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? Email James Schaub, Curator of Exhibitions:

Exhibitions currently on display:

Encompassing Arizona

Main Gallery | Virtual

Since 1985, Tohono Chul’s Exhibits Program has consistently worked with more Arizona artists than any other organization in the state. Encompassing Arizona is a rotating, revolving, and evolving invitational exhibition that presents a wide variety of artworks and a broad range of disciplines that process from a diverse roster of Arizona artists. Featuring established and emerging artists from across the state, the Main Gallery is an active space with new work installed with great frequency.

Image: Susan Libby | Saguaro Melody | mixed media

Queen Of The Night

Entry Gallery | June 18 – July 25, 2021

She is called the Queen of the Night, La Reina de La Noche, or the Night Blooming Cereus and every summer, for one night only, whatever she may be called, Peniocereus greggii becomes the Belle of the Ball, the superstar of the Sonoran Desert. The Cinderella-like cactus looks like a dead stick for most of the year but transforms herself in the early summer months, blooming alongside many plants in the area and then closes forever by morning’s light.

Tohono Chul possesses 400 Peniocereus greggii, the largest private collection in the world. Many of these curious cacti were found growing in the park with others being donated over the years, some being saved from the bulldozer’s blade. The number of flowers blooming in one night has been as many as 174 on 69. As beautiful and enchanting as the blooms of the Night Blooming Cereus are, what happens in the dry desert dirt and in the nighttime sky is as fascinating as the wondrous white blooms. Maintaining and sustaining the plant below ground is a turnip-like tuberous root and up in the sky, the tireless pollination of the Hawk Moth. The whole cycle is a marvelous story of courage, endurance, perseverance.

29 years ago, in June of 1992 Tohono Chul held its inaugural Bloom Night. Docent, Betty Carras provided a vivid recollection of the night: “Watching carefully, we could actually see the opening spurts of the blossoms. Slowly, but inexorably, the bud became a flower. Ghostly white, it gradually opened its funnel-shaped blossom—becoming more aromatic as it increased in size. By the time its slender white petals were almost fully opened and the flower nearly five inches across, it was extremely fragrant. The velvet-like embrace of warm night air, the magic of a sweet-scented evening and the distant chorus of singing coyotes made it truly a night to remember.” It was a casual affair outside the shop with a little over 20 people bearing witness. One plant produced six flowers while another plant produced one. From that evening a Tucson tradition was born. Since that first string of phone calls by a dedicated few, word has spread and now with each Bloom Night, over a thousand visitors experience something absolutely mysterious and incredibly magical.

Image: Erinn Kennedy | Night Blooming Cereus | acrylic on birch panel

The Collections Corner

Welcome Gallery | Ongoing

Tohono Chul is a unique urban desert garden with nature trails and cultural programs. In the 1980s, the Wilsons established Tohono Chul, a 37-acre parcel of land, to protect and preserve a piece of the Sonoran Desert, and donated 65 pieces from Suzanne Colton Wilson’s collection to establish Tohono Chul’s Permanent Collection. Today, we have grown to 49 acres with a collection of over 350 objects.

Over the years, unique vintage objects from five collections have been gifted but not accessioned into the Tohono Chul Permanent Collection and are now available for purchase. The Collections Corner helps support the Gardens, Galleries, and Programs with 100% of each sale going directly to Tohono Chul. The Collections Corner offers a rare opportunity to acquire museum-quality artwork, jewelry, and objects.

Image: Feli-Jojola | Black, White and Red Geometric Design Greenware Jar | Smith Collection

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


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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