Sonoran Arts Network

Today’s guest post is by C.J. Shane who runs a site dedicated to the arts in the Sonoran Desert …

Greetings from the Old Pueblo!

Sonoran Arts NetworkMy name is Shane. I am a working artist, a writer, and publisher/editor of Sonoran Arts Network (SAN) based in Tucson.

Sonoran Arts Network is an on-line arts journal that provides in-depth coverage of the arts in all its many forms (visual arts, music, writing, theater, and more). Our territory is the Sonoran Desert bioregion of southern Arizona and northern Mexico (Casa Grande and south).

Our journal includes features on arts organizations and arts projects, interviews with artists, and reviews of current exhibitions. We also have a My Turn column where artists can comment on topics of importance to creative people including arts processes, the life of the artist, collaborative projects, arts education, etc., and also excerpts from literary just-published or works-in-progress, new poems, etc.

You can find out more about us by going to and systematically clicking on the tabs at the top, as well as reading the home page. We’ve been publishing since May 2013.

Sonoran Arts Network

Currently I am interested in expanding coverage of the arts outside of the Tucson metro area.  I will occasionally be contacting some of you for interviews in upcoming months or perhaps I’ll be writing a feature about your arts organizations.

Also I am looking for individuals who might be willing to write reviews of art events in your area. Examples are reviews of the comedy show presented by the Ajo Community Players (January 2015) or the “7th Annual Red Show.” (February 2015)  We are NOT looking for “art criticism” like you might see in a New York City art magazine. Instead, we take an “arts journalism” approach.

Our hope is that the community will read the informational review and be motivated to attend the performance or exhibit. The ultimate goal is that the public will want to support the arts.  Don’t worry about not having any experience. I am an experienced news reporter and editor, and I can help you.

Write for Sonoran Arts NetworkThe first and most important rule is to always get your facts right! Take a look at the Reviews tab on our website to read past reviews. This kind of writing is easier than you think, you learn a lot, you make friends (artists LOVE It when someone bothers to review their work), and most of all, writing about the arts is fun! Click on the Contributor Submissions for more information.

If you have suggestions or ideas, email me at  If you want to know more about me personally, check out my website at

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at

(Yes, everyone has called me by my last name since high school way back in the last century!)


Redrawing Borders in Ajo

Redrawing Borders generated much interest and attention when it opened March 18.

This is one of the pieces that caught my eye as I entered the Plaza Gallery. It tells the ongoing story of a backpack (mochila) found by a hiker on the desert near Organ Pipe National Monument. (Click photo for a larger view.)

George Strasburger, Carlos Encinas and Diane Kahlo are among the artists featured in this show which runs into April.

Open Studio in March

The 18th Ajo Open Studio will be held on Saturday, March 22, from 10 to 3:00 PM in the Ajo Plaza. This is a wonderful opportunity to invite people to your studio to highlight your art.

This year Open Studio coincides with the Sonoran Shindig, a popular event that brings a lot of people to Ajo.

If you’d like to participate, here’s the scoop:

  • Reply by Thursday, March 13, if you would like to participate.
  • Bring ONE piece of your art to the Open Studio tents in the Plaza by 9:00 AM on Saturday, March 22.
  • Along with your piece of art, please bring 10 printed handouts. The handouts should include:
      • Your name — The Media you work in — Short Bio — Photo of yourself (optional)
      • Your address — Email — Phone
  • Bring 10 business cards

The Open Studio tents will be decorated with red balloons — volunteers will hand out information on the open studios and your art. You’ll also receive a red balloon to identify your studio to visitors.

This is a great opportunity to market your work — join us and be part of this special day.

Sherry Fritschle "Crater Range Series 6"

Challenge Theme — “Three”

Here is the first entry in April’s Challenge — it’s from Marilyn Jackson. The theme this month is “3” — however you interpret that.

Marilyn writes: “I had just the two onions in the foreground, and the composition called out for three! I feel the jar is part of the background. It was fun to paint. I’m working through a book on classical drawing and the jar was an assignment I gave myself, so I decided to paint it after I’d done the drawing.”


If you’d like to enter this month’s challenge, simply incorporate the idea of “3” into your work — use the Contact Form to request information on how to submit your entry.