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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


&gallery pop-up show promotes longtime artist Tania Verdugo

AJ Stash Castillo

A mural is showcased for the pop-up show at &gallery painted by Tania Verdugo, framed by flowers from the ceiling. 

&gallery is one of the art galleries and sellers in Tucson known for the unique pieces and shows they host. One of the longtime artists is Tania Verdugo, who had a pop-up gallery this past Friday, March 31, titled “Close at Heart and Death.”

Verdugo has had a solo show before, but what was so different about this one were the pieces she was showcasing. They had screen printed their very own designs onto pieces of clothing for people to wear.

“I feel like most of the things that I’m inspired by are emotions, and by emotions, I mean everyday human emotions. I think that’s a lot in the relation between humans and nature,” Verdugo said.

Verdugo has been an artist since she was young. She always wanted to do art. That feeling followed her through adulthood. They are currently working on a three-part zine that they hope to finish by the end of the year.

Cynthia Naugle has been a longtime friend of Verdugo’s and was on board with the pop-up show. Verdugo was given a grant back in 2020 to put on an art show, and as she explored different mediums, she focused on screen printing, which helped inspire her pop-up show.

“I always get attached to my shows. Whatever show we have up, I’m always like, ‘I want it here forever!’ Then it’s gone in a month or, in this case, a day. I’m excited to have it, I’m going to miss it, of course, as it is beautiful, but we got a lot of cool photos. But that’s also the magic of &gallery. It’s always changing in here,” Naugle said.

Naugle also encourages pop-up shows at &gallery as long as the artist has a clear vision and pitch as to what they want, not just an idea.

An attendee named Pearl Krieger was impressed with Verdugo’s show as well as the artists themself. Krieger expressed how creative Verdugo is and their love of the space &gallery provides for artists.

“It’s so exciting to see a Tucson artist come forward and moreso a human-like Tania is so inspiring. I feel creative looking at their art. It gives you wings such as her pieces,” Krieger said.

&gallery is located at 419 N. Fourth Ave. and is open daily from 12-6 p.m. The gallery’s most recently open exhibit, titled “Silent Soles,” focuses on sneaker culture and will be up throughout April.

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