Lucky for us, in the past three years a new center for art studios has emerged on the east side of the city. Known as the East Hive, the center is a complex of three former office buildings which are now home to numerous artists’ studios. A stunningly beautiful courtyard in the center of these three diagonally-spaced buildings enhances the beauty of the East Hive. Owner Steven Fenton of Fenton Investment astutely turned over management of the East Hive Studios to long-time Tucsonan Steven Eye of Solar Culture fame. The complex is the largest studio complex in Tucson, and artists can recent space for as low as $150 a month.
While wandering around the three buildings, I met several artists and had a chance to see their work. Among them was Brian Osserman of Osserman Paintings (www.facebook.com/Osserman.Paintings). Brian is working with acrylic to paint on canvas and also to create lovely jewelry and amulet pieces with acrylic work.
I met V. Romero (left below) who is in partnership with Yvette Madison. Their studio, Threading Seams, is where they create original costume designs. (www.facebook.com/ThreadingSeams/) Iris Beaver of Rainbow Goddess Designs (center below) produces innovative “handcrafted headdresses, accessories, jewelry, and festival wear.” (www.rainbowgoddessdesigns.com/ ) Iris showed me her special headdresses ready for holiday festivities. Photographer Ron McCoy (right below) has a working photography studio in the Hive. His specialty is architectural photography, and he also teaches photography classes in his studio. (www.ronmccoyphotography.com/ ) I also stumbled upon a large display of the paintings and drawings of Curtis Kiwak although I was not able to meet and talk to him. (www.curtiskiwak.com/)
Much to my pleasure, I ran into Steven Eye and had a chance to chat with him about the East Hive and about the art scene in general in Tucson. It’s quite clear that Steven has devoted himself for many years to helping the artists of Tucson to thrive and to create art despite the constant challenges we all face. Thank you, Steven! www.solarculture.org/
You can keep up with the East Hive on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/EastHiveTucson
Here’s how you find the East Hive. The complex is located quite close to the Park Place Mall. So go east on Broadway to just past the mall, then south on S. Wilmot to East 14th Street. Turn right (west) onto 14th and go half a block to find the Hive complex on your left (south side). If you miss E. 14th, go to the next turn to the west, Timrod Street. Understand that despite the address of 326 S. Wilmot, the East Hive doesn’t actually open directly onto Wilmot.
Go by and visit!