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Trippy Tucson: New psychedelic-themed art exhibition at &gallery showcases local artists

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Marison Bilagody | The Daily Wildcat

The exterior of &gallery, an art gallery located on Fourth Ave in Tucson. The &gallery is currently showing work from their "Psychedelic Art Exhibition."

The "Psychedelic Art Exhibition" hosted at &gallery on Fourth Avenue hosted over 30 artists from around Tucson. Several artists used the psychedelic theme as a way to make trippy art or portray their own experiences with drugs.  

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Cynthia Naugle’s piece titled “Isobel."

Curator and owner of the &gallery Cynthia Naugle talked about how she had been wanting to put together a show with this theme for a while now and what inspired it.

“A lot of people have been asking about doing a weird show like this, so you know psychedelic, psychedelia stuff can mean a lot of different things to different people,” Naugle said. “It can mean the usage of drugs or weird, trippy looking stuff or things that like trick the eye or whatever it is. So we wanted to do an art show that was about that.”

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There were over 100 submissions according to Naugle and she narrowed it down to about 33.

“I think [the coolest thing was] how many people were interested. Like how many people were interested in the show and how many people were open to it because when people think of psychedelics they think of drugs, they think of a lot of people acting weird and there’s so much more to psychedelics. It was really cool to see how open and popular it is and being normalized,” Naugle said.

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Pato Aguilar’s piece titled “Los Crisantemos." 

Another artist, Pato Aguilar, submitted an art piece that translates to “the chrysanthemum.” Aguilar was inspired by a new art show that he is working on which brings Japanese art together with traditional Mexican folklore art.

“This piece in particular, I love Frida Kahlo; I haven’t painted anything of her in a while,” Aguilar said. “Speaking of a psychedelic show, I was on a mushroom trip, and I kind of saw this idea of inspiration of a Japanese fox, and it gave me almost this picture of Frida Kahlo coming through the forest of Mexico, coming back as a fox.”

Aguilar is self-taught and said he would want to do more pieces like "Los Crisantemos."

“There’s more stuff coming like this related to that traditional fusion, but I’m coming with more psychedelic stuff,” Aguilar said.

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Alondra Gavino’s piece titled “Your Ancestor’s Seed.”

Alondra Gavino’s piece served as a way to remind us of where we come from, and she was inspired by her own roots and family.

“My little sister sent me the post and she was like, ‘You have to try to get in,’ so I tried it, and I got it,” Gavino said.

Naugle, Aguilar and Gavino all added at the end of their interviews their encouragement to support local artists and businesses. 

The "Psychedelic Art Exhibition" will be up at &gallery until June 23 and is open seven days a week from 12-6 p.m.


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