A week and a half. That’s all that’s left before our drop-dead deadline for the Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition. That’s our annual endeavor we’ve been doing for almost 15 years now. And we need your submissions sent to the contest email by the end of Friday, January 13, 2017. You can see one of our great call-for-submissions ads below.

arts-competition-ad-2017

We welcome entries in the following categories:

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Humor
  • Music
  • Visual Arts: Painting, Photography, Drawing, Sculpture

We will publish the winners in Spring 2017.

Send submissions to ArtsContest@azbar.org and queries to the editor at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

And do you like reading rules? We’ve got ’em; click here.

For inspiration, here is last year’s issue with the 2016 winners.

Remember: The submission deadline is January 13, 2017.

The Creative Arts Competition deadline approaches!

Think creative life, think Iggy Pop. Iggy Pop in May 2016 Arizona Attorney Magazine-page0001

Think creative life, think Iggy Pop.

Before we exit May, I share with you my editor’s letter from that issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine. It referred to the incredible lawyer–artists who populate the issue’s pages, comprising our annual Creative Arts Competition (See the whole issue here). What do you think of this year’s amazing artists? And what role do artistic interests play in your own life? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

In Chicago back in the late ‘80s, I had a friend who attended an Iggy Pop concert. Through strategy and sharp elbows, she managed to reach the front ranks of the pulsating crowd and stand—OK, quake with joy—right next to the stage. During the show, she reports, Iggy knelt down and licked her palm. Because Iggy.

She claimed she would never again wash that hand. In the office, she would hold out the sacred appendage, aimed skyward for all to see, the invisible stigmata transporting her to new heights.

What makes someone set aside good sense and hygiene for its colorful opposite, I wondered? What neurons does Iggy Pop make pop in people’s brains?

May_2016 Arizona Attorney Magazine coverI was reminded of that graphic story of palm-love as we prepared this issue—and as I read a magazine (of course) published by American Airlines. “American Way” is beautiful (even if it has a vaguely unsettling title). But its beauty is more than skin-deep, for within the current issue is a Q&A with two rock stars, one of whom is the craggy, talented, and ever-punkish Iggy.

He was spreading the word about a musical collaboration with Josh Homme, founder of Queens of the Stone Age. And as impressive as Iggy Pop may be, I was struck by one of Homme’s insights:

“I’ve always loved infiltration. To me, that’s what punk rock has always been about: going where you don’t belong without anyone noticing until it’s too late. … It’s a pleasure to wander in this historic place, set up shop and say, ‘The elegant scumbags are in town.’ It feels good sometimes to be the most rogue person there.”

Infiltration. That may be what Pop’s got popping.

When Homme spoke of a “historic place,” he did not mean Arizona Attorney Magazine, though he could have. Like Detroit’s Fox Theatre, where the two musicians played, AzAt has great bones, sharp looks, and a storied past. But infiltration is not our usual fare.

Except in May. In May we open the doors—main stage and balcony—to creative talents who showcase their art and—more important—the rogue portions of their brains. They rattle the chandeliers and kick over some furniture. Occasionally, a guitar is smashed.

I hope you share my pleasure at the thrill of artists in full concert. Congratulations and thanks to all those who submitted and all those who prevailed in our annual competition. They truly are all winners—brave infiltrators who are conversant with the rogue.

Come on in, find a spot. Reach toward the stage, for the house lights are dimming

Rock on, Iggy.

iggy Pop, "I Wanna Be Your Dog," 1979.

iggy Pop, “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” 1979.

Arizona lawyer—and our arts competition music winner—Stu De Haan made a devilish argument about free speech and freedom of religion.

Arizona lawyer—and our arts competition music winner—Stu De Haan made a devilish argument about free speech and freedom of religion.

If politics and religion are two topics we should never discuss in polite company, the Phoenix City Council seems like the ideal place to address both.

This week has seen a firestorm of hellish indignation over the news that a group of satanists petitioned the Phoenix city clerk’s office to offer the “invocation” at an upcoming City Council meeting. After reviewing the request and the fact that municipalities cannot be in the business of “picking winners and losers” when it comes to deities, it OKed the request.

As Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said in a statement, “Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer.”

Imagine that—following the law.

Cue the choirs, celestial and otherwise.

Read a news story about the devilish quandary here.

To the surprise of almost no one, there is not unanimous agreement with the decision—though the February 17 meeting will likely be standing-room only due to the controversy.

One Phoenix councilman said it’s “a dumb idea,” and another insisted the Satanists should have been denied and simply let them sue. Knowing there’s often fire where there’s smoke, media are all over this. Here’s a video news story:

I confess I’m surprised by the uproar. I’ve been in that chamber many times, and I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted Lucifer at numerous zoning hearings. And who hasn’t smelled the distinct odor of sulfur as countless variance requests are rubber-stamped? Or maybe I need to get my eyes and nose checked.

Wherever you stand, this is a fantastic lesson in the First Amendment, playing out right in the heart of our state. You’re welcome, America.

Stu De Haan and his instrument in Arizona Attorney Magazine, May 2015.

Stu De Haan and his instrument in Arizona Attorney Magazine, May 2015.

And yes, there is an even more intimate legal angle to this. Spokesman and legal adviser to the Satanic Temple (and a “Satanic Templar”) is Arizona lawyer Stu De Haan. And here at Arizona Attorney Magazine, we are a big fan of him—and his music.

Those with good memories will recall that Stu was the winner in the Music category in our 2015 Creative Arts Competition. He appeared on our cover and inside pages, and we featured “Don’t Get Stuck in a Roadside Ditch” online. That song is by his band Scar Eater, “a five piece post-hardcore band from Tucson.”

As Stu described his song, “This song is about facing fears, shedding one’s negative past, and embracing an aggressive but positive outlook on the inevitable difficulties of life.”

You can read more what I wrote about Stu, and listen to “Roadside Ditch,” here.

Arizona Attorney Magazine May 2015 cover arts competition winnersA final thought: It bears noting that Stu and his fellow Satanic Templar Michelle Shortt are traveling north from Tucson to deliver an invocation—and make a point, I suppose—because the Tucson City Council gets to the work of its meetings without bothering with a prayer of any kind. No muss, no fuss.

Imagine that—focusing on governing.

As we head into our Friday, please enjoy “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. “Pleased to meet you; hope you guess my name.”

Have a terrific—and free-speech-filled—weekend.

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Creatives always welcome: Old Vic Theatre stage door (photo by YellowFratello via Wikimedia Commons).

Creatives always welcome: Old Vic Theatre stage door (photo by YellowFratello via Wikimedia Commons).

Here is a preview of my editor’s column in the January 2016 issue. It’s all about the arts, baby, and getting those submissions in by January 13:

Vision in, vision out

Sure, creativity may reflect individual talent. But it may take a community to spur your muse.

Oddly enough, it was an advertisement—for our annual Creative Arts Competition—that made me think of that. For it is our experience that marketing matters, and although there are many talented lawyers in Arizona, getting them to submit their work by our deadline of January 13 takes prodding and cajoling. And part of that encouragement comes via ads.

Our current ad seeking submissions from artistic attorneys is on page 23. But only the close-reader will note that the ad is part of a four-month series, each with a slightly different headline. The ads were created by our own talented Production Manager, Michael Peel. And the headline variation? Crowdsourced, o’course. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, though, I ask your help in communicating a contest rule change to your own crowds: Those submitting photos are now limited to a maximum of 15 submissions. We’ve found that digital photography makes it all too easy to submit 30, 40, even 100 photos. No mas, as Ansel Adams probably said. Friends don’t let friends submit terabytes. (Enjoy all of our legalistic rules here.)

Back to our rotating headlines.

You’ll see that our current ad asks readers if they’ve “got verve?” In previous months, we asked if they’ve got passion, inspiration, and oomph. Yes. Oomph.

Arts competition ads being voted on in our office.

Arts competition ads being voted on in our office.

Those were merely the most popular arty-nouns among staff who voted on the visual array displayed and available in our office. “But” (you ask), “what ended up on the cutting-room floor? What words were rejected?

I’ll tell you. And then I want you to write to me to say which of those terms you think deserved a better fate. What are your faves?

Here is the also-rans list, each preceded by the question “got … ?” ideas – forte – moxie – insight – creative – imagination – voice – entries – vision – knack – flair – skills

Tell me which you prefer—and why—and I may pick my own most-creative responder. I’m at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. I’ll determine the most headline-worthy riposte, and you may win your own little something–something for your troubles.

Our 2015 arts competition winners, on the cover of the May 2015 Arizona Attorney Magazine

Our 2015 arts competition winners, on the cover of the May 2015 Arizona Attorney Magazine

I can hardly believe it’s late September. And around here, that means art.

Well, art prep, anyway.

If you scour your September Arizona Attorney Magazine, which you may be about to receive, you may spot our kickoff ad for the arts competition. It’s more of a save-the-date, as submissions can be made beginning November 2.

The arts competition kickoff print ad in the September issue.

The arts competition kickoff print ad in the September issue.

We figure, you can’t give artists too much time to start their creative engines running.

But maybe they shouldn’t rev TOO high, at least in one category.

What I mean is, for the first time ever, the editorial board has asked those submitting in the Photography category to limit their submissions to 15 images.

We decided not to do that in other categories. But in a field where digital photography has made pressing the shutter button easier, we were being inundated by huge numbers of images.

Take it from an editor: Editing yourself can be a good thing.

In case you have a spare 10 minutes, all of our arts competition rules are here.

And between now and November, please urge your creative colleagues to consider submitting to our competition, which has been around for more than a decade.

To see last year’s winners, go here.

Scar Eater band photo via Facebook

Scar Eater band photo (via the band’s Facebook page)

Congratulations to all the winners of the annual Arizona Attorney Creative Arts Competition. Each of them is featured in our May issue, which will be available in late April.

Because of obvious restrictions, our music winner’s work cannot be published in the magazine. But it is available, here, for you to hear and enjoy. Well done, Stu de Haan.

His band, Scar Eater, is on Facebook (adult language warning!). They are Gabe Garcia (guitar), Stu de Haan (guitar), Chris Shwanberg (drums), Sonny Sutherland (vocals), and Gigi Owen (bass).

Here is Stu’s background and bio:

Scar Eater is a five piece post-hardcore band from Tucson, Arizona, comprised of Sonny Sutherland, Gabe Garcia, Stu de Haan, Gigi Owen, and Chris Swanberg. STU DE HAAN has played metal since he got his hands on a guitar and will continue for as long as he can get away with it. After graduating Gonzaga University Law School in 2008, he began practicing criminal law and opened de Haan Law Firm, PLLC in 2011. His firm deals solely with criminal law at all levels in Southern Arizona and frequently sponsors Tucson Roller Derby, a non-profit sports league that promotes women’s athleticism and empowerment.

Here is the band’s song “Don’t Get Stuck in a Roadside Ditch” (click to listen):