Recent Salon Photos

Paul Davies, PhD, a physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, author, and director of The Beyond Center, ASU, and Pauline Davies, a professor of practice in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, ASU, discussed their personal insights into the life of famed theoretical British physicist Stephen Hawking and why his research has been important in science.

Sculptor Kevin Caron, joined Steve Graber, of Cerberus 3D, who built Caron's 8-foot-tall 3D printer, to explain how the process works and how it expands the artistic process. Three printers were running that evening.

Bill Tonnesen, an artist, landscape architect, and innovative developer toured members to a preview of The Strip, a retail-restaurant building being re-imagined by Bill Tonnesen and Gabe Saia next door to one of the Valley's oldest gentlemen's clubs, the HiLiter where, on average, 100 different girls dance each day. As new owners they had to decide whether to ignore or embrace their provocative neighbors."

Lynda Mae, PhD, a lecturer of psychology at ASU, discussed the psychology of sleep and dreaming.

After a sunset social at the David and Gladys Wright House, composer, arranger, and jazz pianist Michael Collins performed original and classic jazz music for piano.

Mary Jo Pitzl, political writer for The Arizona Republic,
lead members on a visit to the Arizona State Capitol on ‘Corn Dog Day’.

Mark Lussier, PhD, chair of ASU English Dept., explored Mary Shelley’s classic novel ‘Frankenstein’ and the novel’s long shadows on literature and film.

Peter Lehman, PhD, director, Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture at ASU, gave an introduction and led a conversation about the film ‘American Sniper’ directed by Clint Eastwood.

Art collector Dwight Keller told the story of how the Guggenheim Museum got its start and the startling turn of events that caused many of the original artists to be hidden for 50 years. Members viewed artwork of these ‘forgotten masters’ from his collection.

An early evening salon visit and self guided tour of the historic David and Gladys Wright House in Arcadia, included conversations with the home’s owner Zach Rawling and music of piano by Hannah Creviston, of the ASU School of Music. The house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright for his son, is considered one of Wright’s most significant designs.

H. Alan Day, who grew up on his family’s Lazy B ranch, discussed his memoir ‘The Horse Lover’ written with Lynn Wiese Snyed, about his quest to save wild mustangs and the first government sponsored horse sanctuary in the United States.


Bernard Kobes, PhD, a professor of Philosophy at ASU and some of his students discussed Alan Turing, his ideas, and his legacy to our technological civilization. A new movie about Alan Turing named ‘The Imitation Game’, was mentioned in the discussion.

Bernie Kobes discussed Alan Turing’s invention of the concept of a general purpose programmable computer in the 1930s.  Elisabeth Cannon talked about the movie and about Alan Turing’s contribution to the World War II code-breaking effort. Spencer Elliott talked about Alan Turing’s famous imitation game, his 1950 article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, and subsequent efforts to get computers to play the imitation game successfully. Jenna Smith talked about ethical aspects of Turing’s legacy. Derek Loche discussed the future of artificial intelligence as fulfilling, or perhaps not fulfilling, Alan Turing’s prophetic legacy.

Phil Christensen, PhD, a Regents Professor and the Ed and Helen Korrick Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU, whose research focuses on the composition, processes and physical properties of planetary surfaces, discussed the Earth’s moon.

Frederic Canovas, PhD, a native of Lyon and professor of French literature and culture and director of French Graduate Studies, at the School of International Letters and Cultures, ASU had a conversation with members about their questions on Gustave Flaubert’s classic literary masterpiece Madame Bovary.

Phoenix Art Museum Director, Jim Ballinger, who has been with the Museum for forty years and is retiring in the New Year, discussed his thoughts and reflections about The Phoenix Art Museum and art in Phoenix.

Lee Ryan, PhD, professor and associate head, dept. of psychology, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona discussed autobiographical memory (the ability to remember one’s past) and what we know about the neural basis of autobiographical memory.

Members attended a pre-salon social and enjoyed the hospitality of FineMark Bank with refreshments and conversation.

photo: Susan Chicone, Lee Ryan, PhD, Aaron Mascarella


Artist Ellen Leibow discussed her oil paintings, expressing colorful, impressionistic, scenes that are on exhibit at The Market by Jennifer’s. The Market, featuring seasonal unique cuisine and local ingredients, founded by classically trained chef Jennifer Russo-Fitzgerald, offered four pairings of wines and appetizers.

Chris Dorsey, a classical guitar soloist and member of Sante Fe Quartet of Argentina, who has studied flamenco, tango, and Argentinean folk music, performed music for guitar.

Marlene Tromp, PhD, professor of English and Women and Gender Studies, and Dean of New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, ASU, discussed her book ‘Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism’. Altered States examines the rise of Spiritualism—the religion of séances, mediums, and ghostly encounters—in the Victorian period and the role it played in undermining both traditional female roles and the rhetoric of imperialism.

PHOTO: 19th Century literature scholars Rebecca Soares, PhD and Charity McAdams, PhD, faculty of the ASU Barrett Honors College, attended the discussion by Marlene Tromp, PhD.

Members visited the new studios of Ballet Arizona with George Nunes to tour their practice rooms, theatre, costume department and watched a rehearsal for an upcoming Ballet Under the Stars.

Pearce Paul Creasman, PhD, curator, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and director, Egyptian Expedition, University of Arizona, discussed Ancient Egypt’s The New Kingdom, focusing on the 18th and 19th Dynasties including the Pharaohs Ramesses II, his grandaughter Tausret, Akhenaten and Egypt’s primary deities.

Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton, discussed current issues for city of Phoenix, and the city’s relationships with the metropolitan area.

U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona’s 9th District, discussed current national issues and politics.

Michael Kocour, a jazz pianist and recording artist who directs ASU jazz studies, was joined by two of his students, Alex Meltzer performing bass and Jacob Eary performing drums, for a musical evening.

Otto Rigan, an artist whose studio is in Southern Arizona, discussed his small and large scale landmark sculptures that are created from glass and stone. He has had a working relationship with New Mexico Travertine for twenty-six years. Otto also discussed his ideas for furniture.

Scott Sherman, MD, PhD, a professor of Neurology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, director of the Movement Disorders Center, and medical director of the Arizona Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, discussed new therapies for and patient care issues with Parkinson disease and movement disorders. Dr. Sherman research areas of interest include deep brain stimulation, gene therapy, and cell-based therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

Architect Mark Vinson, Tempe design and preservation manager, and a faculty member of the ASU Herberger Institute of Design, discussed landmark buildings of Arizona by presenting a visual thesis about critical regionalism - what it is, how it is evidenced in buildings throughout Arizona’s history, and is it happening today.

One of the best ways to explore how the brain works is to see a human brain.  Brittany Dugger, PhD, of the Civin Laboratory for Neuropathology, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, guided members to see all of their Sun City operations, touring the brain bank, viewing an autopsy room, seeing human brains and also human hearts, and showing slides of an Alzheimer's brain as well as other dementias. Brian Browne, Education and Outreach Director, Banner Research introduced the salon.


Pierre Tariot, MD, geriatric psychiatrist and director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, discussed the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Robert Tamis, MD in photo with Randolph Nesse, MD, director of the Center for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, ASU, co-author of ‘Why We Get Sick’, and ‘Understanding Depression’, who is noted for his research on the evolutionary origins of emotions, who discussed the role of depression.

Judge Murray Snow of the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, and Judge Andy Hurwitz of the 9th Court of Appeals based in San Francisco, discussed the federal courts, the operations of the judicial system generally and the promotion of justice.

Modern physics has taught us that our unaided senses perceive only an infinitesimal portion of physical reality.   Within that theme, Frank Wilczek, PhD, a Nobel Laureate and professor of physics at MIT, especially emphasized color vision in a salon discussion and scientific demonstration hosted at Taliesin West.

William Blake: 
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.

Clive D. L. Wynne, PhD, a professor of psychology at ASU and Director of Canine Science Collaboratory, discussed the cognition and behavior of dogs.

An evening to celebrate music for the tuba was developed by Deanna Swoboda. Deanna who performs the tub, alto saxophonist Chris Creviston, and pianist Hannah Creviston, all who are music faculty at ASU, performed a diverse repertoire of music for the tuba, saxophone, and piano. The Americian Tuba Quartet with Chandler Smith, Danielee VanTuinen, Travis Netzer and Dan Wilhelm performed a tuba euphonium quartet.

Ken Schutz, executive director of The Desert Botanical Gardens, discussed the new Dale Chihuly exhibition that includes unique works of glass artfully located throughout the Gardens.

Diane Jacobs of Holly Street Studio Architects toured members thru her renovation of the historic U.S. Post Office into a student center for ASU Downtown campus.

Paul Davies, PhD, a physicist, cosmologist, pioneer in the field of astrobiology, best selling author, and director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at ASU, who several years ago was asked by the US National Cancer Institute to provide fresh insights on cancer, discussed his research.

Cancer research is one of the most intensive programs worldwide, yet there has been only minor impact on survival rates. Astonishingly, there is no agreed theory of the origin of cancer. Paul presented some recent ideas on cancer’s deep evolutionary roots that also link cancer to embryo development. The theory suggests some novel ideas for treatment.

Artist William Barnhart discussed and showed his recent art created working in Spain at a world class print studio with a master printer. At William’s unique two story art studio he also creates paintings and sculptures.

Kimber Lanning, owner of Modified Arts and Stinkweeds Records, and founder of Local First Arizona, whose efforts have jumpstarted the Roosevelt Row Arts District, discussed the arts and cultural in Downtown Phoenix.

Gabriel Bey, (aka Spooky Kool) and members of his band ‘Spooky Kool, including Pete Mello, Sandra Bassett, Phil Jazer, and Jeff Lokensgard performed a fusion of neo-soul and nu-jazz original trumpet and keyboard pieces from their new album.

Artist Turner Davis discussed his father’s Jim Davis art exhibition at Riva Yares Gallery and toured members to see the other art exhibited at the Gallery including a painting by Turner Davis.

Barbara Barrett, 2012 Interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management, CEO of Triple Creek Guest Ranch, who has held leadership roles in both government and business, discussed the future of education.



photo of Barbara Barrett with sister Jill McConnell

Ed Lebow, program director and Rebecca Rothman, project manager of the Phoenix Public Art Program, led a tour and ride with members to discuss the art at the new Sky Train at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Photo of 'Trace Elements' by Daniel Mayer

2013 marks the 30th anniversary year of Spirit of the Senses.   Since 1983 the salons have explored thousands of topics and involved many of the greatest talents and thinkers in the Phoenix area and from elsewhere.

Special thanks to our host Bob Tamis for his wonderful hospitality and encouragement, the classical / jazz duo Lyra, guitarists, Alan Ames and Maryanne Kremer-Ames, and blues / jazz / soul trumpeter Gabriel Bey, aka Spooky Kool. Also thanks to astrophysicsts Nat Butler and Ian Chute for the night sky watch with two powerful telescopes. Thanks also to theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss who came with a gift of ‘dark matter’.

(photo of Saturn taken through telescope at party)

A discussion about global markets and climate change with Sander Van der Leeuw, PhD, dean of the ASU School of Sustainability, and Carlo Jager, PhD, professor for modeling social systems at Potsdam University in Germany, chair of the research domain ‘Trans-disciplinary Concepts and Methods’ at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and chair of the European Climate Forum.

Three artists with exhibitions at Bentley Projects spoke about their art. Second and Third generation woodturning artists Philip and Matt Moulthrop, the son and grandson of Ed Moulthrop, ‘the father of modern woodturning’, discussed their exhibition ‘New Works in Wood’. Also, Don Reitz, whose career as an artist dates to the early 1950’s as a painter, talked about his exhibition of ceramic sculptures.

photo: detail image of ceramic piece by Reitz on left and detail image of wood bowl by Moulthrop on right.

Rogier Windhorst, PhD, Regents and Foundation professor at School of Earth and Space Exploration, discussed the best images of Hubble and what the James Webb Space Telescope will do.

Lawrence Krauss, PhD, theoretical physicist, author of ‘A Universe from Nothing’, director of the ASU Origins Project and documentary film star, joined Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, a neuroscientist at Barrow and co-author of ‘Sleights of Mind’, for a discussion about perception and reality.

Artist Rotraut and Daniel Moquay, head of the Yves Klein Archive, discussed their collection of art created by Rotraut, Yves Klein, friends and family.

Punam Vachaspati, PhD, a professor at the school of nutrition, ASU, discussed her research on the impact on nutrition from the environment.

Front Row Theatre founder and set designer Don Bluth joined producer / vocal and acting coach Roger McKay and members of their Don Bluth Front Row Theatre cast for a discussion, a musical number, and a live scene from their production 'The Sound of Music'. Don Bluth also discussed his career as an animator for The Walt Disney Studios.

Frank Wilczek, PhD, a theoretical physicist and professor at MIT, a 2004 Nobel Laureate, ASU Origins Project Distinguished Professor, and author of ‘The Lightness of Being’, discussed hidden layers and the nature of reality.

Joan and Michael Salke discussed their paintings, sculpture and photography, which they acquired with the assistance of renowned curator Diego Cortez.

A conversation about consciousness, quantum theory and the singularity was held at Taliesin West. The panel included: neuroscientist and author, Stephen Macknik, PhD of Barrow Neurological Institute; theoretical physicist, astrobiologist, author Paul Davies, PhD, director of the Beyond Center, ASU; Pauline Davies, a BBC and international radio science journalist and professor of communication, ASU; Brad Allenby, PhD, a former AT&T executive and Lincoln professor of engineering and ethics, ASU; theoretical physicist Tanmay Vachaspati, PhD, director of Cosmology Initiative, ASU.

Bert Hoelldobler, PhD, one of the world’s top authorities on ants, who has researched years in the field and written numerous books about ants with E. O. Wilson, one of which has won a Pulitzer Prize, discussed the fascinating societal world of ants. Bert is a Foundation Professor of Life Scienses at the School of Life Sciences of ASU, and co-founder of the Social Insect Research Group and the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity.

Richard Lane, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Arizona, discussed emotions, both conscious and unconscious, and how they effect us.

Patricia Sannit discussed her ceramic art that explores the visual languages and motifs that are transmitted from culture to culture. Her art is influenced by her interests in geology, archaeology, and history.

Neal Stephenson Salon

A conversation about the relationship of science fiction and the future with Paul Davies, PhD, an internationally known physicist, cosmologist, author of ‘The Eerie Silence’, director of Beyond: Center for Fundamentals in Science, ASU, and Neal Stephenson, a famed science fiction author whose books include ‘Snow Crash’'.

Edward Finn of the ASU Center for Imagination and Science, introducd and moderated this salon.

New York Times Salon

Fernanda Santos, southwest bureau chief for The New York Times discussed the process of picking which stories to cover, the decision by the NYT to have a reporter based in Phoenix and the kinds of reactions different kinds of stories generate from readers.

Artist, wood sculptor Tom Eckert who uses wood to express his view of the world through an array of amazing and annoying life like sculptures, discussed his art at his studio.

Outside at sunset, Angela McIntire, a bat specialist at the Arizona Fish and Game Department and President, Western Bat Working Group, led members to visit a major bat home in Phoenix to see the flight of the bats, followed by an indoor conversation about bats.

In the late morning, William Eaton, director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, a five time Grammy nominee, who has been building guitars and multi-stringed instruments since 1971, led members thru his guitar building school, where students from all over the world travel to attend.

At her studio, artist Forrest Solis discussed her paintings of the human figure that explore how gesture combines with formal elements to create metaphors for the human condition. Her work draws from Freud, Jung and South American literature of magical realism.

Award winning contemporary architect Eddie Jones, discussed with Victor Sidy, Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, the life of Frank Lloyd Wright.


Pauline Davies, PhD, a radio science journalist with extensive career in international journalism, and Paul Davies, PhD, a world renowned author, physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist, who directs The Beyond Center at ASU, discussed and showed images and videos of their personal experience of being involved at the traditional tribal wedding of Pauline’s Australian niece to a tribal member in Papua, New Guinea.


Author and adventurer Gertraud Wild discussed her personal journey traveling to experience first hand the people, culture and place of Ethiopia.

Architects Brian and Melissa Farling discussed and toured their remodeled and redesigned 1950’s ranch home they transformed into a dramatic contemporary space using inexpensive construction materials and implementing their design philosophy that quality of a space is more important than quantity.

Abdullahi Gallab, PhD, a professor at the School of Social Transformation, ASU, whose research is Islamist movements in North Africa and The Middle East, discussed current political and social developments and progress of The Arab Spring.

Frank Wilczek, PhD, a Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist from M.I.T., and author of ‘The Lightness of Being’, discussed scientific concepts about time.

Arvel Bird

International award-winning Celtic Fusion recording artist, Arvel Bird, a violinist and Native American flutist, is known around the world for his dramatic connection between Celtic and Native American traditions, stirring up scenes that echo from North American memory.  Dubbed “Lord of the Strings” by fans and music critics, his music evokes the soul of North American history and is thoroughly entertaining, but also enlightening and humanizing. 

In addition to selections from some of his best selling CDs, Arvel debuted music from his upcoming release: Titanic Centennial: Commemorative Special Edition, a collector’s album celebrating the enduring spirit of the passengers and crew on the Titanic. Kimberly Bird also performed with Arvel on stage.

Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss, PhD, an internationally known theoretical physicist, New York Times bestselling author, frequent editorialist, lecturer, and director of ASU Origins Project, discussed his new book ‘A Universe From Nothing : Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing’.

Brian Callaway discussed his journey of entering the Odyssey of the Mind international competition involving creative problem solving, and how his team after a few months of preparation finished second of eight hundred team competitors from around the world.

A show and talk a bit about two bicycles that Andrew Weed, an ASU design professor is remodeling including the plumbing of calcium carbide generated acetylene lamps. Both are 1930s Nottingham production Raleighs. Andrew will also talk a bit about Frank Bowden, the beginnings of The Raleigh Bicycle Company in 1887, and why the bicycle is still the highest civilized form of private transportation today.

Michael Crow, PhD, named by Slate Magazine as one of America’s top thinkers, the 16th President of Arizona State University, has transformed ASU into one of the leading metropolitan research institutions, and provided a leadership role in the development of Phoenix. He discussed his ideas and goals.

The globally unique and historic oasis of black sphinx date palms of the Mountgrove neighborhood of Arcadia was discussed by resident Dick Malone.

Eddie Jones Paolo Soleri

Paolo Soleri, author, visionary, architect, pioneer of new human spaces, and founder of Arcosanti, had a conversation about his ideas and life with award winning contemporary architect Eddie Jones. Paolo also presented a video about Lean Linear Arterial City, his current thinking about 'Arcology".

Rick Greenwald, author of 19 books on information technology defined cloud computing, explain the benefits and make some predictions on the future of cloud computing.

Oracle Essentials

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch discussed issues of the Arizona appellate courts including the budgets, the legislature, and the caseloads.

Grant Woods

A conversation about current Arizona politics with political and community leader and former Arizona attorney general Grant Woods.

A discussion with George V. Coyne, S.J., former director of The Vatican Observatory, and current President of The Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Bert Hoelldobler, PhD, one of the world’s top authorities on ants and Pulitzer Prize Winner, discussed the topic of his new book co-authored with his longtime colleague E. O. Wilson, ‘The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct’. Professor Hoelldobler’s research has illuminated the understanding of ants and the societal nature of living beings.

Philip Christensen, PhD, a Regents Professor, ASU, a co-investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers, and principal investigator for the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the Mars Odyssey THEMIS instruments, lead a general discussion of some background on Mars, the key science questions, some of the interesting recent discoveries, and future directions for Mars exploration.

Mayo Clinic physician Murray Feldstein, MD introduced Paul Andrews, MD, also of the Mayo Clinic, discussed and toured members through the Mayo Clinic Simulation Center, an innovative and advanced facility for the teaching of medical skills to teams of medical professionals.

The facility replicates Mayo's emergency department, intensive care unit, hospital rooms and exam rooms. Learners hone skills ranging from nursing to emergency care to minimally invasive procedures. Stunningly realistic computerized mannequins greatly test learners' skills as they bleed, cry, stop breathing, require difficult intubation and present challenging medical situations.


Landscape artist Lee Brownson toured The Wallace Desert Gardens, an 18 acre private desert botanical garden in north Scottsdale.


Sander van der Leeuw, PhD, director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU discussed what the tipping point concerning climate change, population, poverty and pollution means for human survival.

Spirit of the Senses dinner salon series at The Barrett Honors College.

Kimberly Marshall, director of the ASU school of music and an international organ concert performer, performed at the dramatic ASU Organ Hall that features a special Fritts pipe organ and an Italian Baroque organ.

Bill Tonnesen, Artist and Landscape Architect, toured members through an unusual property with eight apartments he purchased and has transformed with vegetable gardens and art history.

What is Romanticism and Are We?

Richard Nilsen, former arts writer for The Arizona Republic, looked at the history of cultural insanity.

Aubrey de Grey PhD, a British biogerontologist, Chairman and Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation, and author of the book 'Ending Aging', discussed his ideas of a roadmap to defeat biological aging.

"Ending Aging" on Amazon

Ceramic artist Kurt Weiser hosted members at his studio. Kurt uses the centuries-old tradition of china paint on porcelain to create sumptuous, provocative teapots and jars, resplendent with lush jungle scenes with figures, often nude and distorted in the Eden-like landscapes.


The Internet animated virtual world of Second Life, a society of eight million inhabitants, was explored on a large screen. Using his avatar in Second Life, Chris Impey, PhD, an astrobiologist at The Steward Observatory, discussed social behavior, economics and ethical issues of Second Life.

Heather Bimonte-Nelson,PhD a professor and researcher of behavioral neuroscience psychology at ASU discussed how mazes provide a window into animal cognition.

Linda Scott, director of education at Liberty Wildlife, discussed the foundations efforts for the preservation of large birds of prey and wildlife. Members met "Acoma," a beautiful red-tailed hawk, among others.

Journalist and former CNN news anchor Aaron Brown, who hosted the CNN flagship show NewsNight, who currently is the John J. Rhodes Chair at Barrett Honors College at ASU, discussed issues and opinions of the news media today.

In the Afternoon outside on a Paradise Valley back porch, Award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction Jewell Parker Rhodes. a professor of creative writing at ASU, discussed her new book inspired by her grandmother, 'Porch Stories: A Grandmother's Guide to Happiness'.

John and Lynn Kelley hosted members at their Summerwind Marchadors Ranch, located in the Sonoran desert overlooking the Verde River Valley, to speak about and show some of their Mangalarga Marchador horses and to tell of their adventures of importing and breeding this Iberian breed, the National Horse of Brazil.

Adrienne's Secret Brownie Recipe

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