Derek Levin wrote an amazing article for Jewelry Artist Magazine called "5 Reasons to Go to Tucson," which details several important reasons why jewelers, designers, and craftspeople ought to visit this wonderful city. Jewelry, minerals, and fine art generate significant tourist traffic and business for the city every year, so it is no small wonder that the industry prominently appears among its main attractions. The gem shows strongly contribute to an over $2 billion per year tourism industry.
Levin writes that in 2008, Tucson hosted over 50 shows in that year alone, presenting many opportunities for professionals to buy, sell, and trade, and even more importantly build networking connections in the industry. Attendance for that year's event topped over 55,000 visitors and over 3,000 vendors. Krikawa began its humble beginnings on the trade show market, and such exposure proved beyond invaluable.
There's a spirit here.
There is something almost organic about the ease of networking in this city. Perhaps it is because in the summer, the temperature easily tops the triple digits, and even the most adversarial persons can agree on sharing some shade or offering a bottle of water. The city epitomizes warmth, comfort, and engagement wrapped neatly in a swathe of informality. Perhaps we can blame the heat as well for a refreshing lack of business suits and stiff ties, but visitors readily experience both a relief from undue pretension and also a passionate and vibrant love of the craft.
Going way underground.
Tucson is not only rich on retail stones, gems, and metals, but the land underground possesses some of the most unique natural rock and ore in the country. David A. Kring and Anna M. Domitrovic detail the rich mineral content lurking beneath the surrounding mountains. The authors trace historical volcanic activity millions of years ago in which "hot magmatic fluids concentrated metals and precipitated metalliferous sulfides, some of which were then altered by additional fluids to produce an even wider variety of exotic mineral specimens."
With a rich history and a vibrant jewelry and artisan culture, Tucson truly stands out as the jewel in the Sonoran Desert.
Check this out!
Tucson Show Guide