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Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Oaxacan Folk Art from the Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan Collection

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) examines how art transformed as Oaxaca’s artisan towns evolved in Oaxacan Folk Art from the Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan Collection.

The exhibition includes more than 100 wooden carvings and clay sculptures created in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Subjects include festival and market scenes, Bible stories, a variety of animals, and mythical and fantastic figures. The exhibition is organized by the Tucson Museum of Art and curated by Kristopher Driggers, Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art.

Writer Shepard Barbash and photographer Vicki Ragan collected more than 1200 pieces of folk art since the 1980s, building one of the nation’s premier collections of Oaxacan woodcarving and ceramics. In March 2019 they donated their collection to the Tucson Museum of Art in order to keep the artwork together and allow it to tell the story of artistic and social transformation in Oaxaca.

Two public programs have been scheduled in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition:

Opening celebration (October 3, 5—8 p.m.). Live music by guitarist Eduardo Costa, dances by Ballet Folklorico Arizona (5:30 p.m.), and a pop-up shop by La Syrena Barrio Books as well as art-making, gallery activities, and a cash bar. Free admission.

Collector’s Conversation (October 5, 2 p.m.). Join Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan in conversation with Senior Curator Dr. Julie Sasse as they discuss their passion for collecting Oaxacan folk art and share interesting stories about the artisans they befriended. Free for members/included with paid admission. RSVP required as space is limited.


Oct 3, 2019 - Aug 9, 2020


Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701


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