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Images: (Left) The Lowe House was a home for the Lowe family from 1868 to 1955. (Facing page) images of Lowe House programs courtesy of Nancy Valentine.

patio. Studio space for working and exhibition space are also provided in the residence. The Lowe House is on Calle Iglesia, across the street to the north from the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. Valentine said a room in the house dates back to Tubac’s Spanish Colonial Era from 1752 to 1821 and it appears on a 1767 map of Tubac. From 1868 to 1905, it was home to Wilhelm Henry Lowe and his wife, Espirdiona. Three sons of the couple attended school in Tubac at the 1885 Schoolhouse now located in the Presidio Park.



rtist in residency programs have been popular in other parts of the United States for a century, but in Tubac that opportunity has only been available the past two years.

Venture two or three blocks east from the entrance to Tubac, and you’ll come upon buildings that have been standing for 150 years or more. One of Tubac’s oldest structures has had a recent rebirth and been the locale for dozens of arts and crafts workshops, with more in the planning stages. Nancy Valentine heads the Lowe House Project, located in Old Town Tubac where her artist parents, Hans and Marion Valentine, owned the residence for many years. Valentine, herself a writer, said the project, which invites artists to be in residence for a period of time, includes workshops on decorative papers and handmade artists’ books, poetry workshops, holiday gift workshops, memoir writing, silk fusion paper making, and Chinese sewing box book making, among others. In January, songwriter Sharman Nittoli, during her two-week residency, developed an original musical play about Territorial Tubac with Tubac’s Montessori de Santa Cruz students which was then performed for the community by the children. Other activities have been based on authors and photographers giving talks to audiences about their books and their work.

Nancy Valentine manages the Lowe House in Old Town Tubac where artists in residence stay to develop their work. Photo by Kathleen Vandervoet

Artists can stay at the Lowe House because it includes three small bedrooms along with a kitchen and other living areas, all gathered around a spacious

In 1905, William Lowe Jr. married Anna Burruel, whose family were long-time Tubac residents, and it was their home until 1955 when William Morrow, an early developer of the artist’s village of Tubac, bought it. During the 1950s, extensive renovations were done to accommodate the Morrow family and a resort was planned. Starting in 1965, Hans and Marion Valentine lived and worked there for many years as Southwest Impressions studio and gallery. “Their presence here at that time was an inspiring interaction and a creative community dynamic; it was an inspiring time for me as a young person coming up. That certainly has stuck with me forever,” Valentine said. As her parents aged and their health worsened, the Lowe House was rented to others. After her parents died, Valentine purchased the property from relatives in 2000. The idea to create an artist in residence project grew steadily and she said she received key support creating the non-profit organization from Gerhard (Gary) Anderson, surgeon, winemaker, musician and artist. He passed away in Tucson in November of 2014 and the program began operating in early 2015. Artists must apply for the residency. The board of directors reviews the applications before decisions are made and artists generally stay for two weeks. “We encourage them to develop a body of work that brings to light, through some creative expression, our cultural heritage of Tubac and the region. They are also asked to have a community component that’s free of charge.” Some of the workshops are called “playshops” because they allow people without art experience to spend time creatively. “One of the things I enjoy so much is to offer opportunities for people to enjoy” their projects “through their own creative expression and the individual voices they manifest in their work,” Valentine said.

Tubac Villager May 2017  

An independent journal in Tubac, Arizona for May 2017

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