Tohono Chul’s Permanent Collection consists of artworks and artifacts representative of the Nature, Art, and Culture of the Sonoran Desert Region. Ranging from basketry and fiber arts to sculptural works and paintings, works from the Permanent Collection are displayed through our Quarterly “Collection Spotlight” and periodically in our thematic exhibitions.
Many of the sculptural works on the grounds are Permanent Collection items, including work by Mark Rossi, Fred Borcherdt, Ned Egen, and many others on display year-round.
CURRENT COLLECTION SPOTLIGHT:
Fore-summer and Summer Monsoon
These gouache paintings are from a series by Michael Chiago which he was commissioned to create for Tohono Chul’s Saguaro Discovery Trail. The project explores the importance of the saguaro for the Tohono O’odham people. Chiago is a well-known Tohono O’odham artist born on the O’odham reservation west of Tucson. The Tohono O’odham New Year begins with the saguaro harvest and the coming of the monsoon rains. Pastoral Desert Scene (left) depicts a variety of Sonoran Desert plants and animals with a mountain range in the background. The white flowers visible on the saguaros indicate the scene is taking place in fore-summer (late April -May) before the flowers have been pollinated and the dark red saguaro fruit appears. Juxtaposing this scene is Monsoon Rain Storm (right). The Sonoran Desert’s fifth season, Summer Monsoon has arrived – the summer rain washes through the desert. The sky is dark, lightning flashes, and animals seek cover.
Image: Michael Chiago . Pastoral Desert Scene and Monsoon Rain Storm . Commissioned with funding from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly the Tucson Pima Arts Council) . 2003.2.1 and 2003.2.8
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