US Route 89 Appreciation Society Featured in Oracle Artist Studio Tour

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James and Barbara Cowlin, founders of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society, will open their studio to visitors during the Oracle Artist Studio Tour. Oracle, Arizona, is located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains 35 miles north of Tucson and just ten miles from historic highway 89. The studio tour will be held on April 17th and 18th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Barbara and James Cowlin, Oracle, Arizona, artists participating in the annual Artist Studio Tour

I have been photographing along this wonderful border to border highway for over ten years

James and Barbara Cowlin, founders of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society, will open their studio to visitors during the Oracle Artist Studio Tour. Oracle, Arizona, is located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains 35 miles north of Tucson and just ten miles from historic highway 89. The studio tour will be held on April 17th and 18th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

This is the 18th year that the artists living in Oracle have greeted art admirers, premiered new works and given art demonstrations. The 23 locations on the 2010 tour include home studios, galleries and historic buildings and will show the work of over 60 artists and crafts people. New this year is a welcome center where visitors can pick up maps for the self-guided tour and browse a gallery of work by participants.

Photographer James Cowlin will be displaying a gallery of photographs from the US Route 89 project. “I have been photographing along this wonderful border to border highway for over ten years,” he says, “and it an endless source of inspiration for my landscape images.” He will also be giving demonstrations of how to use the US Route 89 website to plan a driving vacation.

Barbara Cowlin’s newly remodeled studio will be open to visitors where they will find a gallery of her latest paintings in the Nooks & Crannies series. She will also have her unique Road Sign Treasure Boxes and jewelry boxes for sale. Barbara Cowlin notes, “Since moving to Oracle, I have been inspired by the arts community here to try new media and techniques. The result is a series of clay figures I call Oracle Gargoyle Guys.” She has recorded her experience in creating her new art space on her blog, At Last…Making Art Full Time.

Visitors to the Cowlin’s can sign up on the spot as members of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society and sponsors of the upcoming Life’s So Fine on Route 89 One Month Mexico to Canada and Back Road Trip. The goal of the trip is to find answers to the question, “What makes life so fine on Route 89?”, from residents, business owners and fellow travelers. The responses and observations will be published on a daily blog and used to create a multimedia presentation for the website.

Idyllic Oracle, with its rolling grasslands, oak woodlands, and moderate daytime temperatures, has long been a haven for working artists. The self-guided driving route will be posted with special directional signs, making it easy to find artist locations in the community’s charming neighborhoods and historic ranch and homestead locations. A downloadable map and details about individual artists is available on the Oracle Studio Tour website.

The US Route 89 Appreciation Society is a resource for planning a western road trip vacation and a place for sharing stories and photographs of this unique highway. It is part of the “slow road” movement that encourages travel on the two-lane roads that lead to the heart and soul of America. For more information, visit http://us89society.org/. Media Contact: James Cowlin, 602-944-3286, jim (at) us89society (dot ) org.

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