Metal Arts Village

It Took A Village To Make Artists


(Photo: People gather from all over Tucson once a month under the full moon)


Metal Arts Village Part One

    The Metal Arts Village is a dozen studios for different artists in Tucson. Stephen Kimble is the creator of Metal Arts Village. He created MAV originally because he didnít have any more space at his home studio. "I outgrew my studio; I was looking for a bigger studio. I couldnít find what I was looking for. So, I said I canít be the only one looking for a studio and canít find it soÖ Iím going to build it." And then, Stephen did exactly that. He built a dozen studios on a large plot of land on the corner of Dodge and Ft. Lowell. "I would rather work around other people. So, I thought if I could have a studio where there is other creative people around, it would make me a better artist." Stephen got together with other artists who work in similar and other mediums like steel, bronzes and glass. Together they make even better works of art than if they were just working alone. "Itís the collaboration (of artists) that really makes this a good project", says Steven.

(Photo: Ryan Blackmer of Blackmer Studios Polishes a wood carving)

    Ryan Blackmer of Blackmer Studios is a woodworking artist who has only been at MAV for the past year. He appreciates the entire concept of the art village and it has helped his creativity and workflow. "To me, this was a perfect opportunity because before this I was doing POP-UP Markets. Iíd have to load up the truck, go to an event, set up, Iíd inadvertently break something. And then I had to reverse that entire process in order to leave for the dayÖ With the Open Studio Under The Full Moon, I can set up in here, I roll a couple things around.. and I just roll up the door, and I have everybody just come up to me". The convenience of the multiple artists in one area attracts a myriad of visitors every month. This is the interesting fact of this group. While many of the artists are open throughout the month, not all of them are in their respective studios except one night a month. The night of the full moon. This is the only day that every artist is in their studio so the public can visit each and every one of them.

(Photo: Genia Parker checks symmetry on a mural)

    Genia Parker, of Ochoa Stained Glass, is amazed at the way the artists all work together. "Itís been phenomenal from the standpoint of the collaboration and the opportunity to help one another". Genia, along with other artists at MAV, loans their tools out to each other in order to help other artistís projects go smoothly.

(Photo: Al Glann of Glann Studios next to one of his sculptures)

    Al Glann of Glann Studios creates sculptures of various animals like birds and horses. "Iíve been part of this community for about seven years. Itís been a really good place to be. Were very supportive of one another. We have a good space to work here and a good group people to work with. If you need any help, thereís someone usually around to give you a hand".

(Photo: A good crowd at Tucson Hops Shop)

    One of the attractions that you wouldnít expect to find at and artist village is a beer and wine bar. David Zugerman Co-Owner of Tucson Hops Shop has brought a different form of art to the MAV. "Weíre a craft beer and wine bar. We serve locally made beers, nationally made beers, and internationally made beers and wines". David goes on to remark about the full moon nights, "Some of the biggest nights weíve had have been the full moon nights. Usually is been a big party for the community".

(Photo: People gather as the bands set up for the evening of music and art)

    Under The Full Moon is very much a party. There are bands that entertain and food served outside for everyone to enjoy. Hundreds of people come out to enjoy the festivities once a month. The full moon nights are the best way to meet all of the artists and talk to them about their work with the public. David adds that what Tucson Hop Shop does for the full moon nights. "What we are able to do is add beer to that"..

(Photo: Everett Grondin from Dog Lix Designs has his art displayed outside his shop)

    Everett Grondin from Dog Lix Design has been at MAV from the beginning. "We moved in on the day that we could move in. and itís been a really neat experience. Every artist thatís ever been through here has been real fun to work with. We collaborate a lot together. For me itís been a life saver because I was involved with mainly construction. When the recession hit, I had no public notoriety. So being here threw me out into the public".

    Metal Arts Village is a great collaboration of artists with various mediums. This motley group of people get together to form a fantastic crew of artists who share themselves with the rest of Tucson. On the next full moon, perhaps a visit to Metal Arts Village is a great way to spend an evening, by yourself or bring all your friends.


Part two is continued in the next issue.


Story by Hawke Taylore





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