Shooting the Wild West

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 04:50 Written by Chris Marzonie Wednesday, 22 September 2010 03:45

Prescott is always a great place to get into the mood of the Wild West. The town has seen its fair share of action and adventure since the Walker party first arrived in the early 1860’s and there are many stories and photos to prove it. Even after living here for a decade, I’m still learning about the history. Sometimes I read about local legends in books, and sometimes I meet real, living people of all ages who have their own personal stories to share, all of which become a part of the ongoing living history of the area.

Recently, my friend Pattie commissioned me to photograph a very special pair of boots for her. You see, she acquired these boots as a young girl shopping in a Yellow Front store (remember those?), and ended up wearing them while riding horseback on trips all over Arizona. They traveled with her for many miles and many adventures. “If those boots could talk. . .” she mused. When she handed them to me, I felt as though I’d been entrusted with a national treasure. There were still small cactus thorns held in place by the worn leather and some of the suede nap had gone bare at the tips. I can only imagine all the great adventures the boots represent. I had Rich Charpentier do the printing on metallic paper in large-format and the clarity and details are amazing. The tiny cactus spines are even clearly visible in the large print.

"Pattie's Boots", are now hanging in her private collection.

Speaking of the Wild West, there is a huge event happening this weekend that will present some unique opportunities for photographers. The first-annual Prescott Western Heritage Days event will kick off on Saturday morning, Sept. 25 and last through Sunday morning, Sept. 26. I am honored to be an official photographer of the event and I hope to see you all out there with your cameras!

Here is the Press Release:

“This event will celebrate the western heritage of Prescott and Yavapai County between 1864 and 1912 and will be hosted by the Regulators and their Shady Ladies, Inc. ®, in conjunction with the Sharlot Hall Museum. Dennis Gallagher, the event organizer and Chairman of the Prescott Western Heritage Days Committee says that a major attraction will be the largest historical re-enactment group gathering in Arizona. Prescott Western Heritage Days will be held on Whiskey Row, at Sharlot Hall Museum and various nearby venues beginning at 8:30am on Saturday.  Family activities will include unique photo opportunities, re-enactment skits, period costume contest and fashion show, cowboy, western and old time music, cowboy poetry and children’s activities all day Saturday. Musical groups performing on the Whiskey Row stage Saturday will include Spur of the Moment and Just 4 Mama. In addition, Gail Steiger, a cowboy poet and musician, and Just 4 Mama will be performing in the Sharlot Hall amphitheater. The event will conclude with a cowboy breakfast and entertainment at Sharlot Hall Museum Sunday morning. A schedule of events and venue locations can be found at

Participating organizations include the Prescott Regulators & their Shady Ladies, Inc., The Prescott Victorian Society, Inc., The Prescott Buscaderos, The Rough Riders, The Buffalo Soldiers, Bill Williams Mountain Men and Sharlot Hall Museum.

Western culture and heritage has deep roots in Prescott, as Arizona’s 1st Territorial Capitol and home to the famous and infamous Whiskey Row.  Amateur and professional artists, photographers, videographers, media and tourists will have a one of a kind opportunity to photograph dozens of re-enactment groups in period clothing in and around the historic Courthouse.  Group photo opportunities with staged backdrops will be made available.

Admission to the event is free. Tickets for the breakfast will be $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12.  Tickets can be purchased at the Prescott Convention and Visitors Bureau located at 101 S. Cortez Street in Prescott. All net proceeds for Prescott Western Heritage Days to benefit Sharlot Hall Museum and Prescott’s Christmas Lighting.

For more information, please visit ”

Prescott Western Heritage Days event poster

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New art at Adventure Trailers

Last Updated on Monday, 7 June 2010 06:31 Written by Chris Marzonie Sunday, 6 June 2010 11:07

If you attended the open house for Adventure Trailers and Overland Journal last weekend, you might have noticed three big pieces of overland art up on the wall in the new Adventure Trailers office. AT wanted some images of their products being used in real-world scenarios, and scenes that would evoke a sense of adventure and the great outdoors. The prints are 24×36 on Art Rag archival canvas and vacuum-mounted “float” style on foam-core board with sub-frame and hangers. From left to right:  James Langan’s Toyota 4Runner with AT Chaser trailer on the Broken Arrow trail in Sedona, AZ (see the “Distance Runner” article in the 2010 Overland Journal Gear Guide for a full article on this truck),  Dave Bennett’s Toyota Tacoma with AT FlipPac camper in Joshua Tree, CA (coming this summer to a premium publication near you!) and Scott Brady’s (former) Toyota Tacoma with AT Chaser #1 (the first Chaser production trailer ever built). This last one I shot on the surface of the Arctic Ocean during our winter expedition there. It was cold!

Overland art prints

Overland art on canvas

A couple more images from the open house:

Nemo Equipment's Tacoma

Cam Brensinger’s Tacoma (Nemo Equipment), The Skunkworks Overland JK, and an Adventure Trailers Chaser with Eezi-Awn tent.

Overland Teardrop Trailer

A peek inside a comfy Overland Teardrop trailer from Adventure Trailers.

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Getting ready for the Raven show

Last Updated on Monday, 7 June 2010 06:32 Written by Chris Marzonie Tuesday, 13 April 2010 12:43

Yesterday was a big day; I picked up the last of my printed pieces from Rich Charpentier and the Ian Russell gallery and delivered a big pile of prints and canvases to the Raven Cafe after closing on Sunday so they could begin hanging it. This is a big deal for me, because the Raven has been one of my favorite local haunts since they opened almost four years ago, and I’ve always hoped that my photos might get to hang on its walls some day. When I walked in the door, the walls were bare. David Bright and Greg Hull were busy prepping them, patching holes and painting. I’m always used to seeing the walls covered in art and so the Raven felt, well . . . naked.

Raven Cafe

As I hauled the last piece in and did a quick inventory I noticed that one had gone missing. Ah, yes, the photo titled Driving into a Dream. It was a scene from California Gulch in Colorado where a few Toyota FJ Cruisers were creeping along a dirt road in a snowy valley during early summer thaw, and they look like ants before the massive scene of mountains around them. I had donated it to an earlier fundraiser at the Raven, “Ales for Trails.” The winner was informed they would have to wait until the art show was over before they could take it home. I was pretty sure my friend Christophe had said he’d left it with Max Kamen, the “Beer Program Specialist” (I prefer to call him the beer lord). An inquiry to Max was met with a puzzled look. The poor guy searched up and down and all around, but couldn’t find the canvas. Oh well, the show must go on; he put a call in to Christophe.

So have you ever wondered what exactly goes into an art show at the Raven? A ton of work, so I’ve learned. Aside from all the preparation of the art and planning for the show, there is the hanging of the art. This is an art all its own. I was a fly on the wall and watched David and Greg do their thing; jamming to a mix from the iPod playing out on the sound system while they worked intently, and almost independently of one another. Now that I think back on it, it’s almost like I dreamt it and wasn’t really there. It seemed to me like they were improvising; you know—”improv,” like a performer on a stage might do. They just sort of floated around, held various tools and things up in the air, and then the art would just appear. Kind of like clouds building up in the sky. You don’t really see them forming, but next thing you know, there they are in perfect harmony.

David Bright
David Bright

Greg Hull
Greg Hull

The Raven has got soul. Just look at the history written on the walls of the old building, feel the passion of all who worked on it to make it beautiful, see the people who work there and make things happen, connect with an old friend or meet a new one, and you’ll know what I mean.

When you see art at the Raven, these are the guys who put it up. Greg Hull (L) and David Bright (R)

The artists’ reception is this Wednesday, April 14, so please stop by and say hello. I’m happy to say that Bernie Lopez is the other artist featured at the show and he has some fantastic work on display. You have to check it out.

Special thanks to Sharon Marzonie for all her help with this!

Some links if you want to explore:

P.S. Oh yea, about that piece of missing art, Driving into a Dream: It turns out that Christophe had it all along. He decided a man in charge of all the beer at the Raven couldn’t possibly be saddled with babysitting a piece of canvas. He probably didn’t know I had them all “beer-proofed.” (If you’re curious what beer-proofing is, just drop Rich Charpentier a note and he’ll tell you.)

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