A true Arizona legend and character was the artist Ettore ‘Ted’ DeGrazia. Born in the mining town of Morenci, Ted grew up the son of Italian immigrants. When the mine closed the family eventually moved back to Italy, where Ted spent his informative years, before returning at the age of 14 when the mines reopened.
He made his way to Tucson at age 23 and enrolled in the University of Arizona, working as a musician and landscaper to pay his way. It was here he became an artist, eventually becoming renown enough to work as an apprentice for Diego Rivera.
He had a studio in the city of Tucson, but decided he wanted to escape to the desert, so he bought 10 acres in what was then remote land along the mountain foothills. That land now makes up De Grazia’s Gallery in the Sun.
The main building houses much of his life’s work.
The gallery is much more than just the works of art in the main building. Ted built numerous buildings and other structures on the property.
One courtyard has a desert garden.
The day of our visit coincided with the Fiesta de Guadalupe. This festival included music and dancers, we were fortunate enough to see the Ballet Folkorico.
The Gallery in the Sun is a unique place well worth the visit.