Friday, April 29, 2011

Ted DeGrazia


The son of Italian immigrants, Ettore DeGrazia was born June 14, 1909, in the Morenci mining camp of Territorial Arizona. His early childhood experiences in the ethnically diverse community evolved into a lifelong appreciation of native cultures in the Sonoran Desert and a passion to create art depicting their lives and lore.

After the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1920, DeGrazia was introduced to his parent's hometown when they moved their seven children to the Calabria region of Italy. The family returned to Morenci when the mine reopened five years later. Enrolling again in the first grade to relearn English, DeGrazia–nicknamed Ted by a schoolteacher–graduated from Morenci High School when he was 23 years old. By then he was an accomplished trumpeter who performed with family and friends.

After working briefly in the mine, DeGrazia hitched a ride to Tucson with his trumpet and $15 in his pocket. He enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1933, where he supported himself planting trees on campus by day and leading a big band at night. During one performance he met Alexandra, the daughter of Fox Theater owner Nicholas Diamos. They wed in 1936 and moved to Bisbee so DeGrazia could manage the Lyric Theater there, also owned by the Diamos family. The couple had three children during this time but divorced in 1946.

To learn more about this talented artist please check the website:

I have loved and admired this man for as long as I can remember.  My mother was a needlepoint artist and worked on many of his creations.  I am fortunate to have many of them hanging in my home.  I have collected a few of his prints which he was gracious enough to autograph for me many years ago.  If you are not familiar with him, you will recognize his art when you check out his website.  He was a very generous and giving man.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun sponsors events throughout the year, including rotating exhibitions of original DeGrazia art, the annual fall opening of the Little Gallery to showcase visiting artists, and La Fiesta de Guadalupe every December.

My partner and I have been invited to be one of the visiting artists this December!!!  Am I excited you ask......OMG.  Ted DeGrazia had a passion for music and art that is still felt within the walls of his studio.  We will be exhibiting in his studio, the little studio with only a small fireplace for heat.  I am so excited that I am still in a fog.  I will keep you posted and wish me luck.  We will be there for ten (10) days from December 18-30.  What a magical christmas this will be for me---wow.

Good night my friends and from my soul to yours - nothing but love.


  1. Congratulations! My mother collected his plates and I too love his work. I'll make a plan of it to go visit his studio and see your work there.

    Great job! Keep up the fantastic work ;-)



  2. Thanks Tonya.....I'm really honored to have been selected. I'll certainly be busy between now and then;o)


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