Oracle studio tour this weekend

Oracle's free studio tour runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and will be headquartered at the Gallery Welcome Center, 1880 W. American Ave.

Work on display will include arts and crafts ranging from traditional and functional to modern and whimsical. Paintings, jewelry, sculptures, furniture and a number of other works will be on display and for sale.

Artists will conduct demonstrations.

For more information, visit online.

Catalina State Park celebrates 30 years

Catalina State Park will mark its 30th anniversary Saturday with a daylong celebration sponsored by Arizona State Parks and the Friends of Catalina State Park. The park opened May 25, 1983.

Guided hikes will start at 7 a.m., and interactive programs, live-animal demonstrations, children's activities and other events will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The celebration ends with a Star Night party, which includes telescope viewing, from 7 to 9 p.m. The entrance fee is $7 per vehicle. The park is located on Arizona Highway 77 at Milepost 81, six miles north of Ina Road.

For more information, visit online.

Oro Valley will offer tours of public art

Oro Valley is celebrating its more than 250 public art projects by establishing a public tour.

Since 1997, the town has required commercial developers to set aside 1 percent of the budget of the construction budget for each project to fund public art.

"To showcase Oro Valley's public and private art, the town is launching a Virtual Art Gallery. The web-based art gallery features a photograph of the art, a description of the artwork and directions to where the artwork can be located," Vice Mayor Lou Waters said in a news release.

The town is introducing free monthly tours of the public art. The tours will take visitors by van from spot to spot, providing background information about the pieces along the way. The tours begin May 23 and continue the fourth Thursday of each month.

Also, the town has set up a website to allow viewers to check out the town's art from afar. To check out the virtual gallery or reserve a spot on the tour, go to online.

Free performance for kids on Saturday

The Oro Valley Music and Dance Academy will stage a free performance dubbed Musical Magic for Kids.

The performance will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Oro Valley Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance partnered with philanthropic organizations and individuals, as well as the town of Oro Valley, to sponsor the show.

Performances will echo fairy tales, and kids will be able to dance along. Dances such as the minuet, the waltz and the mazurka will be featured. Musicians and dancers will invite the audience to participate.

For more information, go to online.

Melvin to seek GOP gubernatorial nod

Three-term state Sen. Al Melvin announced April 22 he intends to run for governor this coming year.

The Republican, whose district extends from Oro Valley in Pima County through part of Casa Grande into the Pinal County community of Maricopa, said his campaign will focus largely on two issues: school vouchers and limits on jury verdicts. He said they will improve education and improve the business climate.

Both appear to run directly afoul of the Arizona Constitution.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that if lawmakers want a voucher program, they need voter approval.

On limiting jury verdicts, there have been three separate statewide votes to repeal or alter constitutional provisions barring lawmakers from putting a cap on awards in civil lawsuits. All three were rejected.

Melvin conceded the constitutional bar. "Politics is education," he said, saying he plans to explain to voters the need for both changes - even as he makes what he acknowledged is a bit of a dark-horse bid for the state's highest office.

Melvin, 68, who lives in SaddleBrooke, retired as a captain from the Navy Reserve and also served in the Merchant Marine.

The senator said he will address his lack of name identification and funding for a statewide race by running with public funding.

Howard Fischer contributed to this report. Email briefs to reporter Phil Villarreal at