Genn Riggs Paper Artistby Tyler Woods on Oct. 31, 2012, under Artist
Tucson is flourishing with artists. We are fortunate to be part of a wonderful community of artists and today Tucson Biz Beat salutes Gene Riggs. She is a retired art and writing teacher. Riggs started to draw from the time she could first hold a pencil. She filled pad after pad with drawings, later, drawings and writings. There are many artists on both sides of her family and she says, ” My parents were not surprised by this and encouraged me, sent me to Saturday morning art school when I was six.”
Gene says that at the age of seven, she was drawing stick pictures of girls in bathing suits for the boys in her second grade class. She said it was in the 1940s, “Who would think that seven-year old boys could get so excited about pictures of teen aged girls?”
Riggs, made books, wrote books, illustrated books, throughout her childhood. Now it seems natural that she would spend the later years of her life going back to that and believes “I was ready to incorporate what I had learned teaching as well as life experiences into something that made me feel happy and productive.”
Productive is what Gene Riggs is. I have seen her work and am always amazed what can be done with paper. She can do almost anything with paper, including making some of the paper she works with. I would call her the “Martha Stewart” of the art world. She needs to be because she likes the idea that her art can be used. “I even like it that it can be abused.” says Riggs. “It’s fun for me to see kids wear out my books for children. Certainly handmade books are not as here today gone tomorrow as say, sand castles or chalk art on sidewalks, and if made with acid free papers and kept nicely on a coffee table they can probably last forever. But I think it’s fun to see books I’ve made take on the wear and tear of usage.”
Books, cards, wall pieces, mobiles, cookbooks, poetry, you name it Gene Riggs creates it. She often sell from her studio and does several shows a year. She keeps her prices low, wanting to make only enough money to buy art supplies. Riggs works daily all summer to produce art so she can have a good “store” for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. “Of course I am in my studio working at all times, but summer is my main thrust.”
If you want to see some of Gene Riggs work she is doing a “Show and Sell” event Thursday November 8th from 10:ooam-3:00pm at Murphy Gallery at St Philips Church. Gene Riggs will be there to show off her collection of paper art work. To find out exactly where or to visit her studio or get some great pictures of her work, drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tucson Biz Beat salutes Gene Riggs for living in Tucson for 29 years and gifting us with her skill, her artwork and her knowledge that surrounds art. She has passion about her art, and about the Old Pueblo, which is often showcased in her fine art work.