Face of Patagonia Featured in Jan McDonald Exhibit Coming in July


Jan McDonald is a Tucson artist who has spent a lot of time in Patagonia. She has ridden in the Fourth of July parade, in connection with the Patagonia Library, for the past 15 years with her sons and nieces, and she did the artwork for a Patagonia movie that’s being made by her friend Pat Watrous and Michele Gisser.

The exhibit will include several portraits of local ranchers. Jan says, “I’ve drawn and painted portraits much of my life. Recently, many of them have been older people with a lot of character and expression. When I retired, I wanted to paint as much as possible from life but found it hard to make that work with portraits. Pat Watrous, a Patagonia resident, knows a number of local ranchers and suggested setting up portrait sessions where I could paint from life. Sonny [McCuistion] offered his beautiful ranch house and sat on the porch for several sessions. His friends Christie, Carrel, and Bailey also posed, and everyone enjoyed some good wine and cheese and conversation. They were all gracious and wonderful to me, and I’m very grateful to Pat and them for giving me the opportunity.”


McDonald got a degree in studio art about 25 years ago. She says, “I was a realist artist in a sea of abstract expressionist teachers, and finished school with absolutely no sense that I could make a living at art. I became a drafter, a machinist, a drafting instructor, a parent, and finally a graphic designer and engineering illustrator for Pima County.”

As time went by, the need to return to art became overwhelming, and McDonald retired in 2011 to pursue it full time. She says her main goal right now is to work at her art, but she has begun to show her paintings and recently had a show at the Tucson Main Library. She was born and raised in Tucson, where she still lives, and says that much of her work is about the light and character of the city, for which she feels a strong connection.


An exhibit of paintings by Jan McDonald will be on view at the Gathering Grounds from July 1 through June 30. An opening reception will be held on July 2, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Friday Open Mic

Ovens of Patagonia will be hosting Open Mic at the Plaza de Patagonia on Friday evenings during the summer. Running from 6-8 pm on most Fridays, the mic is open to all. Whether you want to make music, tell jokes, recite poetry, perform a monologue, or even give a speech, you can sign up for your 10 minutes of fame at the Ovens of Patagonia. This is a family friendly event so keep it clean!

Tea Time

On June 30, at 7 p.m., the Patagonia Library will host a POV Summer Documentary, Tea Time, by Maite Alberdi Soto. The film depicts five Chilean women, whose monthly gathering has sustained them through 60 years of personal and societal change.

Tea Time looks at how a seemingly mundane routine of tea and pastries has helped its well-heeled participants commemorate life’s joys and cope with infidelity, illness and death. A celebration of the small things that help us endure, Tea Time, filmed over five years, illuminates a beautiful paradox: As familiar worlds slip away, friendships grow ever stronger and more profound.

Author Chuck Kelly Previews His New Book on Saint Francis of Assisi

On Tuesday, June 23, Author Chuck Kelly will preview his recently published book, Poverello, A Novel Of Saint Francis of Assisi, at 2 p.m. in the Patagonia Library.

Set in 1262, his book is a fictionalized account, based on historical evidence, of the life of Saint Francis. A young monk pursues the story of the saint’s life, knowing that writing anything outside of the church’s official version will bring punishment. A lifetime companion of the saint recounts the story of Saint Francis’s life, from the time his spiritual odyssey begins, and the memories of this companion differ significantly from the ‘authorized’ biography. The reader learns why this saint’s life has inspired people for a staggering eight centuries.

Residents living near this wall on Duquesne Avenue grew tired of seeing the graffiti that
had been sprayed there, so they did a little spraying of their own.