[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Barbara GrygutisBarbara Grygutis is a nationally acclaimed sculptor specializing in large-scale, public art projects, including a recent series of four plazas along the Santa Cruz River between Speedway and Mission Road.
I like the 90-Shop Antique Center at 5000 East Speedway. The sign says "Great Stuff, Good Junk, Real Deals." I'm interested in that gray area between antiques and junk. There are numerous antique malls popping up all over the country, and I visit them whenever I travel for my public work. I like them because they cross a very fine line between antique and junk. In other words, stuff from the '50s and '60s suddenly has become "antique." It's stuff that we, as kids, played with, which is a little scary. But I find those stores fascinating.
I like Mesquite Valley Growers; I think it's a fabulous nursery. It's on Speedway between Pantano and Kolb. They have a fabulous selection, and a lot of native plants. Their plants are very healthy and the people are very knowledgeable, which is nice. But I also think the Catalina Nursery--they're newer--is an excellent nursery. It's closer to town on Pima, east of Craycroft. It's a toss-up. One's old, one's new. I would say that Catalina has the best Hackberry trees in town--they've grown up and shaded the entire nursery. They're beautiful trees. It's worth going just to see them.
Best City Administrator
Keith Walzak: The reason I'm citing him is that he has single-handedly pushed for the integration of public art into transportation projects, and I think that probably wasn't easy. It's made a major difference in the city. It's not just art projects; it's art projects that're integrated into transportation projects. For example, he pushed for the five bus stops that are going to go in on the Fourth Avenue route. I'm hoping that when one person within the city bureaucracy starts to push for that kind of stuff, it'll be infectious and bring others along. A little vision goes a long way.
Best Niche To Fill For Public Space
In Tucson, shade is the major factor. If you look at downtown, the number-one missing element is shade. If you look at our streets, there's no shade and there are no comfortable benches. Now, one of things that gets said is, "Well, we don't want to put a bench there, because homeless people will just sit there"--which I think is a bogus argument. If you put in benches and trees, people will use them. And the mass of the people will then displace some of that congregation of homeless people.
Best Plan For Downtown
I've lived downtown for 24 years, since 1973, and I think more housing would make a huge difference here. If they put housing in downtown, then they'd get the retail. There's a need: Any housing that goes in down here is immediately full. And it doesn't have to be just apartments, it could be single family homes. We should look at other cities that work and don't work. What does work, I think, is a mix. It's not just one big retail outlet or one big parking garage; it's a mix, in which housing is a primary ingredient.
Etherton is my favorite gallery. He (Terry) shows great work.
I won't say the "best," because it's hard to say who's
the best. I think the arts in Tucson are vibrant. There are people
here who work on the national level and find this a great homebase.
I myself find it a good place to work.