Sunday, June 28, 2015
Gallery in the Sun
On my recent trip to Tucson, I visited the DeGrazia's Gallery in the Sun, the studio and home of the late artist Ted DeGrazia. DeGrazia was born and raised in Arizona the son of Italian immigrants. He moved from the mining town of Morenci to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona and eventually earned three degrees including a Master of Arts.
He and his wife bought the then remote 10-acre property where he would build his Gallery in the Sun after the city of Tucson grew up around his original studio. I wonder what he would have done if he had lived to see the city once again grow up around this property. The gallery was designed and built by DeGrazia using traditional adobe bricks crafted on-site. He is said to have built the gallery so that his paintings "would feel good inside".
The gallery is home to more than 15,000 DeGrazia originals including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures.
Among those on display is the one to the left titled "Fiesta at San Xavier" painted in 1960. It's one of my all time favorites.
One of the gallery rooms included this display of DeGrazia's paints and easel. It almost looks like he just stepped away for a moment.
Also on the grounds is this little mission that he built in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As I approached it I could hear the call of that wind chime bell high up on the top.
Inside the mission, the roof is open to the sky and the walls are painted with DeGrazia's southwestern inspired art. Stepping through the door to the mission was almost magical.
In 2006, the 10-acre site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm and there is no admission charge. It is such a beautiful place, it should be high on the list of places to see when visiting Tucson.