Hugo Medina: Phoenix Muralist and ASU Art Faculty

Hugo Medina, Phoenix artist, in front of his acrylic and aerosol on canvas, 'The Westward Ho,' at MonOrchid in Phoenix, photographed by Nicki Escudero

Hugo Medina, Phoenix artist, photographed in front of his acrylic and aerosol on canvas, ‘The Westward Ho,’ at MonOrchid in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Hugo Medina

Hugo Medina‘s art is seen all over the Valley, as the painter and custom metal fabricator has more than 30 murals up throughout the Phoenix area, from a 300-foot-long mural at Fountain Hill’s Fountain Park, to more than five in the downtown Phoenix area.

The 41-year-old Bolivia-born Phoenix resident is heavily involved in the Phoenix arts community, serving as an adjunct art faculty member at ASU teaching a community mural course, as co-founder for the Calle 16 mural project, and as board member for Artlink, Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission and Arizona Artists Coalition. He won the Phoenix Public Art award in 2012 and is currently planning for the Phoenix Festival for the Arts and Art Detour. He’s also working on a new installation for Cycle 5 of IN FLUX, a public art installation program.

Medina works as a custom metal fabricator and on his own paintings, the latest of which can be seen at his Home exhibit at MonOrchid in Phoenix through Friday, November 28. Join him this Friday, November 21, for the free artist reception at the gallery, from 6-10 p.m. Medina will talk about his collection at 7:45 p.m.

Medina talked about where his passion for art comes from, and you can hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was chasing my heart. My sophomore year, I taught at a vacation Bible school at a Native American reservation in San Diego and fell in love with the Southwest. I moved to Arizona in 1998 after I graduated college.

I was born in Bolivia and moved to New York with my family when I was 7. We were chasing the American dream. Continue reading

Danielle Kamela: Fox Sports Arizona Girl

Danielle Kamela

If you love Arizona sports, you’ve probably seen Danielle Kamela on the court, field or screen. She’s danced for the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns and is now a Fox Sports Arizona Girl, connecting the fans to all four major Arizona teams through social media updates and charity work. The 25-year-old Scottsdale resident and native can also be seen in local commercials and print ads, as she is also¬†an actor and model represented by The Agency Arizona. Catch her on Fox Sports Arizona, and keep scrolling to hear five reasons why she’s glad to say she’s Arizona born and raised.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m proud to say I’m a native. I was born and raised here in Scottsdale and went to Chaparral High School, then to Arizona State University. At ASU, I majored in communications and tourism. Aside from my love and passion for sports, I love to travel and enjoy experiencing new places and learning about different cultures. It was great to be able to combine my interests in communications and broadcasting and travel here in my hometown. Continue reading

CJ Cornell: Founder of Propel Arizona, Entrepreneur

CJ Cornell, founder of Propel Arizona, photographed at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

CJ Cornell, founder of Propel Arizona, photographed at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

CJ Cornell

The Valley is lucky to have CJ Cornell. The New York-born entrepreneur made his way from Silicon Valley to Phoenix to help build up Arizona State University‘s entrepreneurship program by helping to establish the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. After mentoring hundreds of young entrepreneurs-in-training, he founded Propel Arizona, a local crowdfunding site for new local businesses, which helps solicit donations from locals for new ventures. Read on for what stimulates Cornell’s entrepreneurial passion, and scroll down to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

ASU. They were starting an extensive entrepreneur program, and I had already had a career as a serial entrepreneur and then started teaching in the Silicon Valley area. They brought me down here to help start their now number one entrepreneurship program in the country. Continue reading