An Artist’s Shangri La In Tucsonby Charles Spillar on Jul. 07, 2009, under arts
Shangri La is the term used when a place is regarded as an earthly paradise, especially when involving a retreat from the pressures of modern civilization. It represents a place of beauty, peace and creativity. A few Tucson artists have found their own Shangri La right here in our city. It is called Placita de la Luna
At my first visit I felt as if I had been transported from Tucson to San Miguel Allende, an historical artists colony in Mexico for over 50 years. It offers the same peaceful feeling, architecture and beauty.
This artist’s retreat is just a short distance from downtown and many Tucsonans drive by it every day not knowing of its existence. The structure has been here since 1934. It was originally a home, made of adobe dug from the site and hand formed by members of the Pasqui Yaqui tribe. The owners lived on the reservation just south of the building. The home was enlarged over the decades as the family’s needs grew.
These serene surroundings have attracted some of our best southwest artists to locate studios here. The professional artists title their group: The Tucson Artist’s Colony. (http://www.tucsonartistcolony.com) The artists practice their creativity at the facility and also teach classes in their uniquely designed classroom. (http://www.tucsonartistcolony.com/TucsonArtClasses.html)
The professional artists presently in The Tucson Artists Colony are:
PHIL STARKE http://www.philstarke.com Outstanding western oil painter and teacher.
It only takes one visit to this peaceful treasure to understand the artist’s attraction. The owners, Greg and Susan Alexander, practice water harvesting, passive solar heating, thick adobe walls, recycling, and even have bicycle parking. They have created desert friendly landscaping, and will be installing water features this winter. In the late fall they will have openings for a professional ceramic artist in the new kiln area, and will be looking for a welded steel artist as an upcoming addition.
Placita de la Luna is located at 2409 N. Castro. (One block west of Stone and Grant) An eclectic mix of exterior businesses almost surround the beautiful inner complex. Ample parking is in the rear.