Gallery in the Sun (Part 2)

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I visited the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson in December 2015. To read about my visit to the Mission in the Sun, the grounds, and DeGrazia’s original home, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/01/17/gallery-in-the-sun-part-1/.

This is the Gallery in the Sun with the Santa Catalina Mountains behind it.

This is the Gallery in the Sun with the Santa Catalina Mountains behind it.

According to the informational brochure I picked up in there, the gallery

was designed and built from the ground up by Arizona artist Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, who achieved worldwide acclaim for his colorful paintings of native cultures of the Sonoran desert. Using traditional adobe bricks crafted on-site, DeGrazia built the gallery so his paintings “would feel good inside.”

Ted DeGrazia said,

The gallery was designed by me, I wanted to have the feeling of the southwest. I wanted to build it so that my paintings would feel good inside.

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This is the entrance to the Gallery in the Sun.

The gallery opened in 1965 and houses over

15,00 DeGrazia originals including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics, and sculptures. There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year.

As I visited the many rooms in the gallery, I was impressed by the huge amount of art DeGrazia produced during his life. Rooms with walls hung with art opened onto more rooms with walls hung with art. How did GeGrazia find the time to build a gallery made from adobe bricks and build a chapel and create over 15,000 works of art? I think he must have slept very little and had a wife willing do to all the cooking and cleaning. Of course, he must have also been absolutely driven to create.

Flash photography is not allowed in the gallery, but I was able to get some shots using just the light in the room.

One subject DeGrazia revisited many times during his life was the Virgin Mary, particularly Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here are four examples of images of the Virgin DeGrazia painted: IMG_4317IMG_4290

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DeGrazia was friends with Native Americans and often painted scenes from the ceremonies and every day life of these people. Here are some paintings he did of the things he saw when he visited his Native American friends:

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When I saw the next two paintings, I thought, that man was seriously on some LSD. But maybe DeGrazia had the vision that some folks hope to gain when they take hallucinogens.

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The gallery opens into a courtyard where there are many cacti, several sculptures  and lots of cool found-object art pieces.

This mask is big enough to fit a giant, but I don't know who made it or why or how.

This mask is big enough to fit a giant, but I don’t know who made it or why or how.

I loved looking at all the different kinds of cactus in the courtyard.IMG_4283

 

 

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IMG_4297  In the center of the courtyard is a fountain. In the middle of it is a sculpture of a Native American man wearing a deer headdress. DeGrazia created the sculpture.

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This self-portrait is one of my favorites from Gallery in the Sun. IMG_4327

I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent (at least a couple of hours) at the Gallery in the Sun. I recommend it to anyone who likes art, Arizona, cacti, Native Americans and/or the Southwest.

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This is what the door to the outside world looked like.

I took all of the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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