Sunday, February 14, 2010

DeGrazia Adobe Gallery -Part I

We spent a very enjoyable three hours at the "DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun"... a ten acre estate of the artist Ted DeGrazia. During his 68 years on this planet he built all the adobe buildings on this property and did a ton of art... paintings, sculptures, ceramics and mosaics.

We were attracted to this place because of the old original adobe buildings built by an artist. From this modest entrance to the gallery you would have no idea that inside you could wander from room to room... likely more than 5-6,000 sq. ft. of perpetual added-on rooms with hundreds of paintings displayed.

The mostly horizontal buttress along the front is similar to the famous adobe church in Taos. It was as a result of seeing the old adobe buildings in Santa Fe and Taos that we added the corner buttresses to the orphanage in Mexico.

The artist was obviously a good Catholic and built this small chapel on the property. Note the little holes (windows) in the wall.

These similar size holes on a nearby small gallery building have coloured glass without any frame at all They are just put directly into the wall and stuccoed in place.

Another angle of the chapel with its modest bell tower... again note the tiny windows that have coloured glass.

Inside the chapel this central skylight was open to the sky... very necessary to bring in enough light to be able to enjoy all the paintings done directly on the wall.

This painting filled the entire wall on one side of the chapel.

The simplicity of his paintings reminded me of another of my favourite artists, Marc Chagall.

Although DeGrazia never achieved the fame like Chagall, the longer we spent in the Gallery of the Sun the more I came to enjoy his style.

He often said that his paintings we completed, but never finished. He left the finishing to be done by the viewer... to put in the missing parts like the eyes, nose and mouth, etc.

I don't think most people appreciate the beauty of adobe as much as Shirley and I. We spent a lot of time building the orphanage in Mexico with adobe and we like the design of this chapel.

Ted DeGrazia (1914-1982)
What could be better than to be buried next to the chapel on the property where you have worked a major part of your life?

Beside the grave is this six foot stone cone. Shirley thinks that it may be like a shrine in honour of the dead artist.

Maybe the coins that are placed here are to ward away the evil spirits. If you have any insights on this please share... since we don't know anything... we are only guessing.


  1. Great photots! Looks like such a neat place.

  2. It truly is a neat place. And even if one is not an artist, if you like art and have an eye for beautiful things, there is no doubt that you would love to see this man's creative approach.