Thursday, February 8, 2018

TUBAC ... You HAVE To See This!!

If you've been down around the Tucson area of Arizona, you must NOT miss Tubac.  Established in 1752 as a Presidio, it was the first Spanish Garrison on the Royal Road from Mexico to the Spanish settlements in California.

In the 1840's, Apaches attacked the town constantly forcing the Sonoran Mexicans to abandon it.  In the early 1900's, it became an art colony, with painter Dale Nichols opening an art school and restoring some of the buildings around 1948.

As you can imagine, it has grown considerably since that time, although the Old Town section remains much the same.  Twice a year they have a Festival.  If you like color, you'll love Tubac.

Craftsmen come from all over the U.S. to sell their wares here at the festival.  Most, if not all of the stores are open except in July and August.  If you miss the festival, you can still wander the streets and check out the amazing buildings, Mexican pottery and art.

Need a life-size Day Of The Dead couple for your entryway??  They're right here in Tubac.  I have to say most of the pottery is not as inexpensive as it is in Mexico, but it's a lot easier to drive your car right up to the front door to load up.
There are some interesting art pieces with fascinating history.  Take this for example.  Chuck's bike.  There's a group of rowdy secretive senior citizens who have built clandestine bike trails across the BLM land south of Tubac.  Chuck Hill was one of the instigators, so they put his bike on a pedestal with a sign that says Ride On Chuck, Ride ON.
I have to apologize for the lack of pictures.  I always get so excited about all the gorgeous things to look at that I forget to drag out my camera.  I sure would like to see this painted on my back wall.  It's amazing and worth the trip just to see it.
Miss Patty and I got primo parking this time, close enough to drop off our (okay MY) packages and keep shopping.  Trouble is, there is WAY too much to see.  We didn't waste a second between 10 and 3 and STILL didn't see everything.

We did stop for lunch at this cool little deli and had a sandwich wrap that could almost turn me into a vegetarian, it was so delicious.  Look ma ... no crowds!!!  They added an extra day to the schedule this year which most people didn't pick up on.
Our very first stop, we saw these amazing Spirit Dolls hanging on the wall.  Remember, this is an ART show.  Most ran around $150 ... WAY too rich for my blood.  But look what I found ... a basket full of kits where you can make your own!  YES!!  

By the way, cameras are discouraged when it comes to art.  With my lack of talent however, I wanted a quick shot so I would sort of have a clue how to make it.  It's a good thing I did, because low and behold ... the head is not a head at all.  It's a big lump of clay you have to form INTO a head and bake in the oven.  Oh good grief!!  I'm going to have a really ugly spirit doll because molding clay into a face is definitely NOT my forte!!
There were a few critters here and there, this one being the cutest.  He's a 13 week old miniature dachshund with the sweetest personality I've ever seen.
Brenda Peo was there with many of her images for sale.  Here's Nariz that I picked up last year, along with Blue the Cow.  I admit you have to have the right kind of decor for this one, but he fits in to my cowboy home just fine.  If you've ever owned mules, you know this is the exact look they give you.
There was more than one guy selling these Flutes, of which I have six.  There's nothing more beautiful than hearing this music in the desert.
There were several native artists at work along the streets.  Wear your most comfortable shoes, because this little town is spread out over a large area.  
You never know what you are going to find in Tubac.  In a tiny store called Jane's Attic (actually a consignment shop), I walked right into this quilt display rack, something I've been looking for to display either quilts or some of my Indian rugs.  It even has a southwest vibe.  I snatched it up after going online and making sure the price was good.
Pretty much exhausted, we had one more stop to make at our favorite pottery shop.  They have the most beautiful, reasonably priced things ever.  Huge four foot tall pottery vases run about $70, versus $250 where I come from.
They even have Day Of The Dead things you can purchase.  I love this mural!!
There's so much more to see, you shouldn't miss it.  Even if you miss the Festival, the town is STILL a must see!!  I'll be going back VERY soon!!


  1. Certainly looks like an interesting town! Won't be this year, we have so much on our agenda, but will try and keep it in mind for next! Nice post, Nancy.

    1. It's definitely worth a stop Patsy, even without the festival. The little stores are chock full of colorful traditions.

  2. What a nice colourful town to check out, love your pictures.

    1. It's a treasure in the desert. Most all the building are original adobe.

  3. So many interesting places to see and so little time. A very colourful town. Great Pictures.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. That's the problem Rick .. but I'm trying to see every one I can!

  4. First of all...Happy Belated Birthday, Jonathon!
    Tom and I visited Tubac a couple of years ago for their Luminaria Nights and I keep saying I want to go back. Thank you for the reminder of "why"...:) Sounds like you had a very nice visit.

    1. I picked up a schedule of events this time to see what else I can go see.

  5. Your guy with the flute gets around he was at the Volusia County fair about four months ago
    have you ever thought of leaving your credit card at home, an only taking $50 and no don't borrow money from miss Patty
    Or trade the car in for a two seater mini Cooper with no trunk

    1. All of these vendors get around, most coming from way up North. I tried the credit card thing once ... but then if I ran into that quilt holder, I wouldn't have been able to get it! I did MUCH better this year than last!! I'm learning, albeit slowly!!