On the Road: Visiting Rancho Linda Vista

Published Aug 24 2018 by Director, Deborah Carver

In preparation for our inaugural exhibition in our new space at 5431 Doyle St., we paid a visit to the late James G. Davis’s home in Arizona. Davis was a long-time resident of an artist community in Oracle, not far from Tucson, Arizona. Rancho Linda Vista was established 50 years ago by a group of artists who converted a dude ranch into homes, studios and a gallery. The house he shared with his wife, muse and model Mary Anne (together for 54 years) is a low-slung adobe U-shaped house, surrounded with flowering cacti, with a view of the Santa Catalina Mountains to the South. Inside are comfortable rooms, remarkable prints and paintings, and a collection of fascinating and bizarre objects ranging from life-size papier mache figures and a bestiary of taxidermized animals, ceramics, art and books.

James G. Davis and Mary Anne’s home in Oracle, Arizona at Rancho Linda Vista .

James Davis’s connection to Nova Scotia began twenty-five years ago with the purchase of a seaside house in West Berlin on the South Shore. In Nova Scotia, both he and Mary Anne formed fast friendships and brought friends from Arizona to join them. Some also bought property.

Deborah in the desert!

For a period of almost 20 years, as Davis’ reputation grew as an American painter of note, he lived several months of the year in Nova Scotia. While in Arizona, we selected paintings and prints from five decades, which include several that reference that fruitful period of his life. Others speak to his wandering instinct, based on observations of layers of life in London, New York, Madrid, and Berlin. The exhibition also includes a selection of works by his son Turner G. Davis.

In the studio making selections (this one is on its way to Halifax!)

The opening reception is in conjunction with the Grand Opening of our new space on September 14 from 5-7PM. Both Mary Anne and Turner Davis will be in attendance.

Studio 21