1. Visit Bisbee for a taste of small town art communities done well.
Although the town has a well-known mining history, today one of Bisbee’s many features include an established artist community. Hippies first flocked here in the 1960s, helping to breathe new life into the town. Today, you will find a surprising number of art galleries, collectives, programs, and public art displays like the car seen above for a town of this size. But, then again, that’s what adds to the town’s charm.
2. Flagstaff is one of the main hubs of artist activity in northern Arizona.
I’m not sure if it’s the proximity to a variety of inspirational landscapes, being an iconic college town, or the fresh mountain air, but Flagstaff has a flourishing art community. With a theatre, galleries, a well-known First Friday art walk, and a symphony orchestra, this town has a lot going for it.
3. Check out Jerome for a bohemian vibe to the Arizona art community.
Another town revived by last century’s hippies and artists, Jerome went from ghost town status to inspirational artist collective in the mid-twentieth century. You could spend an entire weekend just visiting all the galleries in town but to get a more varied taste of the art community, check out the art walk on the first Saturday of the month. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Spirit Room (pictured above) to sample live, local music.
4. Patagonia’s arts and crafts community is one of the major attractions to this small town.
Patagonia is another small town with a well-known art community. With a population under 1,000, there's more than enough art to go around for residents and visitors; check out one of the galleries and the town’s annual Fall Festival, which will be held October 9 to 11 to show off its creative community.
5. For a more urban art flavor, Phoenix may be just what you’re looking for.
As far as urban art centers, Phoenix still has a long way to go to become more appealing to artists. However, as the largest city and the state capital, it does have the largest collection of museums, galleries, writers’ collectives, and music scenes in the state. Roosevelt Row is the more well-known area for artist enclaves but has also started to see a growing commercialization that has many in the art community frustrated over the future of the district. Other art districts in the city include Grand Avenue (from Central to 19th Avenue) and parts of downtown.
6. Sedona offers the right balance of eclecticism and tourist attraction.
Often seen as a New Age haven, Sedona is also the home to plenty of artists and art communities in the area. The town has quite a few galleries, arts festivals, and its famous Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village are all contributors to Sedona’s thriving art community.
7. Visit Tubac for the perfect combination of art and small town charm.
Charming, small, and historic, Tubac has been attracting artists from across the country since the 1950s. If you have to get it all in one weekend, be sure to add the tiny town’s Center for the Arts and Presidio Park to your must-do list.
8. Tucson offers a beautiful blend of urban and rustic artist experience.
One of the major draws to this city is the performing arts scene, which is rich and varied compared to other cities of its size and rivals that of Phoenix. The city also has quite a few art museums, galleries, and artist studios that help secure its status as one of the top art centers in the state.