October 22, 2012
Host: Ted Simons
Arizona ArtBeat: Ludvic
Guests: Category: The Arts
- A look at the contemporary Western-American art of Ludvic and a new exhibition at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg.
| Keywords: art
Ted Simons: On tonight's edition of "Arizona Artbeat," we take a look at the contemporary western American art of Ludvic. "Don't Fence Me In: Ludvic Paints the West" is the title of a new exhibition at the Desert Caballeros western museum in Wickenberg. Ludvic joins me now to talk about his first foray into western art. It's good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.
Ludvic: Thank you for having me again.
Ted Simons: You betcha. Why western art, why you, why now?
Ludvic: I am from the East Coast, originally. When I came here, the sense of space, which is a very intangible sense, you have to understand it and absorb it as an artist. New York City is a Gotham city, vertical city. Everything is gridded like Mondrian paintings, and everything fits within an enclosure. The space there is pixilated, and preordained, and even there is something called space right. You cannot build a high-rise without buying the space of your neighbors. So as part of the building code it cannot be -- we were driving -- the minute I hit Texas, the space opened up, it's not like the pixilated space of New York City. And here it's autonomous --
Ted Simons: That's interesting you bring that up. If you have limits in the East Coast, I was born and raise there'd myself, I know what limits are there; sometimes you're forced to be creative because you are in those limits. If it's so big and it's almost limitless, how do you get that creativity going?
Ludvic: You get that autonomous feelings of openness, and you start to conjure it up together and graft it into a different enterprise, creative enterprise that really -- art in the west, it's totally about not nature exactly, outside, art subsumes nature and supersedes it. And then you graft it into your own creative enterprise. But the concept of space, I hope a lot of artists discuss that concept and research it, because it's so amazing.
Ted Simons: I want to take a look at some of your paintings, this collection. Some of these paintings, you talk about space, but there are also portraits. There are profiles. How do you get that sense of space when you've got a face, a human figure there?
Ludvic: No, this is a different enterprise. When I paint a portrait, it's around a history, especially a Native American history. This is the mythic Indian and Indian of the mind, the imagination. The mythic cowboy and Indian is where all artists western artists congregate. It's -- the history of native Indian is exhumed every day, and….
Ted Simons: It's the narrative, the myth.
Ludvic: Exactly. And it just -- I do not -- I do not copy from my portrait outside -- I paint people from the inside out. And when I paint the native Indian, it's the mythic Indian. I grab something from reality or historical references, and I build my own reality. It's the painted reality, it's not --
Ted Simons: How is your painted reality different from so many other western artists?
Ludvic: Three things.
Ted Simons: OK.
Ludvic: Makes any creative person serious. Number one, content. Number two, expression. Number three, technical velocity. Those three things, technical skill, those three things are shared between one artist or another. What do you call it -- do you remember --
Ted Simons: So again, when people say it's western art, it's a horse, it's a sunset, or sunrise in this case, but that is a different look at it. Correct? And when you -- when you saw this, when you painted this, did you see this or did this appear on the canvas?
Ludvic: When I see -- first the mind is capable of deciphering what the eyes capture. Then you internalize it and come up with your own vision of the west. I see everything I carry images with me for months and months before I sit down and take a few hours to execute it. So -- but it's all mythic. I watch cowboy movies a lot and composition, and color, and action and all of this seeps into me and then comes out.
Ted Simons: The next thing we're going to show is some pen and ink on paper. How do you know if it's a sculpture, if it's a painting, pen and ink. How do you know this had to be pen and ink?
Ludvic: I start by sketching. If you can sketch, if you can draw, you can paint. Sketching and drawing is the essence. Sometimes I do 50 sketches to get one action correct. And then I transfer it to canvas. The creative process and the doing, in the continuous discovery, and continuous redoing and doing, until you force certain parts are and take out certain parts until the composition is intact. If you don't have composition you don't have a painting.
Ted Simons: We hear a lot from writers how they set out to tell a certain story but the characters decide they want to do what they want to do and you're coming along for the ride. Like this -- the gathering before the storm, the next painting --
Ludvic: I saw this actually exactly.
Ted Simons: You saw it -- so nothing changed that much when you --
Ludvic: No, no. A lot changed. But I saw that scene, two cowboys gathering the cows, and it was so dark sky, I didn't capture it exactly. But I was -- I was there. And art in the west is mainly narrative like you said, in nature. And you look at nature, and then you subsume it, and then you supersede it. And you come up with your own vocabulary of the composition. Being an artist, I looked at thousands of paintings and thousands of museums. I saw the Louvre 600 times at least. I know art. You have to be able to read a painting and the meaning of what the artist wants to say. What I put in the painting is the exact -- is the essence of the composition.
Ted Simons: It's always a pleasure to have you. Congratulations on your success.
Ludvic: I appreciate it.
Ted Simons: Thank you, sir. Good to see you. "Don't Fence Me In: Ludvic Paints the West" is at the Desert Caballeros western museum in Wickenberg through January 6th. Museum director James burns host as lunchtime conversation with the artist on november sixth. For more information visit the museum's website, www.westernmuseum.org.
Focus on Sustainability: Local First Arizona
- Kimber Lanning, the founder and director of Local First Arizona, talks about the nonprofit’s efforts to create sustainable local economies by supporting local businesses.
- Kimber Lanning - Founder and Director, Local First Arizona
| Keywords: sustainability
, local first arizona
Ted Simons: Local first Arizona is a nonprofit that's dedicated to strengthening communities and local economies by supporting locally owned businesses. The organization touts the environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of buying locally. I recently spoke with Kimber Lanning, founder and director of local first Arizona. Thanks for joining us on "Arizona Horizon."
Kimber Lanning: Thank you so much for having me.
Ted Simons: Local first Arizona, let's get a definition. What are we talking about here?
Kimber Lanning: We are a nonprofit organization that we operate all around the state. And we're actually a group of independent businesses that advocates for stronger Arizona economy. So we accomplish that in a few different ways. Quite literally, we are a 501C6 and in tandem. Two different types of non-profit organizations. One is a foundation that works to strengthen the whole community, and the other works to strengthen the local business community.
Ted Simons: OK. So in terms of strengthening the local business community, I know one of your quotes was the up side after down economy is here, and there for the taking. What does that mean? How do you -- how -- can buying locally really change things?
Kimber Lanning: Absolutely. That's a wonderful question, and I get asked that question a lot. Let's use a very simple example. Let's say every day you go to a big national chain to buy your latte. And that big national chain, let's say they have locations across the valley. Or let's think your option is to choose a local alternative. You're thinking, that's just -- what difference does it make? How many let's say accountants does the big national chain employ near Arizona? None. How about graphic designers? None. Web developers? None. So we spend our money with a big national chain and it immediately leaves Arizona's economy. Whereas if we choose to buy our latte in the morning, from an independent coffee shop, they have a local graphic designer, web developer, it keeps dollars recirculating in the local community. Those are what we call secondary jobs created by dollars recirculating, but there's -- so we could even talk about the janitorial supply companies that keeps the offices clean at the accounting firm that only exists because local businesses keep them employed.
Ted Simons: Yet some will say a local franchise keeps business -- people employed as well, it's an open business, it pays taxes, it gets people jobs as well. It's a franchise, but it's based here nonetheless.
Kimber Lanning: A franchise is between a national chain and a locally owned business. So we always remind people, tomorrow if you had to go buy a faucet, best thing you can do is find a local independent hair ware store. If you can't, the next best thing is find a true value, which is a co07, so that has more employee owner opportunities. The third thing is to find an ace. If you find an Ace you know it's going to have a local franchise owner, they're more than likely going to give to Arizona charities, they're hands on, right here in town. The next thing which drops significantly down on that list, is to go to one of the big box stores, because they -- when you spend $100 there, only $13 stays and recirculates in the community. The absolute worst thing is go online and buy that faucet from an out-of-state company where you're not even paying sales tax.
Ted Simons: Online economy, how is that changing this dynamic?
Kimber Lanning: The online world here in Arizona has changed everything. So we have a big national -- international company that has over 5 million square feet of space right here in Arizona. They are selling two Arizonans and they are not collecting sales tax. That has caused a major loophole. They estimate it's kept about $750 million out of Arizona state coffers just last year, and the worst part about it, it gives roughly a 9.3% advantage because they're not collecting that 9.3% sales tax. People think they're real clever, people think I'm going to go online and do my holiday shopping and I'm going to save sales tax. But they forgotten the sales tax is what keeps police and fire moving, that's what keeps the street light on, the traffic being collected. So if we don't pay our sales tax, which was the deal woe struck way back when, if we don't pay our sales tax we can't be surprised when our property taxes go up.
Ted Simons: Yet there are those who will say that's all fine and dandy, but I want the cheaper price I can get from the big box store that I can get online. I can save money that way. It might be -- and it's just too doggone difficult to find the local carrier.
Kimber Lanning: Right. So -- those are the main two things I hear. One is people have the misperception it's more expensive to go local, which is sometimes true and sometimes not. And the other is that it's inconvenient. A couple good examples, finding a local mechanic is not more expensive than going to the dealership, and it's not any less convenient. Local mechanic getting a local haircut, choosing Harkins theaters, apples to apples. Exact same amount of money, and three times more of the money you spend at a Harkins theater will stay and recirculate.
Ted Simons: In terms of convenience and these sorts of things, can you get people -- this is buying mentality here. This is the old economic model of what people want and how they want it. How do you get people to think of that first before they get in the car and go driving down the block?
Kimber Lanning: Sure. This is your -- welcome to my world. So what I try to get people to understand is if you think you're saving money, and you're buying from a company that does not offer health insurance to the masses that work for them, that's really just deferred billing. If you're a company that doesn't offer any health care for your employees, those employees are going toned up on the state health care. That health care program is funded by the taxpayers. So that means you're buying cheaper products from a company that you're subsidizing effectively through your taxes, you're subsidizing your health care. If you measure over time how much money you're spending, you're not saving any money. I jokingly say about my little record store, I would happily lower my prices if you find folks who would pay for the health care for my employees. That would be a screaming deal for me. But it would be a bum deal for the person paying the taxes.
Ted Simons: What kind of response are you getting? What are you getting from civic leaders, businesses, the big box and the Ma and Pas They have to be happy to hear about this, yet I wonder what kind of overall reaction you get.
Kimber Lanning: We are getting so much traction it's unbelievable. Local first Arizona is the largest local business coalition in North America. We have 2100 members. I just hired my ninth staff member. And most people when I can get in front of them they understand we're not trying to eliminate any big corporations at all. We're trying to celebrate local and help folks understand the economy. If you are a graphic design person, and you're only spending your money with big box stores that will never hire you, and whose sole purpose is to put out of business the companies that might hire you, you are effectively -- you are supporting a system that is going to put you out of business in time. So I like to call that buying ourselves broke. And what's unfortunate is that we all sit around and blame the economy. Our point of view is that the economy is not something far away that the government is going to fix for us, the economy is the American consuming public, and we can fix it. And we will.
Ted Simons: And real quickly, are you seeing it being -- getting traction, getting interest, are you seeing results?
Kimber Lanning: We are. We have a shift Arizona website, where you can go and pledge to shift just 10% of your spending. We're not black and white, we're not saying all or nothing. We're saying if you can shift 10% of your spending it will have an enormous impact on Arizona. So you can go to our website and to your monthly expenditures and click "I pledge to shift 10%" and it will show you how much more you're going to recirculate for parks, libraries, fire departments. We've had over $65 million pledged.
Ted Simons: What's the website address?
Kimber Lanning: LocalfirstAZ.com.
Ted Simons: Thank you so much for joining us.
Kimber Lanning: Thank you.
Public Meetings on Transit Fare Increases
- Valley Metro is seeking public comment on plans to raise fares for light rail and Express/RAPID bus services. Valley Metro spokesperson Susan Tierney explains the options that are being considered.
- Susan Tierney - Spokesperson, Valley Metro
| Keywords: government
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Starting today, valley metro is Hosam Hussein Smadiing a series of meetings to get put input on proposals to raise fares for bus and light rail service. Here with more is Susan Tierney, communications manager for valley metro. Thank you for joining us. So basically it's come tell us what you think, huh?
Susan Tierney: We would love to get impact from our passengers, the public, anyone who utilizes public transportation here in the valley. We'd love for them to step forward and join us and give us some input on a potential fare change or fare increase.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about the potential changes here as far as the single ride fare, the express, talk about it.
Susan Tierney: We're looking at a 25-cent increase to one ride, that's the simplest calculation I can give you. That would be for local bus, our link service and light rail.
Ted Simons: What is link service?
Susan Tierney: Link is a bus service that connects you directly to light rail stations. It's currently in Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa. We also have a 50-cent increase to express and rapid. Both of those are commuter services. So that is of course the different options you have for each service are available to our passengers as far as fare payment goes. A fare media.
Ted Simons: Why 25% increase on one, 50 cents on the other?
Susan Tierney: Well, we did a fare equity analysis earlier this year. What we found out is that that local and link and light rail rider is actually paying more towards the cost of the operations of their trip. So to make it equitable we have a 50 cent increase on the rapid rider.
Ted Simons: To better share the operating costs.
Susan Tierney: Yes.
Ted Simons: When would the increases take effect?
Susan Tierney: It has to go through the public comment period, and that closes November 3rd. Then we collect all of that information, we take it to our valley metro board of directors and they make a decision in December. And then they will recommend an increase or a change, and then that would be -- take effect march 1st, 2013.
Ted Simons: So it's not going to sneak up on anybody. It's a long process.
Susan Tierney: It is a process. Of course we have to go in and change our fare boxes and change all the fare vending machines and update our collateral material. But now is the time for people to weigh in and give us their opinions.
Ted Simons: The idea of -- I know there's a three-day pass right now, and there's talk, or serious plans I guess might even be in effect, of a 15-day pass. Talk about those two ideas and where they would be with this.
Susan Tierney: The three-day pass isn't utilized as much as we thought it would be. So it really isn't practical for us to keep that available to our passengers. And we did think with this fare change it might be more practical for maybe the low income passengers, if they only had to purchase a pass that was 15 days at a time instead of the money to spend for a 31-day pass. It just makes it more affordable.
Ted Simons: The 15 miff day pass is still the same -- in other words, if I spent 25 cents or 50 cents more every day, regarding local or express, if I get the 15 do I get a break?
Susan Tierney: 15-day pass is more economical.
Ted Simons: It is, OK. So you want to hear input, you have all sorts of ways to hear that input. Talk to us about the options. You don't have to go to public hearings.
Susan Tierney: No, you don't, though we love to see people in person so they can talk to us and ask their question. We do have a webinar coming up, 10:00 in the morning. So you can register online at valleymetro.org and you call in and then you utilize the website to look at the power point presentation. And then it does have an interactive session at the end so you can post questions online and we'll respond to those.
Ted Simons: WebiNAR, you get to sit at home and you get the presentation brought to you.
Susan Tierney: Yes. It makes it very convenient.
Ted Simons: Tuesday morning 10:00 a.m.?
Susan Tierney: Yes.
Ted Simons: OK. Social media conversation as well. What's that all about?
Susan Tierney: We decided to try tweet chats. So #VMfares will take you to the place where it gives you more information about our conversation. So we're just wanting people to utilize twitter to get more information about the increase and to ask questions, and we'll respond.
Ted Simons: That information is so your website for people --
Susan Tierney: It is. It's happening October 29th. So it is on our website, as well as all of the open houses.
Ted Simons: In person surveys, what's that -- how are those being run?
Susan Tierney: We did that earlier in October. We went to our busiest transit sites where there's a lot of passengers coming and going from light rail and bus, and we touch them by talking with them, working with them individually and asking them questions. Those questions are available online as well on an online survey. So we wanted to be able to work with them and get their feedback by actually going to the places where they are.
Ted Simons: Sure. We glossed over them, but there will be open houses and public hearings as well. Correct?
Susan Tierney: Right. So we have open houses coming up starting tonight through November 1st. And those are cities across the -- in cities across the valley. Such as Glendale, and Tempe, and Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, so once again, those are available scheduled on our website and available for you to get the exact address.
Ted Simons: More open houses than public hearings?
Susan Tierney: I think we'll have about nine or 10 open houses, and then we'll have one public hearing.
Ted Simons: All right. And again, the board -- talk about the board who makes the decision here. Because a lot of folks, they're going to be -- they're not too happy about this rate increase. But who really decides?
Susan Tierney: The valley metro board of directors represents the community. So the valley metro board is made up of our 16 members, which are 15 cities and towns, where valley metro provides service, plus the county. And so they are always looking out for their constituents. This is something that's very important to them. They're going to want that feedback from the public.
Ted Simons: All right. Very good. Great information. I guess go to the website and get all this repeated and maybe take your time looking at all this information. Thanks for joining us.
Susan Tierney: Thanks, Ted.