The talented and courageous are encouraged to enter the magazine's arts competition.

The talented and courageous are encouraged to enter the magazine’s arts competition.

There is ONE WEEK left for Arizona lawyers to submit to our annual Creative Arts Competition. But because the holidays are so crazy, why not submit now, rather than on the evening of January 15, the deadline?

We welcome entries in the following categories:

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

We will publish the winners in the May 2018 issue.

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 them.

For inspiration, here is last year’s issue with the 2017 awesome winners.

2018 Creative Arts Competition call for artists

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Finis: Our icon for the My Last Word column in Arizona Attorney Magazine

Finis: Our icon for the My Last Word column

On this last day of August, I pause to praise a piece of writing in our July/August issue—and to praise the column it inhabits.

Longtime readers of Arizona Attorney Magazine will know that the name of our occasional back-page column is “The Last Word”—so named when we have one of our three primary columnists writing.

But we also invite any attorney—or non-attorney—to write a single column when the mood strikes them. On those months, we call the column “My Last Word.” And it has become one of my favorite places in the magazine.

I think I enjoy the surprise and discovery, as multiple people inevitably have inevitable viewpoints.

In that space, we have had people write on all sorts of things. And this month, attorney Gary Fry muses on—the act of musing. He wonders—as we should—whether we take enough time to do exactly that. Or are we too caught up in the minutiae of daily life to pause and reflect.

You can read his essay here. And if you want, you then can start at the other end of the issue; here’s the first page. Enjoy.

Gary also reminds me how much I enjoy the incredible photography of Jeff Wall. Here is a story about him and his process.

One piece of his I enjoy very much is called “Picture for Women,” which takes the dialogue about “the male gaze” in a decidedly modern direction. Here it is:

Picture for Women, by Jeff Wall (via Wikimedia Commons)

Picture for Women, by Jeff Wall (via Wikimedia Commons)

Here is a description of the work, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Picture for Women is a 142.5 × 204.5 cm cibachrome transparency mounted on a lightbox. Along with The Destroyed Room, Wall considers Picture for Women to be his first success in challenging photographic tradition. According to Tate Modern, this success allows Wall to reference “both popular culture (the illuminated signs of cinema and advertising hoardings) and the sense of scale he admires in classical painting. As three-dimensional objects, the lightboxes take on a sculptural presence, impacting on the viewer’s physical sense of orientation in relationship to the work.”

There are two figures in the scene, Wall himself, and a woman looking into the camera. In a profile of Wall in the The New Republic, art critic Jed Perl describes Picture for Women as Wall’s signature piece, “since it doubles as a portrait of the late-twentieth-century artist in his studio.” Art historian David Campany calls Picture for Women an important early work for Wall as it establishes central themes and motifs found in much of his later work.

A response to Manet’s Un bar aux Folies Bergère, the Tate Modern wall text for Picture of Women, from the 2005–2006 exhibition Jeff Wall Photographs 1978–2004, outlines the influence of Manet’s painting:

“In Manet’s painting, a barmaid gazes out of frame, observed by a shadowy male figure. The whole scene appears to be reflected in the mirror behind the bar, creating a complex web of viewpoints. Wall borrows the internal structure of the painting, and motifs such as the light bulbs that give it spatial depth. The figures are similarly reflected in a mirror, and the woman has the absorbed gaze and posture of Manet’s barmaid, while the man is the artist himself. Though issues of the male gaze, particularly the power relationship between male artist and female model, and the viewer’s role as onlooker, are implicit in Manet’s painting, Wall updates the theme by positioning the camera at the centre of the work, so that it captures the act of making the image (the scene reflected in the mirror) and, at the same time, looks straight out at us.”

Interesting, right? And because it’s fun to compare, here is Manet’s Un bar aux Folies Bergère:

Un bar aux Folies Bergère, by Edouard Manet (via Wikimedia Commons)

Un bar aux Folies Bergère, by Edouard Manet (via Wikimedia Commons)

If you or someone you know is interested in writing a 700-word column for the magazine, contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. It doesn’t have to be on law, exactly, though it should resonate with attorneys—their careers or their wider lives.

In a photo by Steve Mnich, we get a one-of-a-kind view from the Golden Gate Bridge.

In a photo by Steve Mnich, we get a one-of-a-kind view from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Today is a Change of Venue Friday and bucket list, rolled into one.

If you have never traversed the Golden Gate Bridge, you may look forward to doing that sometime in your life. And if you have traversed it, maybe you’ve gazed toward the very top and wondered about the view from hundreds of feet above the water.

When I lived in San Francisco, I did both multiple times. Unfortunately, reaching the pinnacle and getting a tour escaped my grasp. And that’s why an essay this week drew me in. Steve Mnich’s piece “Atop the Golden Gate Bridge” delivers exactly what it promises—plus photos.

As he opens his essay:

“The 746-foot-tall, mile-long Golden Gate Bridge is as abstract in scale and allure as it is essential in function. There’s no better way to fully appreciate this wonder of civil engineering than to experience the bridge from top to bottom, and from the inside out. I was lucky enough to ascend to the top of the ‘the most photographed bridge in the world’ to do exactly that.”

Keep reading—and viewing—here.

(One of his last images, seen below, even includes a second bucket-list item of mine. As the tugboat heads beneath the massive bridge, I’m reminded of my own thoughts on tugboat captain as chapter 2.)

Here’s wishing you a terrific—and adventure-filled—weekend.

Tugboat passes beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, by Steve Mnich.

Tugboat passes beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, by Steve Mnich.

A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It’s only Tuesday, so, as someone committed to a deadline-driven world, I resist the notion that we are in a “last-minute” situation for Christmas. It’s not until Friday, after all.

But if you’re still on the hunt for a little something-something for people you care about, here are a few ideas.

First, head here to read about gift ideas for the downtown Phoenix enthusiast. (Sorry, but I have no comparable link for Tucson or elsewhere.)

The story includes 13 super, smart, and curated links to #dtphx businesses. A few favorites of mine include Hazel & Violet letterpress and Hidden Track Bottle Shop. They—and the other businesses—may have what the holidays yearn for.

It doesn't get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It doesn’t get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A second suggestion comes via photographer James Palka. You may recall the Pulitzer Prize-winning fellow by his great work for Arizona Attorney Magazine photographing the historic Pima County Courthouse.

Happily, he has a few calendars featuring his work. But you won’t be relegated to courthouses all year ‘round. No, instead he’s offering calendars featuring phenomenal shots of two of his favorite cities, Chicago and Tucson.

James Palka Chicago calendar

To view the images contained in these 8.5″ x 11″ calendars ($20 each), go to his etsy shop.

James Palka Tucson calendar

Or email Jim at jfp1111@gmail.com. He’d love to hear from you.

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.

Our opening spread for coverage of the Pima County Courthouse, April 2015.

Our opening spread for coverage of the Pima County Courthouse, April 2015.

Rarely are courthouses themselves in the news. Sure, the trials and people who occupy them often occupy the headlines. But the building and courtrooms themselves? Not so much.

Arizona Attorney, April 2015

Arizona Attorney, April 2015

That’s why we are doubly pleased to feature the Pima County Courthouse in our April issue. For not only is the building a remarkable historic structure, but within it are noteworthy courtrooms. And one is so noteworthy it has its own feature story in our issue. That story tells some of the tales that occurred within its walls.

If you read all the way to the end, you’ll see that courtroom had a petition associated with it. But even if the political issues don’t concern you, we think the amazing spaces will move you.

Enjoy our coverage by Judge José Luis Castillo, Jr., and the amazing photos by Jim Palka. The story is here, and the photo essay is here.

Attorney Mark Bockel poses in the Larsen Gallery, Scottsdale, as photographer John Hall shoots his picture, March 12, 2015.

Attorney Mark Bockel poses in the Larsen Gallery, Scottsdale, as photographer John Hall shoots his picture, March 12, 2015.

The annual photo shoot for our Creative Arts Competition winners was held last week, and it looks like it was terrific.

I say “looks” because I was out of town and had to miss it. But that makes me doubly happy that Art Director Karen Holub thoughtfully provided me some “behind the camera” shots. (Which is kind of amazing, as she was herding cats, a photographer, and multiple lawyer-winners.)

All of the professionally shot photos will appear in the May issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine—along with the talented artists’ work. In the meantime, click here to see last year’s winning work.

Thank you to the Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale for hosting our shoot. As always, your space and the work you display are remarkable.

Have a great—and artful—weekend.

Here are a few more shots. (Click them to biggify.)