Current Exhibitions

The Exhibits Program at Tohono Chul presents visual stories linking the nature, culture and arts of the Southwest. Focusing on the work of regional artists, we display vibrant works of art in a diverse array of thematic group exhibits. The charming adobe Exhibit House, built as a private home in 1937, is an ideal environment for visitors to view Southwestern artworks. 50% all exhibit sales help fund programs at Tohono Chul.

Questions? Please contact the Exhibits Department, exhibits@tohonochul.org

Exhibitions currently on display:

The Elements – Earth

Main Gallery

November 19, 2021 – February 2, 2022

Curator’s Talk: Tuesday, November 23 and Thursday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m.

Reception with the Artists: Thursday, December 2nd | 5:30pm – 8:00pm

With a special performance by Gamelan Dewi Malam

Reception is free and open to the public, no reservations required. Masks are required in the Galleries and Courtyards

EARTH is the first exhibition in the series, The ELEMENTS. The series will investigate how artists utilize the elements of fire, air, water, and earth as medium, process, and subject. And how, as a subject, these elements reflect some of the social, economic, political, and environmental issues Arizona currently faces.

The exhibitions of FIRE, WATER, and AIR will follow. The sequence of the three projects will be determined by the number and quality of the entries received.

The crux of each installment is to contemplate human presence and responsibility (or lack of); move toward, hover, and dig at the intersection of art and science, all the while remaining focused on medium, process, and subject; never losing sight of the beauty, wonder, and essence before you.

The Elements – Earth features 65 works from 41 Arizona artists including:

David Adix, Timothy Arand-McIlrath, Helen Baribeau, Susanna Battin, Tom Baumgartner, Jan Bell, Cathi Borthwick and Sharon Richards, Sasha Case, Nancy Charak, David Christiana, Hanna Coy, Diana Creighton, Patrick Doss, Olivier Dubois-Cherrier, Karen Fisher, Jill Friedberg, David Griffin, Lyn Hart, Tracy Holmes, Brian Hooker, Kate Hoover, Margit Kagerer, David Knorr, William Lesch, Kate Long-Hodges, Susan Lyman, Jan Mayer, Anne Muñoz, Danielle Neibling, Len Poliandro, Curt Pradelt, Shelley Rothgeb, Lyle Rayfield, Dee Ruff, Dana Senge, Matthew Valiquette, Virginia Vovchuk, Paul Waid, Shelly White, and Janet Windsor

Images (detail) | clockwise from upper left | Curt Pradelt, Susan Lyman, Tom Baumgartner, and Cathi Borthwick and Sharon Richards


HOLLY SWANGSTU | Forgotten Soil

Entry Gallery

November 19, 2021  – January 2, 2022

The Entry Gallery Project Space series offers Arizona artists an intimate space for cohesive projects. Tucson artist, Holly Swangstu, employs thin strips of colorful hand-dyed cotton fabric in moody vertical and horizontal compositions that evoke the desert’s light, sky, and landscape.

“I am a landscape painter.

Though fabric is my primary medium, I have always been reluctant to call myself a “fiber artist.” When I work, I consider myself to be drawing and painting. I find joy in exploring line, color, mood, and expression, only I am using torn strips of hand-dyed fabric in lieu of traditional paint or pencil. Like many artistic approaches that utilize alternative media, my painting style is inextricably linked to a specific and rigorous process. The first step in that process is dying the fabric, which I liken to an oil painter grinding her own pigments from raw minerals, then adding the pigment to a binding agent to create the paint.

It is a slow and technical process that ultimately yields the raw materials from which my paintings can then be constructed. Creating the material to paint with is very much its own experience, and often quite apart from the creative act of developing an actual composition. I learned how to sew as a very young child. I spent college years and beyond making my own textiles, using both computerized and handlooms, I am very comfortable with slow and accretive work methods.

Though my art has departed from traditional weaving techniques, it still shares that decidedly tactile, very gradual, layering approach. Much like the frames of the looms I used to rely on, I stretch my strips of fabric across wooden armatures, carefully overlapping each one and allowing for frayed edges to add organic and textural interest. I often refer to the majority of my work as colorscapes; though evocative of the source of inspiration, most typically the sweeping landscapes of the Southwestern United States and Coastal Mexico, they are rarely directly referential to a specific location. My colorscapes are approached with the same attitude that someone else might write in a journal, documenting impressions and memories with an eye towards a personal, underlying narrative.

My goal, however, is never to focus specifically on journalistic detail, but rather to capture the feeling and emotional impact of nature, interpreting it into a largely abstract context.”


RALPH PRATA | Whatever it Takes 

Welcome Gallery

November 19, 2021 – February 2, 2022

RALPH PRATA | Whatever it Takes looks into the inventive mind of Tucson artist Ralph Prata and reveals the new sculptural discoveries he made during a closed down and quiet 2020-21. Going for long walks in the desert, Prata decided to take whatever he found and do whatever it takes to keep his creativity moving forward.


Art du Jour | William Lesch

Garden Bistro

Art du Jour features artwork by local and regional artists displayed throughout the dining rooms of the Garden Bistro. The work of longtime Tucson artist, William Lesch is currently featured in the Garden Bistro. Lesch is one of the region’s most recognized artists. He is an extraordinary photographer and a meticulous craftsman. He finds this world a miraculous place, and photography a means to explore it.

Art in the Gardens

Gardens

Sculpture from Tohono Chul’s Permanent Collection including Mark Rossi, Fred Borcherdt, Kioko Mwitiki, David Weinert, Greg Corman, Ned Egan, along with work for sale by Tucson artists Joy Fox, Phil Lichtenhan, Tidhar Ozeri and more can be discovered throughout the gardens.


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