Tantalizing Tucson Gem Shows

February 8, 2011

What a wild week it was in Tucson.  From an artist’s point of view it was exhilarating, inspiring, and a big oooh! Ah!  but the weather was a little crazy.  It got down to 15 degrees with the high at 23 during the day.  School buses froze, pipes burst, trees and shrubs withered and the wind blew apart cactus everywhere.  I’m sure the wind chill factor was blistering cold to boot because I was in it.  I felt bad for the bead vendors who had tents outside of the shows.  My friend, Theresa Mertens, was one of those.  That poor thing was bundled in a sleeping bag and it wasn’t enough.  UGH.

My friend, Bea Grob, came from Switzerland and when we weren’t teaching we traipsed about Tucson.  We got to the To Bead True Blue and Best Bead shows – one more show than I’ve been to so far.  Of course there are all the parties, too.  I always go to the Interweave Party in the Tucson Museum of Art.  It’s a great time and I love the people.  I also love the Museum store.  They carry great work by local artists that I always love to see.    There is kicky, whimsical and wonderfully Southwestern flavored work there.   John McNulty, a ceramicist, is in charge of the store there.  I always make a point of talking with him.  Each year I get a benchmark of how things are going sales wise, museum wise, and more.  It’s good to develop benchmark places like this as an artist.  I get a better overall picture of what’s really going on in my field.


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