Somewhere in the vicinity of Duncan, Arizona is the estudio of Don Carlos,
a reclusive artist who creates large environmental installations heavily influenced by the artistic and religious traditions of Latin America. We were
delighted to be invited to photograph the opening reception of his latest exhibition at the Central School Project in Bisbee.
We shared a miner's cabin with Deborah and Clayton up a L-O-N-G flight of steps from OK Street.We usually do mostly urban hiking in Bisbee, but this time we got a wild hair to hike into the hills above town.For starters, scrambling up a steep slope to the Bisbee "B" on Chihuahua Peak.We attended a presentation on the history and future of the San Pedro River at the Bisbee Royale, followed by a fabulous late dinner at Thuy's Noodle Shop.On our way home, we snapped a few photos of Bisbee's bustling night life.Next morning we walked to the end of Brewery Gulch, where it turns into a two-rut road, and eventually a faint footpath. Well past the end of the road there were remnants of foundations and tiered stone dams not just on the Gulch, but on every side
canyon as well, indicating that the area was heavily settled at one time.Trying to complete a loop back to town, we passed through several gates and past many "no trespassing" signs. We lost the trail on top of
a ridge, and soon cliffed out on a steep promontory with a thrilling view of Bisbee. We worked our way down to a memorial marked by a large cross, reasoning that there must
be a way down from there, but there was no apparent path. So we skittered downhill, back toward Brewery Gulch, grasping at Manzanita branches. We dropped into the canyon on
the site of a makeshift movie set, where a fellow with a very expensive camera was shooting video of a Native American dressed in a red lamé jacket. Bisbee!!!Acorn woodpeckers at work.Arizona Sister Butterfly.Back to the cabin for a quick lunch, then foraging on Main Street for pastries and gelato. Dennis eyes the goods at Patisserie Jacqui, a fabulous new French bakery.Then it was time to go to work. Right away, we were dazzled by the physical space at the Central School Project. And it was great to finally be able to see Don Carlos' work outside of his very crowded studio!This work entitled, "The Writing on the Wall" was one of my favorites.The Opening Reception was very well attended and as Dennis and I prowled the site with our cameras, we overheard a lot of animated discussions of the work.Over the next three hours, we would take more than 300 photos, mostly trying to capture how visitors reacted.Deborah and Laurie McKenna, Executive Director of the Central School Project. Clayton and our buddy Dave from Silver City.Tired but happy photographer.The morning after, relaxing on the porch with Deborah and Dennis.Cardinals rule!Don Carlos took Bisbee by storm!
We had just time to hustle all our luggage back down the steps and take refuge at before the sky opened up dumped torrential rain and pea-sized hail on downtown Bisbee. We happily rode out the storm at Bathtub Coffee.