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117 Lupita Chavez

Contrary to popular belief, we are not a four-legged entity known as Zeke and Lupita; we totally exist as two separate human beings. You just rarely see one of us without the other, while we’re out supporting the local music, art, and restaurants. Individually, there’s Zeke Cook, whose day job is mechanical engineer, but his avocation is metal artist. You’ve probably seen his work. There’s the flame shooting Bat Bike, the white Rose Bike (now well known in the All Soul’s Procession, Cyclovia and other events), his lawn ornament Safety Third (a huge red safety pin that often shows up on Weird Things You Only See in Tucson), the amazing Two Suns sculpture, or his copper heart wall hangings. He grew up all around the country as a military kid, eventually landing in San Diego. Life brought him to Tucson in 1986, and he’s never turned back. His art started 16 years ago with 10 years of Burning Man as inspiration. A self-taught welder and metal artist, his pieces are often a mix of science and activism. Lupita was born in Bisbee, and lived the tiny town life in a mining camp called Silverbell (west of Tucson) until the mine closed in 1982. Other than brief stints back in Bisbee, then Marana, as a truck driver in the Army in Germany, and as the pinto bean in the bowl of white rice that was Tennessee, she ended up home for good in Tucson. While her day job is with the Pima County Public Library, being with an artist reminded her how much she missed making art. She thought that just meant drawing until Zeke put a plasma cutter in her hands, and now she’s his student and partner. She's also a writer who emcees a monthly adult spelling bee at Tap & Bottle, and is still waiting to be discovered. Someone called her a community activist once, but she prefers community advocate. Zeke and Lupita are now living in South Tucson in a renovated church that will be their new workshop and studio, Peligroso Metal Arts.
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