Sedona Red Rock High School students stand with four murals they created for the Humane Society of Sedona on May 15, 2014. Pictured from left to right: Marilyn Contreras, Jackie Randall, Asia Brown, Nubia Owens, Rebel Turner, Allexxa Brooks, Jade West, Vince Fazio, Naomi Garcia, Geoffrey Worssam, Helen Mastors, Makenzie Meacham, Emma Keider and Ceci Estrada (not pictured)The Humane Society of Sedona has four new beautiful murals in their dog and cat meeting rooms thanks to the talented painting and drawing students at Sedona Red Rock High School! On May 15, 2014, the completed murals were presented to the Humane Society. I stopped by to take a photo of their masterpieces, for some ice-cream and for some great conversation with the project facilitators. I was happy to hear countless words of praise from everyone who got a sneak peek at the murals before they were taken to the meeting rooms.



There are many changes at Sedona PhotoFest, the event presented by Sedona Arts Center that takes place at the Sedona Performing Arts Center June 5-6, 2014. This year we’re bringing in high-profile photographers from Canon and Adobe as well as a new online photography contest in partnership with that can win you a TAMRON lens and LowePro camera bag bundle worth over $700! 


About Sedona PhotoFest:


Sedona PhotoFest is a series of educational and inspiring presentations on photographic technique, use of digital software and personal artistic perspectives from some of the top photographers in the country. The event takes place over two days, June 5-6, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. June 5 features Larry Lindahl, Julieanne Kost, Amy Horn and Jennifer Wu and is FREE and open to the public thanks to sponsorships from the City of Sedona, Canon, Adobe, Rollies Camera and our lodging sponsors Amara Resort and Arroyo Roble Hotel (both offering a 10% discount on rooms for PhotoFest attendees). June 6 is an exclusive $50 ticketed event featuring: Tony Sweet, Scott Stulberg, Mike Olbinski & Yorgo Alexopoulos. 

View the complete schedule of events here.


About the ViewBug Photography Contest:


From dusk till dawn, the darkness can reveal a world filled with mystery and wonder. Photographic possibilities become endless when imagination and knowledge collide after dark. Share your best photo that depicts the many aspects of shooting after the sun goes down including capturing stars and star trails, car trails, lightning, the cobalt blue of twilight or light painting! This contest is being judged by Scott Stulberg, travel photographer and 2014 PhotoFest presenter.

You can enter the contest here: ViewBug After Dark Photo Contest


I wish you the best of luck! Submit your best after dark photo for a chance to win! The winners will be announced on June 6, the ticketed PhotoFest Day, where there will be even more raffles and prizes. Remember to be social and spread the word!


Good Luck!


On March 6, I represented the arts and the Sedona Arts Center for Career Day at Sedona Red Rock high school. I was thrilled to be able to talk to Sedona's future movers and shakers. What was most inspiring to me was the overall general interest in the arts. We often hear that art is a dying breed thanks to lack of funding and continuing budget cuts, but that appears to be far from the whole truth. The students I spoke with had every intention of pursuing careers in art, music, design and more. It was a refreshing change to the diatribe I’ve heard in the past regarding potential careers in arts.

I've often spoken about how the world around you was born from creative thinkers. This simple fact is what drives the next generation of our workforce and leaders. I was able to share my story and travels to many inspired students who at their core were creative and equally motivated. The biggest thrill, however, was hearing their stories and dreams as they shared what their inspirations and goals for the future were. I heard from many young adults who fundamentally understood how the world itself was a "work of art." From the technology we use every day to the buildings we enter - art is all around us.

I left inspired.

This past week when I ventured to NASA to meet the creative and technological geniuses there - I went there knowing that the arts was still alive not only in science, but also in the hearts and minds of our future. So stay inspired and teach art, because it's alive and well in the creative souls of our children.



Raku means “enjoyment,” or “comport” and is a special type of Japanese pottery that’s traditionally used in tea ceremonies. The bowls are typically hand-shaped, porous and fired with lead glazes at low temperatures and removed red-hot to cool in the open air. Contemporary potters worldwide have modified their firing techniques to bring some incredibly unique new pieces with a ‘raku’ finish.

This month, the Sedona Arts Center is hosting the largest and most diverse raku ceramics exhibition that has been held in the United States in over 15 years. “Raku Ceramics: Origins, Impact and Contemporary Expression” takes place March 7–17, 2014 in the Special Exhibition Gallery at the Sedona Arts Center. Western raku artists developed their own unique processes in the 1950’s, whereby ceramics are removed from the kiln while red hot, treated to a smoke-and-flame reduction with combustible materials in an airtight chamber and then cooled quickly. This process allows nature to take over by simply leaving the pieces in the airtight container with no interruption.

Here at the arts center, I’ve been watching as box after box of shipments from all over the world are coming in for the exhibit that begins on March 7th. The exhibition includes artworks of historical significance from private collections and works from as far away as London and Israel as well as from contemporary raku artists in the continental United States. There’s much ‘buzz’ around the arts center over this unique exhibit and we’re all looking forward to seeing this exhibit take form!

Here’s the schedule:

“Raku Ceramics: Origins, Impact and Contemporary Expression” takes place March 7–17, 2014 in the Special Exhibition Gallery at the Sedona Arts Center.

On Wednesday, March 12, Jim Romberg will give a special gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. This talk is free and open to the public, though advance registration is strongly recommended. To reserve a spot, register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center.

The Arts Center’s ceramics department will also host two workshops in conjunction with the exhibit. Jim Romberg and Patrick Crabb will teach a weekend raku workshop on March 8 and 9. Participation in this “New Forms, New Surfaces” workshop requires some previous ceramic experience. Workshop participants will glaze and fire their own work over the space of two days.

On Sunday, March 16, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Dennis Ott and Jim Romberg will host a “Raku Firing and Japanese Tea Ceremony”; no previous ceramic experience is required. Each participant will choose and glaze a tea bowl, participate in the firing and then use their bowl in the Tea Ceremony conducted by Masumi Oshima. The bowls are theirs to keep.

You can register for these events through the Sedona Arts Center online at, by phone at 928-282-3809, or in person at the Arts Center on the corner of SR 89A and Art Barn Road in Uptown Sedona.”



As you know, I’m a Sedona resident artist, photographer, Marketing Director of Sedona Arts Center and science aficionado! Well, Great news! I’ve been selected to cover the launch for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) along side traditional media. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to liftoff at 4:41 a.m. EST Mar. 16 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

“A maximum of 50 social media users have been selected by NASA to attend the two-day event on March 15 & 16 and will be given the same access as news media in an effort to align the experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. People, who actively collect, report, analyze and disseminate news on social networking platforms were encouraged to apply for media credentials. Selection was not random. All social media accreditation applications were considered on a case-by-case basis. Those chosen have met the very specific engagement criteria.”

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

View a launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center Speak with representatives from both NASA and SpaceX View and take photographs of the SpaceX launch pad Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media Meet members of SpaceX and NASA's social media teams

My interest in all things science, technology and space exploration run deep within my blood. My uncle worked on the LEM for Grumman and was at Cape Canaveral during the moon launches in the 1970’s. So – I’m campaigning at to cover travel expenses and represent Sedona, Arizona at this exclusive event. A generous matching donation of $750 has already been promised after the first $750 is raised. I’m asking that science and space lovers donate what they can to cover the expenses for me and my family to experience this amazing opportunity.

The launch is only weeks away and I’m asking those with a generous heart to chip in and then follow the entire experience on Twitter and Facebook as I cover the event live. You can follow me at and on Facebook at To donate, visit

Many of you would probably agree with me when I say that this is a wonderful time of year. We all have our reasons, but mine in particular is that brilliant thing called giving. We should do it all year round. There’s something particularly fantastic about seeing a smile on someone’s face, or knowing that you filled a heart with joy, even for just a moment. That’s exactly why I love working for a nonprofit and why the charitable events and immersions are so dear to me.  Sharing the arts has always been a dream of mine and this is a great time of year to do that as well! Here are two great events that I just love…


Middle School Immersion


Last month, the Sedona Arts Center coordinated a Native American cultural immersion at West Sedona Middle School and Big Park Community School. I was particularly excited about this because my daughter was able to participate this year, and she loved it! For many years the Sedona Arts Center has brought a cultural outreach program to middle-school students at West Sedona School and this year they expanded to the Village of Oak Creek. These curriculum-related programs are designed to give students a direct experience of another time, place or culture through art and the engagement of all the senses.


During the immersion, students worked with Navajo weaver Mae Peshlakai, learning the mathematics and patience required to create even the smallest of weavings. Elder James Peshlakai taught the Navajo Butterfly Dance and Eagle Dance as part of the Navajo creation story and Char Kruger related the importance of the Navajo culture, and then led the students in the hands-on production of corn mush using a traditional stone grinder. Representing the Yavapai Tribe was Frieda Eswonia, Gertrude Smith and Reba Franco. On day one, Frieda led students through “Naming and Stories,” in which they learned the Yavapai names and pronunciations for various rock formations in the area, including Montezuma’s Well, which is the birthplace of the Yavapai Tribe. On day two, Gertrude and Reba guided the students in creating their own medicine pouches.


Overall, there were four days of cultural immersion at the schools and a reception at Sedona Arts Center, where parents and students came to hear the presenters from both tribes discuss their process. There were demonstrations and absolutely brilliant words spoken during the reception. I’m grateful that my daughter and all the other children were able to participate in this great event!


Loving Bowls


You don’t want to miss this fundraiser on Saturday, December 14, 2013 1-4 p.m. at the Sedona Arts Center’s Special Exhibition Gallery and Theater Classroom. I love this event; because I get to see the volunteers come in once a week throughout the year, to create the bowls. This year they made over 1000 bowls! The proceeds benefit the Sedona Food Bank, the Sedona Community Center and the educational programs of the Sedona Arts Center. Best part? The bowls are $10 each and come with chili, bread and desert!


So it’s all about giving back to the community and sharing with our children the culture and art that we love. You can’t beat that! But that’s just the beginning of the giving season. Check back next week for some fun and creative holiday art projects that are sure to spread some joy with the whole family!


“Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.”