While not much happens here in the summer, things are apoppin’ now.
This past Friday I went with friends to the annual December installation of the 4th Avenue Street Fair. This is a four-day presentation of several blocks of booths with all kinds of arts, crafts, jewelry, furniture, food – you name it.
We arrived in the downtown around 10:00 a.m., just as the fair was opening. We left downtown at 6:00 p.m., just as the fair ended, and the night began. What a day! Because I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to continue on my feet all day, I carried a folding chair in its bag, on my shoulder, so I could rest if needed. What I found out was that by carrying that bag on my left shoulder my back didn’t hurt.
I spent my time perusing the beautiful items in the shops and talking to the artists and business owners, also taking pictures if given permission. I learned that many artists were leery of photographs because of other people copying their work. I think that their concerns are valid, and they want to protect their original work; however, that’s hard to do. I find that, as an artist of a sort myself, that I like to see others’ work to get inspiration for my own ideas and designs. Yes, it’s possible that someone will copy my stuff, but as a customer in one store commented to the artist, there is karma involved in plagiarism.
I’ve included photos of some of the art and websites where you can go to see the artists. I told them I’d be blogging with their photos, so all of these here have given me permission.
On Sunday (yesterday) another friend and I went to the De Grazia Festival de Guadalupe at the De Grazia Gallery in the Sun. This, too, is an annual event around the date of December 12, which was declared a liturgical holiday by Pope John Paul II to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Ted de Grazia was an artist, originally from Italy, who settled in Tucson and created art on his 10-acre retreat, where he had his house and studio. His work is much beloved by the people in Tucson and worldwide.
De Grazia was a friend of the native peoples from this area and much of his art reflects this connection. The festival provides cultural expressions of the area including traditional dances from Mexico and the sacred deer dance of the Pascua Yaqui people. There are also the traditional foods, and the breaking of the candy-filled pinata for the children.
This was the first time I’d been to the festival, although I’d visited the gallery once before. I was informed that this particular event seemed much smaller than festivals in earlier years. There were fewer booths of traditional arts and crafts, as well as food offerings. My friend was really wanting an Indian Taco (taco ingredients – meat, beans, onions, salsa, cheese, etc.) on fry bread, a traditional American Indian food. It was not to be had, so we ate scaled-down Sonoran Hotdogs instead – without guacamole or bacon… (Sonoran hotdog – beef hotdog wrapped in bacon and grilled, placed in a grilled bun with beans, onions, cheese, mayo, guacamole and salsa – and a grilled hot chili on top)
Last week the weather was cold but the last several days have been so pleasant with highs in the sixties. Perfect for these events. Oh yeah, another reason I love Tucson in the winter!