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The Exuberance!

An Artistic and Botanic Experience


November 14, 2020 through April 30, 2021

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park hosts the first outdoor art exhibition in the heart of Tubac, Arizona.  The Exuberance! begins November 14, 2020 and ends April 30, 2021.


Thirteen acres of art space showcase local artists and their creations of garden sculptures, art installations, and contemporary garden vignettes. The show runs during the park hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Wednesday through Sunday. 


The Exuberance! is a celebration of the artistic endeavors of artists inspired by their own creativity and innovation. Artists explore a variety of media, current recycling practices, and meet the challenges of all weather conditions. 


Tubac’s reputation for “Where Art and History Meet” is the central theme of the show.  However, many artists have chosen to create pieces that address environmental issues, sustainability, climate change, naturalism, and the use of native plants. The Exuberance! is history in the making and art preserves the spirit of contemporary art in Tubac. 


Our self-guided tours -The Exuberance! Garden Crawls - are included in your park admission fee!

In addition, each beautiful piece was auctioned to raise funds for the Presidio, and proceeds supported contributing artists and the Exuberance Legacy Fund.  

If you won a piece, you may pick up your artwork beginning May 1st.

Meet the Artists


Frida’s Potting Shed

Form follows function is a design principle based on the idea that the shape of the object should relate to its intended purpose. Every gardener likes to have tools readily available and yet keep them tidy and in good condition. A box is ideal however why stop there when the object can extend as another artistic outlet.


Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul garden in Mexico City was the inspiration for the potting shed.  Red, yellow and blue in the garden complement greenery.  I have chosen succulents for the variety of green shades, texture and also for its water-wise component.  Succulents grow in very sunny dry areas such as deserts and arid climates.  


Kahlo proudly depicted her indigenous Mexican heritage in her work.  Following her lead, I highlighted the Aztec culture by using a pyramid-shaped box.  Its function is to store garden tools within reach and also as a display for a plant collection.  The shed is on casters for ease in moving towards the light source and for storage accessibility.  


The unusual shape and the mood-setting color make this a sculptural piece in the garden or in a patio setting.  It also serves as a storage unit to protect the plants from the freezing cold nights in Tubac.  The clear doors allow sunlight to shine through.


A gardener’s dream, Frida’s Potting Shed will be a conversation piece in the garden.  It is Where Art and History Meet.       


Paper Dolls & Roller Skates

Virginia Hall has had a residence and studio in Tubac since 1979. The sculpture, Paper Dolls and Roller Skates was constructed by artist, David Voissard, commemorating an exhibition by the same name that Virginia had in the Masters’ Gallery at the Tubac Center for the Arts in November 2019.  



Caballito (“Little Horse”) is a mixed media outdoor-ready art piece consisting of a horse painted in the style of the animals called “alebrijes” from central Mexico, a re-purposed metal stand and a potted agave plant on a natural
stone base. It is a simple design celebrating the desert with the addition of a colorful “exhuberant” creature.



Forged and fabricated steel birdbath for your feathered friends to enjoy.  Steel bowl is powder coated in textured rust finish.


Child's Eye

The desert landscape is seemingly its own planet, starkly different from most other ecosystems.

Strength and survival are the first qualities seen in the flora and fauna. Sometimes we have to adjust our way of seeing to find the beauty in desert plants, in new and different ideas, and in life itself.

2020 has flipped the world as we knew it upside down and provides an undeniable opportunity to look at things from as many viewpoints as possible. 

Child's Eye is a series of seven still life compositions showing the desert through the lens of fantasy and possibility.

Inspired by Dr. Seuss, this installation was created to remind us to look beyond the obvious to expand our perceptions.

Through the fresh eyes of a child, unencumbered  and imaginative. Exuberant!

The Teacher's Desk lacks color, reflecting an adult's loss of creative vision, and expresses itself through texture instead. 

The Saguaro boots* ground each scene and contrast the artificiality of  painted plants, representing the impact of human life on desert life, and our responsibility as artists to not only represent the desert, but to protect it.


*A saguaro boot is the hard shell of callus tissue, heavily impregnated with lignin, that a saguarocactus (Carnegiea gigantea) creates to protect the wound created by a bird's nesting house . The bird pecks through the cactus skin, then excavates downward to hollow out a space for its nest.

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Bunny Hill

No matter what trail you find yourself on, you never know what might lie ahead.  On Bunny Hill, expect to find a different perspective, an inspiration, something out of context, something to smile at, a familiar feeling and a nudge to a memory forgotten.  


The mesquite tree that gave birth to Bunny Hill used to stand just 80 feet from this exhibit.  So, in a way, Bunny Hill has been here in the Presidio all along. 

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Details Coming Soon!


Strange Bird

Like the sighting of an exotic bird, the coronavirus landed and stopped us in our tracks. As we contemplate its garish beauty, we cannot lose sight of its naturally programmed intent. Mere humans must keep our eye on this ball until a vaccine comes to neutralize the virus’s deadly power.


Perched at the Presidio

The installation is a landscape of whimsical birds, dragonflies, and other creatures enjoying the backyard.  There are bird baths on pedestals, an array of birds and other critters perched on branches, the ground, and other surfaces. 

Ceramic flowers also dot the landscape.  Color, texture, and mixed media are juxtaposed with humor and a lightness of spirit.

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Wild Ocotillo

Nature captured in steel.


When Mother Earth Said Enough

This piece is representative of how our Earth has responded to the shut down of human activity as a result of the corona virus.


The two little people have a virus
for heads and one is holding the other who has perished from the virus.


The animals are rising and blossoming from the lilies as the humans perish.

Birds of a Feather II

Leaves and vines with our beautifully colored songbirds perched on the vines.


Secret Grotto

A dreamscape where the fish come out for fresh air and to play and frolic.

Pineapple Plant


A simple reminder - if we don't start treating Mother Nature better, she is going to have some surprises for us.



My work is mostly small items because I demonstrate blacksmithing at Renaissance Fairs, Antique Tractor Shows and anywhere they will tolerate a blacksmith. Almost all my tools are made by me and I like to use recycled materials. 

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Details Coming Soon!

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According to Webster, Exuberance means “Full of energy, excitement, vigor, ebullience”...


By manipulating the materials to express an idea or feeling, this piece shows the “exuberant” nature and behavior of migration.


My hope is that it will shake us into the revelation of the importance of Natural Cycles, and how easy it is to destroy nature’s process.  


Mongwu Shrine

My art is best described by what William Morris called “pleasure in doing.”  I believe that making is thinking.

My destination is not a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

I derive great pleasure from re-imagining items found in Nature — ocean rock, driftwood discovered on a Maine beach, gnarled mesquite branches, sacred cottonwood roots found alongside the Santa Cruz River — and transforming them into a new, transcendent reality.

My work has been displayed by The Tubac Center of the Arts, The Harbor Gallery in Rowayton, CT and each year at The Prouts Neck (Maine) Art Show, as well as being included in “1000 Journal Artists,” an anthology of sketchbook artists.


Twisted Buttercup

Hiking around Arizona, I am always fascinated when I see a small bush or cactus growing out of a crack in a rock.  How many years pass before enough fertile soil accumulates in that crack to nurture a seed?  This inspired me to "plant" my steel flower in a rock found while camping near Payson.​​​

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Garden Bench

Sit for a spell on this Art Dec inspired bench and enjoy the gardens.


Celebrating the joy and tenacity of plants as they reach for the sun.


Plain Old Trash

Simple humble plastic trash has much to say to the world.  Stop the madness!  Finding a way to reduce the amount of plastic is by reusing it to make art.  My "tree art" came from a disgust for all the plastic bottles thrown away.  But I also found interest in the different textures of the plastic.  Even in our ugly ways, we can find beauty, turn it into art and give us meaning in our lives.


Hare Me Now

My favorite activity is looking for antelope hares.  I have always had a passion for hares.  Hares are larger than rabbits and have longer ears.  They personify exuberance with the way they play, run and jump as high as 22 feet.  Wilimeana embodies all these exuberant traits. 

Roger Ulrich

Desert Wood

Wood material is selected for size, character, and possible subject matter. Natural flaws are welcomed, including aging cracks, critter holes, blemishes, and fire marks. Work is sculpted from a single piece of wood, which is sometimes difficult for the casual observer to notice. Work is hand formed without the use of lathes or other turning implements. The resultant sculptural shapes provide a unique one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, suitable for centerpiece display.

Mr. Ulrich has several pieces in our exhibit, and most are Mesquite unless otherwise noted:

Floating, Genesis, Nemo (Mesquite-seashells), Portabella Stool, One-Eye (Mesquite-glass), Mesquite Flower (Mesquite-Brass), and Red Boots (Juniper) 







A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Griffin Museum, dedicated to the conservation and preservation of history and art, would like to thank the following for their sponsorship of our outdoor garden art exhibit, The Exuberance!

You have made it possible for local artists to create and show how Tubac gardens can be enhanced with art. Because of your generous support, we are able to invite more visitors to the park and help the Presidio and local businesses thrive.


Most of all, we can maintain Tubac’s reputation for a place Where Art and History Meet!

  • Gayle Bush

  • Kathi and Ron Campana

  • Robert and Candy Clancy

  • Joanna Corrigan and Lew Mylar

  • Mary Dahl

  • Colleen and Pete Foster

  • Connie and George Gessler

  • Kathy and Bill Meeker

  • Anne Moore

  • Bob Ochoa and Debbie Bostian

  • John Schevel

  • Martha Sewell

  • Sharie and Clem Shute

  • Dick and Mary Lou Taggart

  • Tom and Heidi Walsh

  • Karen and Earl Wilson

  • John and Lynn Scheuer

Exuberance the Word
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