The Tubac Festival of the Arts kicks off its 50th anniversary tomorrow, through Sunday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Touted as Arizona’s longest-running art festival, the juried show features the work of more than 170 visiting artists, craft persons and musicians from around the country.

Festival booths will line the village streets, mixed among the 100 year-round shops, fine art galleries and working artists’ studios. Horse-drawn trolleys will shuttle visitors around the historic village.

An eclectic variety of arts will be showcased, including watercolors, oil paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, music, gourd art, photography, leather crafts, glass, clothing and wood.

There is no entry fee for the festival; parking in designated lots is $6 per vehicle.

The entertainment lineup includes ongoing art demonstrations, Aztec folk dancing and a variety of music performances.

The Global Change Music record label will present “The Starseed Acoustic Ensemble” with its all original, high-energy folk rock music, and “The Change Agents Band,” expressing social concerns with an exciting world-beat approach. La Entrada de Tubac will feature acoustic music by singer Becky Reyes and old-time Western songs by guitarist William Mack.

Nationally recognized Native American artist Amado Peña designed the 50th anniversary commemorative poster and will be in attendance throughout the festival to meet guests and sign posters. Peña is widely known for his use of vibrant colors and bold lines.

The Festival Food Court will offer a variety of ethnic foods including Greek, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, barbecue and Southwestern fare. There will be All-American favorites such as burgers, chili dogs, curly fries, funnel cakes, ice cream, kettle corn and roasted nuts.

There will be a handicapped parking lot and drop-off area at La Entrada de Tubac, 2221 E. Frontage Road. Take Exit 34 off I-19 and head north on the East Frontage Road. La Entrada de Tubac is just past the main village entrance (which will be closed during festival). There will be no left turns allowed on southbound east frontage road into the handicapped lot. In addition, there will be handicapped drop-off areas on Burruel Street at the east side of the village.

Here is a sampling of the special events planned during the Tubac Festival:

* C. Curry Studio & Gallery, 2221 E. Frontage Road, M-101

Artist demonstrations on Friday and Saturday: Thomas Moxley of Santa Fe will be painting. Sara Lawless will have her “Sky People.” David Bruce will design and fabricate birdhouses.

* Clay Hands Gallery & Studio, 5 Camino Otero

Resident potter Diane Lisle will demonstrate and talk about her work. Local artist Jack James will demonstrate custom tile tables.

* Cobalt Gallery, 5 Camino Otero

Visiting artist Natasha Isenhour brilliant colorist and painter will talk and demonstrate, Friday-Sunday. Painter Neil Myers, featured painter in Southwest Art magazine, will demonstrate, Friday.

* Feminine Mystique Art Gallery, 2221 E. Frontage Road, C-102

Featuring demonstrating artists every day from 1-4 p.m.: Nancy Corrigan will be doing an oil painting, Sherry Darrah will be doing a watercolor, Jennifer Hocking will be creating with sculpting clay, and Madonna Lane will be doing a watercolor, all at La Entrada.

* The Karin Newby Gallery Sculpture Garden, 19 Tubac Road, will host the “Together Rising Sculpture Event” Feb. 6-8, featuring the top sculptors working in Southwestern art. Visitors will enjoy demonstrations, talks and sculpture garden tours conducted by the artists themselves. Artists scheduled to attend include Star York, Bill Worrell, Mark White, David Unger, Rebecca Tobey, Gary Lee Price, Pokey Park, James G. Moore, Connie Hendrix, Jim Eppler, Esther Benedict, and John Arenskov.

* La Vina, 12 Plaza Road

Hosting a wine tasting, Friday and Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.

* Out of the Way Galleria, 29 Tubac Plaza

Enjoy demonstrations of “works in progress” by featured artist Kamon Lilly, a nationally known and award-winning gourd artist. Demonstrations daily, noon to 3 p.m.

* The Red Door Gallery, 10 Plaza Road

Featuring paintings by CK Wearden and artist demonstrations Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also featuring Arizona jewelry designer P. Reinking.

* Renee Taylor Gallery, 8 Plaza Road

Artist demonstrations Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Painter David Flitner known for capturing the desert with his canvas and paints. Charles Duncan known for his crystalline silver and gold jewelry—one of kind pieces of wearable art. Charles will present new designs and can design a custom piece of jewelry.

* Tohono Village Trading Post, 10 Camino Otero

Showcasing a variety of Native American artists, performers and foods in the Tohono Village courtyard.

* Chucki Begay, Navajo writer and musician, will perform on Saturday. Chucki infuses her traditional Dine’ culture into her songs and performances. The Hopi Senom Dance Group, under the leadership of Forrest Chimerica, will perform traditional Hopi dances including the beautiful butterfly dance Saturday.

Attending artists who will be discussing their work and demonstrating include: Rose Ann Ghahati (Zuni) fetish carver; Virginia Boone (Navajo) “Medicine of the People” herbalist; Otto Lucio (Zuni) jeweler; Ellouise Padilla (Sando Domingo) jeweler; Ella Riggs (Hopi) jeweler; Howard Sice (Laguna) jeweler; Louis David Valenzuela (Pascua Yaqui) carved masks and figures; and members of the Tohono O’odham Community Action displaying basketry.

Traditional native foods will be offered for sale including frybread topped with pueblo chili, traditional Hopi piki bread and parched corn (Hopi popcorn).

* Wisdom’s Cafe, 1931 E. Frontage Road

Live music by local favorite Eduardo Valencia on Friday until 9 p.m.

The Tubac Festival of the Arts is sponsored by the Tubac Chamber of Commerce with support from Commerce Bank of Arizona and Volvo of Tucson.

For more information, contact the chamber (520) 398-2704 or visit

(Ford can be reached at