Renaissance Woman

If Lee Hazel has to be stuck in medieval times, she's bringing some friends with her. In her latest exhibition, which opens at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt, on Friday, August 6, Hazel presents more than a dozen portraits of downtown artists in 15th-century settings, beckoning Botticelli, Jerome and Vermeer, her inspirations from the past.

"My goal," says Hazel, a 31-year-old Phoenix transplant from Austin, "is to try and tie my past to my present and make it personal in a way."

More than anything, Hazel says, she's drawn to art history, recalling childhood visits to museums and being "sucked into a story, or the mystery of an old painting."

In looking through old art history books, Hazel saw friend and local artist Judy Miller in 15th-century Leonardo da Vinci works. In The Sum of Our Past, Hazel depicts David Dauncey, another friend and local painter, by drawing from three different artists in three different centuries. "It's what I would picture his ancestor looking like."

"Nobody paints like that anymore," she says. "My stuff has the same kind of feeling. I want to create a little mystery. I like to create a little symbolism."

The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. Call 602-462-5516 for details. -Joe Watson

Fuzz on Film

Phoenix Copwatch on patrol

Finally, we get to chase the po po! Armed with nothing more than a video camera and the truth, 6-year-old Phoenix Copwatch aims to deputize a new breed of 'watchers -- by training recruits in the police brutality arts -- Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8, at Willow House Coffee Shop, 149 West McDowell. To RSVP, call 602-677-8934 or see - Joe Watson

< p> Singing for Their Supper

"Most Talented Senior" croons for Out of Africa

Sat 8/7
They never had a farm in Ah-frica, but they're expatriates nonetheless. Animals from the Valley's Out of Africa Wildlife Park finally moved to the park's new home in Camp Verde, but now they're a little short on lunch money because the move took nearly a year longer than planned. But hakuna matata! Seems the refugees have a friend in the circle of life: Singer Al Raitano -- winner of NBC's "Most Talented Senior" contest and Pointe Tapatio regular -- will belt out a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 7, at the villa on the hill, 11111 North Seventh Street. Tickets are $30 and $50. For more information, call 602-312-4425 or visit - Kim Toms

Space Hog

Journalist discusses a new kind of star wars

Thu 8/5
>A little bit Trump, a little bit Columbus, Greg Nemitz has taken a step into the final frontier of real estate. The space-case entrepreneur claims to own the asteroid Eros -- and even attempted to collect parking and storage fees from the U.S. government when NASA parked its probe on the floating rock. But thanks to the U.N. Moon Treaty of 1979, NASA thwarted Nemitz's attempt to collect the debt. It's an out-of-this-world dilemma that space journalist Greg Ampagoomian attempts to tackle Thursday, August 5, when he discusses "Who Owns Space? The U.N. Moon Treaty and More," at 7 p.m. at the Glendale Public Library, 5959 West Brown, as part of the library's free "Unexplained" series. "Space is an expensive proposition," says Ampagoomian, who contributed to the early-'90s Rand study "America's Space Exploration Initiative." "People won't go out there without the hope of making a profit." Call 623-930-3530 for details.- Joe Watson

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Kim Toms
Joe Watson