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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Kathi and Ron Campana
Robert and Candy Clancy
Joanna Corrigan and Lew Mylar
Colleen and Pete Foster
Connie and George Gessler
Kathy and Bill Meeker
Bob Ochoa and Debbie Bostian
Sharie and Clem Shute
Dick and Mary Lou Taggart
Tom and Heidi Walsh
Karen and Earl Wilson
John and Lynn Scheuer