| Rogoway Turquoise Tortoise Gallery | Tubac AZ

November 2016 featured artist: Wolfgang Vaatz

Through November 30, all Wolfgang Vaatz jewelry is 15% off

For 30 years, Wolfgang Vaatz focused his talents on paintings and sculpture. But four years ago, this celebrated artist began combining painterly and three-dimensional design to create a line of jewelry that is nothing short of wearable fine art.


Aspen pendant by Wolfgang Vaatz Carved & engraved pendant with gold nuggets, 22k, 18k rose, & 14k yellow gold on argentium silver.

“I use modified techniques, drawing from my experience in painting and sculpture, adjusted to the new media of multiple precious metals and gemstones,” Wolfgang says. “In doing so, I keep the same artistic language which is solely inspired by the natural landscape, its elements, texture, and light.”

The artist uses all manner of inspiration for his work: sunlight in the trees, landscapes, the ocean, or even the stones themselves. “Everything that is happening around me when I am in nature, sparks a creative process,” he says.


Wolfgang Vaatz sterling silver pendant oxidized with14k fused gold and 8mm concave-cut natural topaz. Oxidized sterling silver chain 16″ long with 3.5″ extension.

The end results are exquisite miniature works of art that we are pleased to share with you.

We are delighted to have Wolfgang as our Featured Artist for November, 2016. You can meet Wolfgang in person at his trunk show during the Fall ArtWalk Friday, November 25th and Saturday November 26th from 1 to 4 pm.

For information about Wolfgang’s work, please contact the gallery.

We’re Open All Summer! Plus Hi-Art Scholarship Results

Our doors are open from 10AM to 4PM every day this summer! Be sure to stop in.

We’ve had a great season this past year and welcomed great new artists into our gallery. We’re proud to provide our patrons such meaningful art from such talented artists.

If you are in Tubac this summer (or never left!) we invite you to come by and see what’s new. And to get you started, check out the folded-paper art of our newest artist, C. A. Santa Maria.


“Summer” by Annie Santa Maria – cut and folded paper – 21″ x 19″

Hi Art show and scholarship results

Every year in December, we throw our Tubac village-wide party, Cowboy Christmas, as a thank you to all our patrons and the community that we love.

With the money we raise from the event, we sponsor a scholarships and several awards for the “Hi-Art,” a Tubac Center of the Arts program which encourages and supports area high school students interested in exploring fine art.

Grand prize

The largest scholarship of $3,000 went to Dillon Riling, a senior at Rio Rico High School for his painting of “Attempt” (oil on canvas). His plans are to attend Grand Canyon University, majoring in Biology.  He hopes to become a medical illustrator.

Hi-Art scholarship winner Dillon Riling with his winning painting

Hi-Art scholarship winner Dillon Riling with his winning painting

Other Awards

  • $300 Best in Show: “Garcia of Wealth” (Mixed Media) by Justine Rivera, Esmeralda Ramos and Megan Trejo of Walden Grove High School
  • $200 Sponsor’s Award: “Black Sparrow” (Watercolor) by Lia Hernandez of Walden Grove High School
  • $150 Award of Excellence: “Less Than Air” (Inkjet Print) by Bei Di Gulino of Walden Grove High School
  • $100 Award of Merit: “My Future in My Hands” (Ceramic) by Yamiley Ramirez of Rio Rico High School
  • $50 Honorable Mention: “Dave Grohl” (Graphite) by Erik Amaya of Rio Rico High School
  • $50 Honorable Mention: “Lion” (Scratchboard) by Vance Weavers of Rio Rico High School

On Friday April 29th, the Center hosted a Hi-Art show, exhibiting works from students in the Santa Cruz Valley high schools from Sahuarita to Nogales. We are so glad we have the opportunity to give back to young artists.

Questions about gallery hours, Annie Santa Maria’s work, the High-Art scholarships, or anything else? Please contact the gallery. We look forward to hearing from you!

April 2016 featured artist: Annie Santa Maria

Meet Annie Santa Maria

We invite you to explore Annie’s dimensional cut-and-folded paper art

We are pleased to introduce you to Annie Santa Maria, our featured artist for April, 2016. Annie’s cut-and-folded paper artwork is a collector favorite, and we know you will enjoy learning about this talented woman and her fascinating journey to the fine art world.


“Summer” by Annie Santa Maria – cut and folded paper – 21″ x 19″

First stop: the Peace Corp

After Annie earned a master’s degree in anthropology from Dartmouth University, the new graduate devoted herself to teaching in economically disadvantaged communities, first as a Peace Corp volunteer in Africa and then as an English teacher in Mexico.

But Annie soon discovered that her pupils had much to teach her in return – powerful lessons about the value of friendship and community.

“I learned how to be an anthropologist at Dartmouth, but Africa and Mexico taught me how to be a human being,” Annie says.

Discovering fine art

But how did Annie go from teacher to artist? It all started with wanting to tell a story to children.

18 years ago, after returning from Mexico, Annie decided to write and illustrate a children’s book about the Huichol Indians, an indigenous group in Mexico with whom she had become close. She wanted to illustrate the book in a way that would both engage the young readers and also be reminiscent of the Huichol’s traditional bead and yarn art forms, eventually choosing cut paper craft to fulfill her vision.

Once she discovered cut-and-folded paper, Annie kept exploring the medium, along the way creating a unique art form that borrows from collage, origami, and kirigami – but is greater than the sum of these parts when the work is taken as a whole.

The artwork today

Annie uses her artistic talents to pay homage to the people she met abroad, creating her works from her studio in Tubac, the community she now calls home.

Her signature images feature African and Mexican women, dresses flowing as they engage in their daily work. Although difficult to discern from photos, Annie’s images are highly dimensional – the paper elements providing both depth and height. Almost all the images are created with paper alone – even the fluffy clouds floating across the sky are paper, not paint.

Keeping with her global aesthetic, Annie sources her papers from all over the world, including Nepal, India, Mexico, and Japan. She uses only archival glues and finishes each work with framing under UV-protectant glass.

Though Annie has been successful in fine art for almost two decades, she is still thankful for the reaction to her work. “I am humbled that people like the images I create,” she says. “It is still delightful to me how much people love the art.”

We invite you to come by the gallery to see Annie’s work. We think you will be as enchanted by the images  as much as we are. For information about any of Annie’s work, please contact the gallery.

"Esperanza" by Annie Santa Maria - cut and folded paper - 10" x 14"

“Esperanza” by Annie Santa Maria – cut and folded paper – 10″ x 14″