25th annual Oracle Artist Studio Tour: A weekend in the high desert April 8 and 9

Diana Creighton

Seeing art where it is made and talking with the artists is an event any time, but it’s a really memorable experience among the oaks and granite boulders in the Arizona high desert on the north slope of the Catalina Mountains. This year the opportunity comes on April 8 and 9 when Oracle’s art community will welcome visitors to the town’s 25th annual Artist Studio Tour. Go to www.oraclestudiotour.com.

The work, all original and hand-made and offered directly by the artists, is wide-ranging and eclectic. It includes paintings in oil, watercolor and encaustic, drawings in pastel and ink, decorative and functional pottery, fine-art photography, clay, steel and iron sculpture, glasswork, jewelry, ceramic wall hangings, fiber art, found-object sculptures, collage, woodwork, decorative gourds and even handmade bee-houses.

Finding the studios is easy. Pick up a self-guiding map at the Welcome/Visitor Center at 1470 American Avenue where you also will see a sample of each artist’s work. This year more than 40 artists are showing. Using the map, just follow the purple roadside signs. Here’s what you will see.

At the Wilson Barn, watercolors by Jill Caid, Nyla Butler, Margie Buchanan and Vonnie West, and photography by Jim Caid. At Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle’s historic artists’ colony, Margo Burwell screen prints and jewelry, Joy Fox (McGrew) clay sculptures, Allegra Howell woodwork, Martin Levowitz paintings, photography and sculptures, Andrew Rush print-making and watercolor. At the Oracle Art Station, Jenny Kilb acrylic and digital paintings, Jenine Mayer figurative drawing, painting and collage, Dan Blanco painting, Laurel Roth jewelry, Carolann Small fiber art, Margy Smith paintings and multi-media, and Marguerite Wainio fused-glass and beaded jewelry.

At Arcadia Ranch Museum, Glennda Neff hand-built stoneware, Theresa Poalucci acrylic painting, Laura Stiltner ceramic wall hangings and jewelry, Rich Vokoun artwork from gourds and Risa Waldt painting and drawing. Creighton Studio and Screen Porch: Diana Creighton oils and clay sculpture, Judy Walsh encaustic painting and jewelry, Joel Nilsson handmade pottery for everyday use and Ned Creighton steel whimsey. Mud Pie Studio: Sue Armbrust handmade pottery, Alicia Bristow jewelry.

Triangle L Ranch: Sharon Holnbeck iron sculpture and glasswork, Susan Daigneault bee-houses and bird-feeders and Karen Medley clay sculpture and pottery plus a sculpture path and an adobe barn exhibition. Art Under The Oaks: Carolyn Blair acrylic painting. Budd Studio: Colin Budd porcelain stoneware and Neilma Budd mixed media paintings. Cowlin Studio: Barbara Cowlin acrylic water reflections and James Cowlin fine-art photograpy.

Subset Studio: Scott LeGear photography. Tenery Studio: Jan Tenery pastel miniatures. Hair Country: MaryHelen Vasquez watercolor and oils.

Branch/Szekely. Quentin Branch and Julie Szekely rammed earth construction.