Friends @ Home Docent Event | Facing Mecca: Reflections of Islam in Art
Mar 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Registration for this event is required – please click here to register.

Islam has inspired a variety of sacred art, but the scope extends far beyond religious objects into the secular and cultural realms.

Calligraphy became the most highly regarded art form in West Asia, and its beauty spread across the world.

Come and be fascinated by the complexity and breadth of Islamic inspired art, through objects from the collection of the Asian Art Museum.

Steve Zilles is a Docent (since 2014) and Storyteller (since 2009) at the Asian Art Museum. He has long been interested in Asian art and has travelled extensively in West, Central, South, Southeast and East Asia, such places as Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, China Korea and Japan, and recently returned from trips to Morocco and Egypt. A Computer Scientist by profession, for 20 years he was involved in the development of standards for the World Wide Web, the languages people use to prepare their web pages for display on your computer or phone, where he has focused on support for all the worlds languages.

Friends @ Home | Author Event – Patricia Bracewell: The Steel Beneath the Silk
Mar 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please note: Pre-registration is required for this event. Register here: 


A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, (Shadow on the Corwn, The Price of Blood, and The Steel Beneath the Silk) brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine. In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred.

The marriage is a bitterly unhappy one, between a queen who seeks to create her own sphere of influence within the court and a suspicious king who eyes her efforts with hostility and resentment.

But royal discord shifts to grudging alliance when Cnut of Denmark, with the secret collusion of his English concubine Elgiva, invades England at the head of a massive viking army. Amid the chaos of war, Emma must outwit a fierce enemy whose goal is conquest and outmaneuver the cunning Elgiva, who threatens all those whom Emma loves.
Friends @Home Author Event | Amanda Peters – The Berry Pickers
Apr 3 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
July 1962. A Mi’kmaq family from Nova Scotia arrives in Maine to pick blueberries for the summer. Weeks later, four-year-old Ruthie, the family’s youngest child, vanishes. She is last seen by her six-year-old brother, Joe, sitting on a favorite rock at the edge of a berry field. Joe will remain distraught by his sister’s disappearance for years to come. In Maine, a young girl named Norma grows up as the only child of an affluent family. Her father is emotionally distant, her mother frustratingly overprotective. Norma is often troubled by recurring dreams and visions that seem more like memories than imagination. As she grows older, Norma slowly comes to realize there is something her parents aren’t telling her. Unwilling to abandon her intuition, she will spend decades trying to uncover this family secret.

Amanda Peters is a writer of Mi’kmaq and settler ancestry. Her debut novel, The Berry Pickers, is the Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction, the 2023 Barnes & Noble Discovery Prize Winner, was shortlisted for the Barnes & Noble Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Fiction Award from the Writers Trust of Canada. Her work has also appeared in the Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, the Alaska Quarterly Review, the Dalhousie Review and Filling Station Magazine. She is the winner of the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Unpublished Prose and a participant in the 2021 Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program. Amanda is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto.

Friends @ Home: Docent Event | The Art of Volume: Fernando Botero
Apr 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Please note: Registration for this event is required and is available here:
Fernando Botero’s unique style is instantly recognizable! His subjects exist in a universe populated by exaggerated beings seemingly larger than life, at once solid and voluptuous. It echoes Pre-Columbian, Classical Spanish, and Spanish Colonial Art. An assault on what is held to be timeless cannons of beauty and ideal proportions. Botero said: “My painting has two main sources. On one hand they are my views on aesthetics and on the other the Latin American world where I grew up. I also think sensuality plays a great role.”
This program is presented by Isabel Ballerna who is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a BA in Art. Isabel is an artist and interior designer. Her artworks have been featured in art galleries and published in numerous publications including Artists of the Rockies and the Golden West and Southeast Art magazines. Isabel is also an avid horse rider and competitor in dressage. She has been a docent at Phoenix Art Museum since 2014.