Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block 36th Annual Fall Artisans Market: Portraying local artists and artisans
Outside the Tucson Museum of Art, the 36th Annual Fall Artisans Market took place on Nov. 19 - 21. The 36th Annual Fall Artisans Market was a space where local artists and artisans got together to showcase their creations.
In the Historic streets of El Presidio Neighborhood, people gathered to walk, look and even buy the different kinds of art displayed at the artisans' market as well as gift items in an outdoor street fair setting, free of charge.
Charles Thomas, an Arizona oil painter for vocation, started painting in his late twenties. However, he has been drawing since he was a kid. Thomas mentioned painting was something that had always captivated him. Thomas’ major inspiration to paint came from the beauty that surrounded him. “Landscapes are a recreational form of painting but I’m not beholden to them,” Thomas said.
For 30 years, Thomas has painted thousands of paintings. “I lost track a long time ago” for him it is more about the experience than anything else. For Thomas, painting is a rewarding and fulfilling job that he has had the pleasure of doing because he gets to do what he likes to do. “That’s something as you get older you see not everybody has the luxury of doing,” said Thomas. “So, if you’re blessed to the point where you can do what you like to do then that is immensely rewarding.”
A couple of booths away from Thomas’ there was the Desert Sky Gourds, owned by Annette and Larry Madzelan. Gourds are the art medium used by Annette and Larry. According to Annette, getting the gourds ready is a long process. First, the gourds come dirty. Larry is in charge of cleaning, scrubbing and carving the gourds. He then hands them to Annette who is in charge of painting the gourds.
Annette started painting when she was in high school, but it wasn't until they moved to Tucson 25 years ago that she started painting gourds as a hobby while taking care of her children. Now, the children are gone and Larry is retired. “It keeps us busy,” Annette said. They both collaborate in the creation of gourds. Designing gourds has given Annette and Larry something to do. They have their studio at home.
On the other side of the outdoor fair, there was The Vintage Jewel owned by Lori Kirsch, who made button jewelry out of vintage bottoms. Kirsch was in the retail housewares business in Anchorage, Alaska for 23 years until she decided she wanted to do something else. She then started taking jewelry classes. In the beginning, she was only using beads and stones to create jewelry. Then she started collecting bottoms and wondered what the bottoms would look like as jewelry. She knew she was into something when she sold her first bottom creations right away.
Kirsch believes that most artists get inspiration from anything. Kirsch is influenced by vibrant colors. She mentioned that her art is a reflection of her personality. “My jewelry reflects the way I dress,” Kirsch said. For over 10 years, Kirsch has been coming to the Fall Artisans Market to display her jewelry to the Tucson community which she said is very fond of colors.
This event launched Downtown Tucson into the holiday season. It won't be until next year when the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block will bring its Annual Fall Artisans Market back.
Follow Diana Ramos on Twitter