Gallery in the Sun (Part 2)

Standard

IMG_4343

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.

IMG_4284

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4320IMG_4322

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

IMG_4293

IMG_4292

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.

IMG_4323

IMG_4324

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

 

 

IMG_4310

IMG_4304

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.

IMG_4298
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.

IMG_4330

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

I took all of the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply