Art flourishes in the desert.
At the Tubac Art Festival, streets are closed to traffic, excepting horse drawn wagons, and tents are set up while parking attendants put on their lime colored jackets and sunscreen.
Two of the parking lots are already full of cars by ten thirty, and, in the third lot, sightseers are getting their shoes dusty walking across dirt fields towards the Art Festival. Tubac is festive and shows us old and new restaurants, galleries, gift shops, restaurants, bars, white tents sheltering exhibitors.
Tubac itself is off Highway 19, between Tucson and Nogales, and, according to brother Alan, is much different since his last visit.
” None of that was here, ” he remarks and points at a cluster of retail shops, each one trying to attract buyers like flowers attracting bees.
This is the prime time of the year for retailers and a proprietor shows us his hand woven rugs from around the world as we zip in to look at curios.
” Is it hard to make it here in the summer, ” I ask?
The man squints a bit as if he were outside in a spotlight sun.
” We do the best we can, ” he says, ” you have to be adaptable. ”
This annual festival will draw thousands and some will buy. Most will look, socialize, eat, deal with parking and logistics, take pictures.
Art, for me, is always a festival.