Step beneath the domed, packed-mud ceiling of a traditional Navajo family dwelling. Weave a Yavapi burden basket. Explore a secluded garden filled with bronze sculptures of women in prayer. By immersing visitors in Native American artifacts and artworks, the Heard Museum's exhibits strive to illuminate the cultural legacy of Arizona’s indigenous peoples. The collections emphasize first-person accounts of Native cultures, not only through artwork, but also in interviews with Native Americans, portraits by Navajo photographers, and monthly lectures. In addition to showcasing historical artifacts, the Heard Museum exhibits contemporary American Indian artwork. Like a ballerina trapped on a carousel, exhibits rotate often, and have included collections of Native American bolo ties, Hopi pottery, and 20th-century paintings depicting Native ceremony. Passing on cultural traditions to future generations, the staff educates children with tours, and brings Native American presentations and curricula to area schools.
In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
Lighting Unlimited is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for its clientele, with each of its four locations beaming with endless design possibilities born of a 5,000-strong stock of light bulbs and ballasts. A hefty catalog puts shoppers in easy reach of 50,000 more such accessories from more than 30 manufacturers, including Philips, Westinghouse, and Sylvania. Tasked with wrangling the multitude of fixtures, the staff of certified lighting specialists helps shoppers pinpoint specific bulbs and design lighting layouts for landscapes using underwater, directional, and putting-green fixtures. Complementing the luminescent selection, they feature an array of parts and accessories, including light sockets, colored gel sheets, and flashlights that have the power to make or break a shadow puppet's career with the flick of a switch.:m]]
By their estimate, Kelly and Steve Fischer have taught thousands of people how to scuba-dive. As the course director and IDC staff instructor, respectively, at Phoenix Scuba, they draw from more than a decade of expertise to lead a team of master dive instructors, certified open-water instructors, and assistant scuba instructors. These coaches all follow the PADI curriculum to teach students basic through advanced diving skills, such as navigating underwater or bartering with dolphins. Open-water and advanced open-water certification courses lead the way with hands-on lake dives, and can open the door to specialized courses such as rescue diver or NITROX enriched air certifications.
Phoenix Scuba's instructors don't just limit their instruction to local waters: the school has also led extended trips to dive sites in the waters of Belize, Grand Cayman, and Fiji, among others.
Eden GardenHouse's attentive staff curates the feel of an outdoor garden by bringing pottery, trellises, and terra cotta accents together as a backdrop for the home-accents shop. The assortment of house- and condo-beautifying products includes lamps, candles, finials, and pictures. Clients can choose items for themselves or bring an Eden consultant into their home to help them decorate unadorned sitting rooms or floating houseboats stripped of décor by thieving seagulls. A children’s garden room nestles inside Eden, where the branches of a tree mural hang over a play area full of garden-inspired toys such as rakes, watering cans, and riding lawnmowers. The space also plays host to children’s workshops where they work with parents to complete a garden art project.
Rated the top nursery for the last 10 years by AZ Business magazine, Moon Valley Nurseries complements its extensive inventory of plants and trees with services such as delivery, installation, and tips for care. The knowledgeable staff can help customers navigate the green aisles of trees and plants, which encompass such Plant Kingdom constituents as Palm Trees, Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and, during the holiday season, Christmas Trees. They also grow their own inventory so they can maintain direct control over the health and well being of their plants, whether treating them with the correct combination of fertilizers or pressuring admittance boards to make sure each seed gets into the best of nursery schools.