Durango’s rock star designer

If you happen to pass Donny Phillips, say, in the bread aisle at City Market, you might see his tall stature, stylishly unshaven face, and the tattoos peeking from the sleeves of his jean jacket and say, “Who’s this rock star?”

And you’d be close. Phillips used to be a rock star as drummer of the California-based hardcore punk band, The Warriors, which Phillips started with his twin brother Danny and their best friends from high school (the Warriors was the high school mascot). The band was signed by Eulogy Recordings and then toured, which ultimately led to an introduction at Warner Bros. Records. That was where Phillips’ life and career began to go a different direction.

Peggy Cloy, the heart that drives Willowtail

Peggy rolled into Mancos 25 years ago from Seattle, having experienced the spoils of a successful career as an artist, with hundreds of pieces housed across the country in private, corporate, and public collections. She purchased 60 acres of pristine land with varied ecosystems a few miles northeast of town. This was her new home, a place that had beckoned her and told her to stay. Her friends thought she was crazy.

9 famous beards

Vincent Van Gogh: If his beard weren’t vibrant flaming orange already, he probably would have made it so for the sake of his paintings. He may have cut his ear off, but thankfully he left the beard alone.

The Ska aesthetic: The history of the brew’s design and marketing motif

Without many roadmaps other than their own instincts and interests, the Ska crew developed its look, aesthetic and business culture in the same DIY spirit it brewed its beer. Perhaps the most genius part? They envisioned a comic book at the start, and its scenes and characters would be the basis of all their labels and marketing efforts two decades later.  

In search of Condor N8: Following an extraordinary area sighting of North America’s largest and one of the most endangered birds, the pursuit becomes irresistible

He hadn’t even intended to be where he was. Birding around Joe Moore Reservoir north of Mancos, he had missed his turn onto County Road 32 and wound up on County Road 31 instead. Sometimes, the wrong road turns oh-so right. Carver’s missed turn Thursday put him 40 yards away from condor N8, a bird so rare and out of place it didn’t register in his mind.

Skin in the game: Artist Shay Lopez displays his versatility in new show ‘Skinscapes’

Walking into Studio & last Wednesday, one would have found Shay Lopez with his back to the entrance, standing before an easel in leather flip-flops he made himself, both his right thumb and copper-brown jeans paint-stained. Classic soul played on the sound system, but given Lopez’s eclecticism, it could just as easily have been bluegrass or chamber music or 1970s AM Gold.

From ‘Seinfeld’ to song: Former actress finds fulfillment with ukulele

To many – millions perhaps – Heidi Swedberg will always be Susan Ross. That’s what happens when you play an iconic and pivotal character on arguably the most colossal television show in the history of humans, a show that remains a juggernaut in syndication, a show that, when one of its stars dishes some juicy, behind-the-scenes gossip about something that occurred 20 years earlier, people perk their ears, and social media goes haywire.

When the venue kills the show: How the Albuquerque Zoo ruined everything

The Weepies huddled and moments later they were playing my favorite song. I kicked off my flip-flops and danced monkey-like on the empty sidewalk in front of the remaining hundreds. When they finished the song, a silence returned and, spontaneously, I shouted, “Antarctica!” I saw Deb and Steve laugh good, and I beamed.

Preserving the artist residency: Willowtail’s ‘Three Artists Working’ to raise money, awareness for program

The mere concept of an artist residency might sound ridiculous: The artist takes a week or more out of her already-idyllic-seeming life to go to a special place, probably someplace pastoral and tranquil, lush green, full of wildlife and ponds and life-changing sunrises, where she gets to turn off her phone for days and take walks and just think and reflect and create some art when the muse strikes.

All this for someone who gets to, say, paint for a living, while the rest of us push papers or study spreadsheets, wrangle grade-schoolers, wait tables or tend registers.

Slavery as unavoidable subject matter: Durango artist Mike Brieger’s new show draws on an uncomfortable theme

Slavery. It’s a charged word we don’t encounter too often, a word that, when you hear it or see it, almost forces a confrontation with our country’s dark history, persisting racial inequality and the bondage that still exists around the world. It’s a word that might make you ask questions, make you think, make you uneasy, which is how you could describe the work of Durango artist Mike Brieger, whose drawings, paintings and sculptures often deal with slavery.