Cruise Tucson’s Art Scene

June 1, 2014 |
Summer Art Cruise 2011 photo: Peter L. Kresan

Summer Art Cruise 2011
photo: Peter L. Kresan

Tucson is widely known for having one of the most diverse and impressive communities of artists in the country and to celebrate the local scene and kick off the summer season, Saturday, June 7 marks the return of the Summer Art Cruise. Hosted by the Central Tucson Gallery Association, now on its 14th year, the event will take place Downtown at participating galleries and will display hundreds of beautiful pieces by Tucson’s talented artists.

“This is a celebration of the diverse culture of Tucson through its contemporary arts,” says Mike Dominguez, co-owner of Davis Dominguez Gallery. “Every type of medium will be represented through the galleries. The traditional mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, watercolors and studio arts with material of fiber, glass, wood and clay will be in abundance and there are always very unique and diverse expressions. This draws a lot of Tucson artists to the Downtown area and the whole art community always makes a strong showing.”

The galleries will be open all day for the free event, but the receptions will kick off at 6 p.m. where attendees can interact with the participating artists and gallery owners. 6th Avenue studios include The Drawing Studio and Philabaum Glass Gallery, while 6th Street features Raices Taller Gallery, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Davis Dominguez Gallery, Baker + Hesseldenz Fine Art and Contreras Gallery. Within a short drive is the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery at Pima Community College West Campus.

“Once the reception begins it will start getting dark and the work will be lit at it’s very best. Art never looks better than in a gallery with light concentrated on it,” says Dominguez. “There will be artists mingling with art collectors mingling with the general public, which makes this event unique. It’s great to have the community be able to interact with all of these artists in one place. We expect to have a lot of families coming and it’s a great way for young people to get exposure to great art. We’ve had some really huge events in the past when the crowd spills into the streets as everyone walks between studios.”

Both admission and parking is free and attendees are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes between the galleries to experience each of the vastly different spaces. Many of the participating studios will feature live music, entertainment and refreshments as well as a unique look behind the scenes of Tucson’s art studios during this family-friendly event. For those who wish to beat the crowds and take advantage of a sunny stroll, the galleries will be open during the day for guests to preview the displays. And as always, diversity will be the main theme of this year’s showings, as Tucson boasts a spectacular range of themes in art that celebrate the wonderful community that embodies this town.

“We’re showing off the cultural assets that we have here in Tucson. For a town this size, we have a very significant art scene and we are especially strong in contemporary art. We have a core of cooperative and closely-knit artists in town. Tucson has an established identity and we’re not trying to be anything that we’re not,” says Dominguez. “It’s different from a bigger city such as Phoenix because the groups there run in almost the clique-based social systems. Here in Tucson I’ve found that the gallery owners know each other and help each other out and have lasting friendships. There’s a real sense of community here that translates to the art. And it’s all possible because we get great support from the community.”

Summer Art Cruise is on Saturday, June 7. For more details, and information on the locations, visit Other queries can be answered by calling 629-9759.


Category: Arts, Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE, Entertainment, Events