On Sunday, October 24, the Tucson J welcomed an estimated 250 guests for “A Celebration of Sculpture,” an inaugural festival marking the opening of its Sculpture Garden and Indoor Fine Art Gallery exhibits. Nine new works joined the J’s robust collection of more than 40 sculptures by local, national, and international artists in the garden. This year’s outdoor exhibit was juried by Linda Ahearn of Toscana Studio and Art Gallery, Michelle Conklin of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, and Pat Dolan, local artist and teacher. The diverse show will be up for one year, and features work by Al Glann, Adam Homan, Alex Heveri, Gary Slater, Gedion Nyanhongo, Joan Waters, Tony von Isser, Pamela Ambrosio, and Paul Orzech. Inside in the Fine Art Gallery, an exhibit of 18 smaller-scale sculptures were on display and will remain through the end of the month.
As they strolled leisurely through the exhibits, members of the Tucson community enjoyed live music from Rebecca Foreman, Leila Lopez, Nathaniel Burnside, Stu Mellan’s Birks Works Quintet, and a jazz quartet led by Paul Green. Some guests snacked on bagels from new, local Jewish-owned shop Bubbe’s Bagels, or treated themselves to a cup of Bella’s Gelato, while others listened to artist talks or took time for a quiet moment in the adjacent Garden of Hope. Children were welcome at the event as well, and participated in hands-on art activities presented by the Tucson Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Tucson, and the J’s Taglit Day Program.
“We see the J as a destination to experience art, and the Sculpture Garden, adjacent Garden of Hope and Fine Art Gallery are really at the heart of our facility,” said Jennifer Selco, the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at the J. “We were so grateful to have the opportunity to welcome the public back to these spaces and look forward to continuing the J’s legacy of art appreciation throughout the year,” she said.
Starting Sunday, November 14 from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., the J will host Second Sunday art events each month that serve as openings for revolving exhibits in the Fine Art Gallery. For the first event, attendees can view, “In Conversation” by Lauren Harvey (of blessed memory) and Suzanne Poirier. The Sculpture Garden, Garden of Hope, and Fine Art Gallery are open to the public during the J’s regular hours of operation – 5 a.m.- 8:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 5 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays; and 7a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.