Commencing with The Teapot Opera, Tress depicts a photographic and textual cosmology peopled with teapots, unicorns and combusted melons on the stage of a Victorian toy theatre. He moves into Fish Tank Sonata (for which he received an NEA grant), a series of photographs that document a parable of ecological destruction, staged with toy personae within an antique fish tank that constantly changes location. The final cycle, "Requiem for a Paperweight" meditates on a depersonalized, cyber-society through images inspired by computers and Balinese puppet theatre. This cycle is accompanied by an ambient soundscape by composer R. Weis. Not to be missed.

The center is located at the University of Arizona. For info, call 1-520-621-7968.

While you're at it, make the Etherton Gallery a stop on your art trail and see some real Western art. Gallery owner Terry Etherton, besides having a wonderful collection of vintage photographs, possesses a gorgeous portfolio of Frank A. Rinehart's (no relation) platinum print portraits. Rinehart was hired in 1898 to photograph Native American chiefs and tribal leaders as part of the 1898 Indian Congress in Omaha, Nebraska.

Rinehart eventually took more than 500 photos of the likes of Geronimo and Red Cloud and other tribal leaders, documenting the only gathering of its kind, ever. The Etherton Gallery has the largest collection of these prints outside of the Getty Museum and the Museum of the American Indian in New York City. The Etherton Gallery is to be found at 135 South Sixth Avenue, 1-520-624-7370.

Billie's Cafe and Coffee Shop was the Tucson site where my pal Mary Anne and I discovered strawberry muffins with hot-pink icing and an innovative cross-marketing scheme both unusual and vaguely art related. As we were hashing out the state of the world over fuchsia baked goods, we noticed that Billie's walls were sprinkled with five-inch by seven-inch still-life snapshots featuring diverse arrangements of tomatoes, bell peppers and large chunks of driftwood.

Above my head hung an eight-inch by ten-inch of a gray kitten crawling from a dirty yellow plastic colander. It was fantastic. All were scrawled with the name "Cardwell," mounted in cheap Masonite and Plexiglas frames and all were priced somewhere between $6 and $15.

Bill Cardwell had a sign by the cash register inviting interested customers of his "Sweet Sixteen" food and pet photos to call in for orders, or to "just chat." Discovery of Cardwell's stash of business cards by the cashier revealed, however, that he not only is a pet and veggie photographer, but president of "Cardwell and Co."--an operation that will guarantee a Visa or Mastercard regardless of "no credit, bad credit, or slow credit."

This man definitely knows the angles and works them hard.

Here is a call for volunteers from CRASHarts at the Icehouse. CRASH is currently looking for people to help with everything from manning computers to digging holes in the dirt as part of the "Pocket Park" sculpture garden and urban landscape project at the Icehouse. The effort is in its baby phase, so give Helen Hestenes a call at 258-1609 if you've got it in ya. The folks at CRASH are also looking for volunteers to help out with the upcoming ten-year anniversary celebration.

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