Our November 2010 issue, with art by Val Bochkov

For this day that honors those who put themselves in harm’s way, here are a few short items.

First: Today the ASU Law School is hosting what looks like a great program for vets and their families. I posted the item yesterday; go here for more information. But don’t delay; it starts at 1:00 this afternoon.

Second: Next Monday, a job fair in Gilbert, Ariz., aims to assist veterans—though others are welcome, too. The “Hire Veterans First” fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Monday at Sun Valley Community Church, 456 E. Ray Road. More details are here.

Finally: This month in Arizona Attorney Magazine, we feature a few stories about how members of the legal community are collaborating to launch a Veterans Court in Maricopa County.

You can read the complete news item down below. But before you do that, I wanted to talk about our art this month.

Months before we created the November issue, our Art Director Karen Holub and I talked about this evolving story. She proposed that this could be a great feature for which we could commission some custom art. We have done that in the past, but you need a good combination of ample lead time and strong concept to make it work.

I agreed with Karen, and she jumped into the challenge. After much work, she narrowed the field to about five artists. We looked over their portfolios, and we found we were both drawn to work by Val Bochkov.

Bochkov has illustrated stories for many national publications, and his past experience is broad and deep. That’s why we were confident he could create beautiful work for us. What we also were to discover was that he was a pleasure to work with. More than once, Karen praised him to me, commenting how he was less interested in billing us for every alteration or addition than he was in creating work that married perfectly with the story.

We think he succeeded; I hope you agree. More of Val Bochkov’s work is here and here.

And here is our press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tim Eigo, Arizona Attorney Editor

Phone: (602) 340-7310, Mobile: (602) 908-6991

E-Mail: tim.eigo@staff.azbar.org

Campaign to Create Veterans Court the Focus of Arizona Attorney

PHOENIX – Nov. 10, 2010 – Prolonged and intense combat have increased the severity of harm done to U.S. soldiers, and the November issue of Arizona Attorney magazine features stories that explore how lawyers and judges are assisting those who have served in harm’s way.

Arizona Attorney’s special section “Homeland Justice for Veterans” includes stories that explore efforts to launch a specialized court dedicated to veterans and their needs. The first article was written by Craig Logsdon and Michelle Keogh, attorneys in the criminal defense group at Snell & Wilmer LLP.

Logsdon and Keogh chronicle a veteran’s struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its effects on his civilian life in the article “Uncommon Criminals: Why Veterans Need Their Own Court.” It leads the reader on a journey from a veteran’s time on the battlefield to the legal challenges he faces due to criminal activity attributed to his war-related PTSD. It also dissects the current justice system, reveals its disconnect with veterans, and argues why a veterans court would work.

The second article, written by Nicole Kasem and lawyer Jon Paladini, reports on the State Bar of Arizona’s commitment to addressing the legal needs of veterans through the creation of its Military Legal Assistance Committee. It is led by attorney Gregg Maxon, a retired Army General.

In the final article, Steve Gonzales, Associate Professor of Law and the Director of Experiential Learning at the Phoenix School of Law, announces two new programs housed at the law school aimed at helping veterans—the Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic and the Veterans Tax Clinic.

“Veterans have always deserved our country’s best efforts when they return stateside,” said Tim Eigo, Arizona Attorney Editor. “Conflicts in recent years have heightened the number and severity of their injuries, and the legal community is doing what it can to assist those who have served.”

The striking art for the cover and feature stories was created by nationally renowned artist Val Bochkov. It was commissioned by Arizona Attorney magazine to illustrate the November issue’s veteran-related stories.

Arizona Attorney magazine is published 11 times per year by the State Bar of Arizona. It provides articles on substantive legal issues, professional trends and feature profiles.

The full article is available here.

No, the title “Bar Art” is not a mistake, and it doesn’t refer to velvet works a la “Dogs Playing Poker.” Today, as I promised last Friday, I am sharing some art from a surprising source. That site is the State Bar of Arizona.

In the past few weeks, the Bar has had all of its current art changed out for new stuff. How was the Bar able to achieve that? Let me tell you.

Bar Art: The State Bar of Arizona did better than this.

As in the past, the art comes to us via the Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale. And as before, the art requires no out-of-pocket expenditure on the Bar’s part (I know some of you were wondering about that). Instead, we run their beauteous ad in Arizona Attorney Magazine.

You can see a few of Larsen’s recent ads here, here, here and here.

Our relationship with Larsen extends beyond art on the walls. Every year, Arizona Attorney features the terrific winners of our annual Creative Arts Competition, and in May 2008, we photographed our winners at Larsen’s terrific space. (More about Larsen Gallery is here.)

Our Arts Winners, May 2008, at the Larsen Gallery, Scottsdale

If you want to see how that arts issue came out, click here.

The path to new art began when the Bar’s CEO, John Phelps, looked around at the office walls. As he did, he began to think some of our art was getting a bit long in the tooth. That led to a few staffers being put on the case, including Executive Assistant Ann Leslie and our own Art Director, Karen Holub. They began interacting with Larsen to make better choices for the space. The only explicit request was that John wanted the art to reflect the southwest.

Most everyone here thinks it’s a great improvement. No art is going to please everybody—one piece adored by a colleague may cause a furrowed brow for another. But overall the change is astounding. And it’s not uncommon this week to see staff pausing in the hallways to talk about—art!

They done brought culture to the Bar. Thank you to everyone involved.

Below, you’ll see some of the Bar’s new art, which I photographed myself. But I have a few caveats:

First, I know: It takes real skill to photograph artwork, which I clearly do not possess. To achieve my creative output, I used our simple department Canon PowerShot (SD 890 IS, for those who care about such things). No, I’m not blaming the machinery; I’m just saying.

Second: Yes, the Bar’s hallways can be narrow in spots, which is why the shots are often angled from the side. Get over it.

Until we publish next year’s Creative Arts Competition winners in Arizona Attorney, sit back and enjoy viewing some of what now adorns our walls. And have a great weekend. 

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Good thing I'm not our photographer

Today, we are told, may be one of the last really beautiful days for awhile. So what better time than today to head outside and watch people work?

Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds. We scheduled an interview for this morning, and a photo shoot of the person immediately preceding the Q&A. So I lingered in the dappled morning light and watched the photographer ply her craft. And while she did it, I annoyingly snapped some photos of the artiste in progress.

As always, she was more than ably assisted by Arizona Attorney’s top-flight Art Director, Karen Holub.

Our story subject was I. Godwin Otu—known simply as Otu around the Bar. He is the Bar’s Diversity Directory. We spoke with him about two years ago, and it was time to catch up on diversity and inclusion efforts—how have they done, what does he expect for the future?

The shoot was at the Phoenix School of Law, and we couldn’t have chosen a nicer spot. The trees, the fountains, the not-being-in-the-office, the other-people-are-working. Ahh, that’s living.

Immediately after the outside shoot, we went inside, where we shot some “conversation” shots with him and me. Finally, after all that, I interviewed him, sitting in the moot courtroom. Look for our Q&A in the June issue. In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll share a little of what Otu said about diversity at the Bar and at the bar.

In the meantime, here are some of my snaps of the photo shoot.

 

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