Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Tucson Talents

Art by Derek Alvarez, including "There is no trip to the wizard in their future"  will be on display in New York City.

Art by Derek Alvarez, including "There is no trip to the wizard in their future" will be on display in New York City.

Calendar presents Tucson Talents, entertainment news about events and personalities with an Old Pueblo connection.

New York gallery exhibits

works by Tucson artist

The talents of Tucson artist Derek Alvarez will be on display in New York City for almost a month. From Aug. 25-Sept. 16, Agora Gallery will exhibit “Collective Exhibition: Contemporary Art at its Best,” which includes Alvarez’s collection of acrylic and enamel paintings.

Alvarez, who received his BFA from the University of Arizona in 2004, draws on his experiences with racism and violence as a youth in the Los Angeles area.

“I remember lots of hatred and violence on television as well as in real life,” he tells the gallery. “It made me look inward and create a better world in my mind.”

How did his ethnicity – Mexican father, German-Irish mother – influence his work?

“The way people view the world and the way they were manipulated to view it is interesting to me. Cliches, stereotypes, violence, sex, all the things that are always around but so many refuse to acknowledge are interesting topics to me,” he says in the news release.

Choosing disparate characters and styles from comic books and pop culture, Alvarez transforms their meanings by using humor to sublimate the negativity surrounding them.

Among his influences are Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein and Walt Disney. The Disney influence is evident in “There is no Trip to the Wizard,” which shows Mickey and Minnie Mouse-like characters fleeing a storm. As with his other works, the piece takes an approach more graphic than painterly.

Through his artwork, Alvarez hopes to “develop my vision to the fullest and to spread that vision throughout the world . . . I would like my art to be interesting, thought-provoking and well done.”

An opening reception will be held Aug. 31 at the Soho gallery, 415 W. Broadway. For more details, (212) 226-4151, www.agora-gallery.com

UA grad’s new novel set in the Old Pueblo

University of Arizona grad and former Arizona Daily Star reporter Joe Gold this month can add “published author” to his résumé.

Dailey Swan Publishing will roll out “The Lamp Post Motel” in various cities, including Tucson. Gold, who moved to San Francisco in 1997, will be in the Old Pueblo for various book signings late this month.

“Most of the book is set in Tucson, and the city is almost a character during a typically insufferable August,” Gold writes in an e-mail. “It’s a science fiction story of a couple of graduate students from the future time-hopping to the Lamp Post Motel near Davis-Monthan to do field research in sexual anthropology.”

The locale has a history, Gold says.

“The motel did, in fact, exist and is still standing as the Super 8 Motel at 1990 S. Craycroft. My dad built it in 1970. After he died in 1979, the family took it over before we sold the property to the Patel family that runs it today.

“While the story is very much fiction, I maintained the flavor of the place, and there are times when the story is something of a Tucson travelogue, complete with devastating heat and of course monsoons.”

Send submissions to calendarplus@tucsoncitizen.com.

Derek Alvarez

Derek Alvarez

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service