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Contact: Sally Krommes,
TPAC Events and Public Art Coordinator
(520) 624-0595 ext. 16

News Release:

TUCSON, AZ - A record-setting 167 artists in the growing arts mecca of metropolitan Tucson will participate in the 2009 Open Studio Tour presented by the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

This Southwestern city of one million is culturally and artistically rich. Its roots are deep, the climate moderate and the lifestyle relaxed. The quality of light attracts and inspires many artists who call Southern Arizona home.

The Open Studio Tour features prominent and emerging artists - including those whose art is exhibited in New York and London galleries, has won national and international juried awards and is in private and corporate collections as well as the Smithsonian.

This 20-year tradition includes a preview exhibition from Oct. 29 through Nov. 12, a meet-the-artists reception on Nov. 12 and the weekend tour on Nov. 14 and 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Open Studio Tour is the one weekend each year when collectors, residents and tourists can visit artists working in virtually every medium in their creative spaces - from downtown barrios to foothills studios and open-air desert sanctuaries.

Tucson Pima Arts Council organizes this annual art event and publishes a detailed program with maps to the studios. This program also is a full-color 14-month calendar featuring images from every participating artist. It is available at locations citywide and is posted on the Arts Council website. For details of the event, visit the website at

Tucson was first known for acclaimed Western painters and Native American artisans. Today's visual art scene is far more scintillating and diverse - including "super realist" sculptor Mark Rossi, award-winning Latino muralista Luis Mena and Yaqui artist David Valenzuela.

Here's a preview of 10 prominent artists participating in the 2009 Open Studio Tour:

Gary Auerbach, Platinum Photography - Auerbach specializes in a painstaking and costly process dating from 1873, producing rare luminous platinum photographs. Many of his portraits are of Native Americans. Some are in the Smithsonian collection. In May 2009 he was featured in the Royal Photographic Society Journal and in September 2009 in the juried competition in SOHO Photo Gallery in New York City.

Diane Young, Painting - Young's connection to the natural world permeates her oil-on-linen art - the award-winning result of natural ability, years of field observation and study of the masters. Her paintings have been in juried exhibitions including Oil Painters of America, Salon International and American Women Artists. She received an award of distinction from the American Impressionists Society.

Tom Philabaum, Glass - He is widely exhibited nationally and readily shares his talent and techniques. He's given workshops and demonstrations in Iceland, Germany, Mexico and Japan and served on the boards of the Glass Art Society and American Crafts Council. He received the $25,000 Arizona Arts Award in recognition of his significant contribution to the growth and development of the arts in Arizona.

Dana Smith, Clay / Ceramics - Smith's whimsical and humorous creations integrate animal and human forms and emotions. Many reference imagery from ancient cultures to the present. She's won awards in national and international juried shows, including the Kellogg purchase award at the "Ink and Clay" juried exhibition in Pomona, California and a jurors' award in the Arizona Designer Craftsmen show.

Elizabeth Frank, Mixed Media / Sculpture - Frank hunts for distressed discarded urban materials and gathers fallen and reclaimed wood, combining them into story-telling creations. Her award-winning work is in private and corporate collections, as well as galleries on the East Coast, Texas and California. She's featured in the "Wood Art Today."

Cynthia Miller, Mixed Media / Painting - Miller studied creative writing, traveled Europe, then developed a poetic approach to painting at the San Francisco Institute of Art. She combines acrylic paint, chalk pastels with oil paint stick and graphite to create an intensity of color. She's exhibited at the Cue Art Foundation in New York and won the prestigious Arizona Arts Award from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Tidhar Ozeri, Metals / Sculpture - Born in Jerusalem, Ozeri studied industrial design, then jewelry design and metalwork at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and won awards there. His jewelry was featured in the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv and he's He taught jewelry design at the Art Institute of Old Jaffa. He moved to Tucson in 2002 where he creates sculpture, furniture, fountains and jewelry.

Janet K. Miller, Reverse Glass Painting - Miller encountered reverse glass painting while living in West Africa. This traditional yet obscure art form involves painting backwards on the wrong side of clear glass. She taught herself the technique in 1993 by studying the pieces she had by Babacar Lo, a Senegalese artist. Miller illustrated the book "Efrain of the Sonoran Desert - A Lizard's Life Among the Seri Indians."

Marvin Shaver, Mixed Media - He melts beeswax on a wood panel, moving and shaking it to achieve a heavily textured surface on which he paints abstractions meant to defy classification. Shaver's fascination with scale began in grade school when he first examined magnified cells. He's exhibited regularly in Arizona, plus group shows in Santa Fe, Toronto and England.

Mariana Carreras, Painting - Carreras has exhibited in Europe and Latin America as well as received prizes and fellowships for her oil paintings. She graduated from George Washington University and is Lead Art Faculty at Pima Community College in downtown Tucson. She frequently lectures at the Tucson Museum of Art.

For desert-dwelling Tucsonans, autumn color can mean the vivid, vibrant hues of new art, not the changing leaves on trees. All over Pima County, people are experimenting and creating new works. Engaging with artists "at home" can be far more casual, intriguing and revealing than meeting them at a gallery exhibit.

In addition to the Open Studio Tour, the Arts Council oversees public art programs for the City of Tucson and Pima County, producing more than 100 public art installations. The Community Arts program serves neighborhoods and rural areas, including artist residencies.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Tucson Pima Arts Council is the designated local arts agency for the City of Tucson and Pima County. TPAC is the largest regional funder of the arts, awarding more than $350,000 to56 arts organizations this year. It promotes arts and culture as a vital part of Southern Arizona, providing support to artists and communities through grants, technical assistance, public art programming, advocacy, promotion and special projects.
For more information, visit or call 520-624-0595.


Gary Auerbach Platinum Photographer 1 (520) 245 - 6730
2730 N. Pantano Rd.
Tucson, Arizona, USA 85715
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