Tucson's Art Districts

Tucson is a haven for the arts. We have an incredible number of clients who are artists. They work in a variety of disciplines including stained glass, design, writing, sculpture, architecture and many other forms. If you are a serious professional artist or just create art as a hobby, we can be of immense service to you. We have assisted many art lovers.

Once we understand the artist's requirements in a home, we work to match a home with their needs. It may be a separate studio or workshop for the professional, or a guest casita, or an oversized garage that be converted to work space, or even the perfect oversized bedroom/den with great natural lighting that can function as a creative space. As an artist, your work is not only special to you, but to those you create it for, and we want to make sure your housing needs align perfectly with your creative desires.

Tucson's support for the performing arts equals that of some cities twice its size. In fact, the Wall Street Journal once referred to Tucson as a 'mini mecca for the arts." If you are interested in the arts and want to learn about the neighborhoods favored by artists as well as the types of homes within them, we are a great source of information.

Many retired artists live in the town of Catalina, Arizona, the Catalina Foothills, Tanque Verde Valley on the NE side, and Dove Mountain on the NW side. The major art neighborhood, however, is downtown Tucson. The Tucson Museum of Art is located downtown in the El Presidio neighborhood and serves as a hub. El Presidio is Tucson's original neighborhood that was once the site of a small fort established in 1775 by the Spanish. For 1200 years prior to that, it was a Hohokam native American pit house.

Neighborhoods Especially Attractive to Artists

Having represented many of artists over the years, if there's one thing we've learned, it's that artists like to congregate with like-minded people. This being the case, we see certain neighborhoods that are heavy on artistic residents. These neighborhoods are not all that exist for artists, of course, but they are stand-outs in this regard.

  • Downtown Tucson. Downtown Tucson has been a mini mecca for artists for a long time. Currently, gentrification is occurring downtown, and this is unfortunately pushing out some of the younger artists. However, it is still an artist's haven. Many of the artists who can no longer afford the area are moving south of downtown.
  • West University. West University has a lot of former and current artists living within it. Located just west of the University of Arizona, the neighborhood is a hotbed for art.
  • Iron Horse. Iron Horse is a neighborhood located just off 4th Avenue next to the railroad tracks (hence the Iron Horse name). The arts thrive here and the homes resemble a 1920's-1940's mix of classic bungalows and small shops.
  • Catalina Foothills. The Catalina Foothills seems to attract many artists and art enthusiasts. We have represented clients involved with weaving, music, and design within this area. Home prices here are not for struggling artists, but if you want high-end living awash with artists and art aficionados this is the place.
  • West Tucson. West Tucson is another area that seems to attract artists. The area affords tranquility and easy commutes. It's a low-profile area that enables artists to focus on their work without interruptions and distractions.

Tucson Art Festivals

  • The Gem Show. Tucson has many art festivals and gatherings year around. The most famous -- as well as the largest of its kind in the world -- that attracts huge crowds of artists, art devotees and merchants is the Gem Show held in late January and February every year in downtown Tucson. The Gem Show is unique to Tucson. Not only are gems showcased, but all types of jewelry, sculptures, and other art forms are displayed throughout Tucson for the duration of the show. The abundance of artworks on display brings huge crowds of buyers and patrons.
  • Tucson Festival of Books. This is another massive event that showcases those from the literary art scene. Hundreds of authors participate in presentations and workshops, and over two hundred exhibitors are available during the festival. The Tucson Festival of Books takes place annually in March at the University of Arizona.
  • Tucson Poetry Festival. The Tucson Poetry Festival is another literary arts festival that has seen dramatic growth since the first one held in 1981. Labeled as "poetry for the people," the Tucson poetry festival usually features several local and non-local poets, with a variety of workshops. The festival has been going strong, with many hot, current issues and topics presented.

Some Well Known Tucson Artists

  • Ted DeGrazia. Ted DeGrazia has a world-wide presence in the art world, and is labeled as "one of the world's most reproduced artists." DeGrazia's museum is located in the Foothills and his work is still recognized as some of the best created.
  • Diana Madaras. Diana is a master watercolor artist with a Master's Degree from the University of Arizona. A native Tucsonan, her gallery is located in central Tucson and includes works from other guest artists. Madaras has also been bestowed with Tucson's Best Visual Artist award several times, and her work is outstanding.
  • Tom Philabaum. Tom started his fist glassblowing studio in the Tucson valley in 1975. His mastery of glassblowing with the inclusion of vibrant color has led to legendary sculptures. In his discipline of glass arts, Philabaum is recognized as one of the best of the best and a true world-class master of the glass arts. His work can be viewed and purchased in either of his two galleries in Tucson.
  • Daniel Martin Diaz. Daniel Diaz is one of the most amazing artists in the world. His art reflects the mysteries of life and the sciences that provides a unique and altering look at what creativity can be in the hands of a true master. Diaz has been featured in over 60 solo exhibits world-wide. He has also created large public art projects in the US and has won many awards in the art world. Daniel Diaz is based in Tucson, and we are proud to have his creativity and art alive in the Tucson area.

Home Types for Artists

Tucson has a wide array of homes that are unique and provide individuality, tranquility, mountain views, natural desert vistas, as well as access to like-minded individuals.

  • Bungalows. In almost all the art districts, the bungalow type home is a favorite for artists. Located throughout central Tucson, especially near the University and downtown Tucson, bungalows provide a distinctive and personalized home type.
  • Southwest Style. Southwest style homes, with their smooth lines, earth tones, and simple rustic exteriors, are abundant in the Tucson area. Predominately located in the Catalina Foothills, these homes can also be found in Oro Valley, Catalina, and Dove Mountain.
  • Territorial Style. Territorial style is a favorite of artists living on the NE side of town, including the Tanque Verde Valley. Territorial homes are built from solid materials such as slump block and have a rustic, durable exterior. Lots of customizations can be made. The main benefit of most territorial homes in Tucson is the lot size. In some areas of Tucson, they will be one acre or more.
  • Homes with a Casita or Studio Space. A casita (guest house) can be used as a studio for the professional or serious hobbyist and usually works well. In other situations, the artist requires a dedicated and separate workshop/studio with 220-volt electricity, open space, and large doors with easy access to get materials in and out. We have represented many types of artistic clients. We have a great deal of experience working with the artist's needs in a home and understand it is different from the traditional home buyer/seller.

Tucson Art Galleries

Art galleries are located in different parts of Tucson with an assemblage of them centered in downtown Tucson. Some of the best art galleries in Tucson currently are:

  • Etherton Gallery. Located in downtown Tucson, it is one of the best in the Tucson area. Etherton excels in fine art classic and contemporary photography.
  • Madaras Gallery. Situated off Swan road just north of Glenn, Madaras provides striking art work including paintings, canvas reproductions, prints, sculptures, ceramics, glass blown pieces, and even hand-carved mesquite art. One of Tucson's best gallery and worth going to see.
  • Old Town Artisans Gallery. Also located downtown is the historic Old Town Artisans Gallery. The shop is located on the grounds of the old fort where the stables were, while in 1888, it served as a distillery for Julius Goldbaum. All kinds of art can be found at Old Town Artisans including paintings, jewelry, pottery and metal works.

If you are a professional artist, or just enjoy artistic hobbies and want a Realtor who understands your needs, contact us today to discover which options are available. If you have a home to sell, we can also be of service. In our experience, artists' homes are unique and require a special knowledge of the best buyer audience and marketing for this type of property.

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