We had the good fortune of connecting with Karon Leigh and below we’ve shared our conversation with Karon.
Hi Karon, please tell us about a book you’ve read and why you like it / what impact it had on you.
I’m currently reading “Ninth Street Women” about the women artists of the New York School period in the 40’s and 50’s. The book discusses the lives of five women artists, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler and their struggles as artists in a male dominated field and time period. It is a reminder that women artists and women in general still struggle in a male dominated society. The current statistics aren’t so great. “Nearly half (45.8%) of visual artists in the United States are women; on average, they earn 74¢ for every dollar made by male artists. (National Endowment for the Arts).” The inspiring part about the book is that these were women who knew they were artists and pursued their art making despite the their circumstances. So no matter where I’ve lived, what job I’ve held, I’ve always made art a priority in my life.
For our reader’s who might not be familiar with your story, please tell us more about your art and career?
As an artist, I have the great privilege of working as the Artistic Director for Tubac Center of the Arts, a nonprofit art center in Tubac, Arizona. The art center is a venue for creative expression and offers a number of different arts programming. One of the joys of my role there is creating art exhibitions and helping artist to participate. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to present an award, or provide a new artist with an exhibition opportunity. Additionally, in January 2020 I partnered with my best friend, Barbara Kuzara to open a new art gallery in Tubac called On The Edge Contemporary Gallery. It has been well received as it is different from the other galleries in town. Again, I have the opportunity to support other artists. The temporary closure of the gallery during the Covid 19 pandemic has forced us to be even more creative and develop digital experiences for our artists, friends, and customers. I’m learning new technology and continuing to make art and the arts a priority in my life and in my community.
We’d love to hear about some of your favorite local spots.
One of the reasons people will visit me in Tubac is that it is actually away from hustle and bustle of the city. Tubac is a small arts destination village about 45 minutes south of Tucson and 30 minutes north of the US/Mexico border. Visitors can spend a whole day shopping in Tubac. The Tubac Center of the Arts is a must see as it hosts art exhibits with art from across the country. Tubac also hosts the Presidio Park, a museum on the history of the area. For nature lovers, one can hike the Anza trail and follow the Santa Cruz River. A massage at the Tubac Golf Resort is a great option after a hike. Dinner and margaritas at Elvira’s Restaurant is a must to top off an evening. Taking a day trip to Nogales, MX is also a great adventure where mural art can be found everywhere. La Roca is a favorite restaurant. Its name means “the rock” as it was built into the side of a hill. To learn more about life across the border, Border Community Alliance provides educational day trips by van, taking people where walking visitors never reach. Evenings in Tubac provide live music and dancing or a quiet star filled dark sky. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Come visit!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister, Beth has always been a supporter of my art practice. Big shout out to my sister! I’ve also held a supportive pack of women artist friends over the years that have encouraged me along the way, with a few mentors like Barbara Rogers of Tucson, and my business partner and best friend, artist, Barbara Kuzara. I’m also grateful for Tubac Center of the Arts for providing me an opportunity to work in beautiful venue, creating art exhibitions and help other artists.
https://ontheedgecontemporary.com/ https://www.facebook.com/OnTheEdgeContemporary/ https://www.facebook.com/TubacCenterOfTheArts/ https://bordercommunityalliance.org/