As Arizona’s first European settlement, the village of Tubac has seen its share of history and change. First settled in 1752 when Spanish soldiers built a presidio, Tubac also bears evidence of mammoth hunters, who preceded the O’odham peoples (formerly known as the Pimas and Papagos). Five flags have flown over the town. Tubac has been an Indian community, a Spanish Colony, part of the New Mexico Territory, a Mexican community and an Arizona Territory.
Today, art and history are juxtaposed amid the stunning beauty in Santa Cruz County. After years of conflict over the land, the town had virtually vanished. In the 1940s, the late painter Dale Nichols visualized an art colony and started a school in 1948. Fascinated with the seclusion and simplicity in the desert landscapes, Nichols painted in a Tubac studio for six years.
Painters, potters, sculptors and carvers are among the many artists who make their home in the village and they produce works in every medium. Works by nationally and internationally known artists fill the galleries and bring national acclaim to the area and its humble beginnings.