown Phoenix at MonOrchid Gallery and Studio (214 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix 85004).

Here is how Stephen describes the November 12 event:

“These events will be a little different than the seminars that you may have attended in the past. The biggest difference is that there will be a hands-on application of the information presented. For example, the first workshop will address issues of Copyright Law. After discussing the important nuances of Copyright, we will then go through the process of filling out a Copyright Application online.”

The event opens with a 7:00 pm reception, followed by the 7:30 program. The cost is $50 (or less if you’re a student or a member of IFP/Phx).

monOrchid phoenix-arts-collab-logo 6Stephen tells me that the event is aimed more for artists, but he believes attorneys would get a benefit also. And monOrchid shares a building with Songbird Coffee and Tea, so you can’t go wrong.

Follow-up workshops will be held on the second Wednesday of every month.

To RSVP, call (602) 253-0339.

The workshop is presented in collaboration with monOrchid’s own Shade Projects (which is worth its own story entirely!).

Tree Hug by Dair Deckert

Tree Hug by Dair Deckert

Happy Change of Venue Friday. Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not enjoy an art exhibit?

Why is this on my mind? The Arizona Attorney Magazine arts submissions were due recently, so we’ve been up to our elbows in art of all kinds. So that may be why I was especially susceptible when I heard from a lawyer that her one-woman show was opening on January 21. The opening reception was a blast.

Dair Deckert It Rains on the Just and the Unjust

It Rains on the Just and the Unjust, by Dair Deckert

Dair Deckert is quite the talent, and getting a solo show at the Eric Fischl Gallery at Phoenix College is a pretty nice coup.

When I dropped by the reception, the room was packed with well-wishers and art lovers. I had seen a thumbnail image of one of Dair’s pieces, but that never does it justice. The large canvases are compelling and vibrant.

few photos of the event are at the end of this post.

Dair’s art will be displayed until January 30. The gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information is at the gallery’s website.

And because you will never in a million years be able to locate the gorgeous gallery on that web page, I’ve posted in a map below. (Click to make it larger.)

Dair Deckert Phoenix College mapIf you have a show—artistic or otherwise—that you think warrants some blog ink, contact me anytime at I’d love to help share your story.

Have a great weekend.

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Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition ad 2013 cropped

Our 2013 call for artists. Winners of the annual competition will appear in the May 2013 issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Today’s a bit of a visual traipse (terrific for those who are almost done with words for the week).

In the April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we featured an article that examines how and why lawyers make time to be artists on the side (or vice versa). Written by Oriana Parker, it opens:

“Many attorneys refuse to be defined simply by their legal careers. As Roza Ferdowsmakan says, ‘There’s no need to feel boxed in. Simply cut holes in the box to add windows, or just turn it into a convertible.’ Her own office speaks to this sense of creative freedom, with some of the oil paintings she has painted over the years adorning the walls.”

“Of course, escaping a box is more difficult than it would appear. Law practice can be arduous, and free time may be scarce. How do some individuals manage to achieve high levels of success in their chosen art form, as well as in law? And what drives them to combine the two pursuits into a satisfying life?

The article explores how approximately six lawyers answer those questions, and how the answers affect their lives and law practices.

A URL listed in the story promises more works of art by those lawyer–artists. So I’m pleased to offer a few here (click on any image to launch the slideshow). These and more are posted on the magazine’s Facebook page.

In the annual cycle of Arizona Attorney Magazine, an event in early March has become one of my favorites.

That is when we schedule the photo shoot for the winners of the lawyer arts competition.

We publish those winners and their art in the May issue, and so the shoot occurs in March.

Art Director Karen Holub, left, and photographer Karen Shell collaborate at our creative arts photo shoot.

Art Director Karen Holub, left, and photographer Karen Shell collaborate at our creative arts photo shoot.

To achieve that, Art Director Karen Holub must wrangle about a dozen busy people to all congregate at the same time and the same place. Once she’s done that, she and photographer Karen Shell can work their magic. (Me? I attend merely to meet the winners, if I don’t know them, and to nosh a bit on the finger foods we offer; that’s my complete contribution.)

Here are a few of my own poor cellphone shots from the shoot (click any of them to view as a slideshow), held at the beautiful and hospitable Tempe Center for the Arts. All of the truly stellar work will appear next month, in print and online.

The Creative Arts Competition deadline approaches!In just under a week, all submissions to the annual Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition are due. All of them. So get painting, writing, composing, shooting or whatever else gets your creative juices flowing. Bring it.

Just to be clear: All submissions must be received by us by the end of Tuesday, January 15. I’d love to get them by the end of the business day, but I long ago stopped arguing with lawyers over when the “day” “ends.” But I assure you, a stiff drink and I do check at midnight as the 15th turns to the 16th to see what’s arrived.

As always, winners will be published in our amazing spring issue, which features the work of remarkably talented lawyers.

Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition ad 2013 cropped

Here are the categories: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; Humor; Photography; Painting/Drawing; Sculpture; Music (original compositions and covers)

All submissions must be e-mailed here:

Questions? Click here to read the complete rules, or contact me at

To see the great work that took the prize(s) last year, go here.

So there is still time. Set aside all of that law work, tell your partners to chill, set your cellphone to vibrate, and get to work. Email us a submission or two. You—and our readers, I’m sure—will be glad you did.

Here’s looking to another great competition.

Quick, easy and arty today. That’s what Change of Venue Friday should be about every week!

(In case you don’t recall, Change of Venue Friday is when we cast our eye farther afield than the staid and reasonable world of law and law practice. You know, get jiggy with it.)

If you are looking to enjoy what may be one of the last in our dwindling supply of fantastic-weathered weekends, try Art Detour in Phoenix.

The 23rd annual version of this artastic event occurs both days this weekend. Here is how Artlink describes itself and the event:

“Artlink, Inc. is one of the oldest, all-volunteer run, non-profit 501C3 arts organizations in downtown Phoenix. Our mission is to continue to facilitate and enhance our current regular events, including the monthly First Fridays art walk, the annual Art Detour self-guided tour that features several open studios and Mystery Galleries in addition to the galleries and businesses that participate in the monthly event, a Juried Exhibition and an art-related fundraiser. Our monthly newsletter is subscribable on line and keeps readers up-to-date on our efforts, community activities and opportunities and information for and about artists. In the spring of 2009, we will begin offering a series of classes and informational sessions that will help strengthen community growth through education.

“Since 1989, we have organized Phoenix’s biggest annual art walk, Art Detour, a two-day, self-guided tour of galleries, studios and businesses in various neighborhoods in and around downtown Phoenix, giving Valley residents and visitors an opportunity to see an array of local, national and international talent. In 1994, we began the monthly First Fridays art walk, which has grown to become the largest monthly art walk in the United States. With 100 arts venues open free to the public each month, Artlink’s First Fridays has succeeded in bringing people back to downtown Phoenix. The event sees anywhere from 14-20,000 visitors monthly and grows exponentially each year.”

More information (a lot more) is here.

And to see a cool and growing roster of participating art spaces, go here (and below).

Enjoy the art and the weather.