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Ever-expanding our connections to the arts and artisans of the Southwest, we’re inviting you to the first in a series of artists’ studio tours and a day mixing it up with four local “metalheads,” artists who embrace metal in all its forms — from molten and twisted to welded and recycled.

First up, Phil Lichtenhan takes “nesting” to a new level, shaping graceful, earthy and naturalistic nests from cast off wires, bands and spikes, providing rusty havens for his delicately patinaed, ceramic eggs. He also explores the desert landscape through paint, charcoal and clay, beautifully merging classical forms with abstract ideas.

Landscape designer Greg Corman began his second career building habitats for native bees. He has now harnessed an innate ability to take the most disparate of materials, the most expansive of ideas, and the sparsest of parts and shape them into visually and conceptually compelling sculptures, assemblages and, of course, habitats.

Another artist drawn to the desert, Mark Rossi sculpts small monuments that celebrate the animal kingdom and covey a lifelong fascination with nature and the history of sculpture. His finished bronzes communicate nature’s tranquility and capture each subject’s unique personality.

Sometimes constructed of an individual’s own “stuff,” the impossibly elongated native figures of David Adix reflect his unique application of the principles of collage and assemblage. Combining found objects with fine art materials, his work moves seamlessly between abstraction and figuration, always yielding works that possess a subtle raw elegance.

Hosted by our Exhibits staff, James Schaub and Karen Hayes, our journey provides a look at the world from each artists’ perspective, an opportunity to engage one-on-one in their private studio and a peek at the magic of creation. Cost includes transportation and lunch at Tucson icon Theresa’s Mosaic Café.

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