Discover unique studios during Hidden in the Hills Art Tour

CAVE CREEK – Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio, Hidden in the Hills, returns for a 23rd year in the Desert Foothills communities of Cave Creek, Carefree and North Scottsdale.

Curt Mattson (sculptor) and host of Studio #35 just north of Carefree Highway (they live on a ranch).

A signature event of the non-profit Sonoran Arts League, this year’s Hidden in the Hills event features 199 artists at 47 studio locations. The free, self-guided tour takes place during the last two weekends of November (Nov. 22-24 and Nov. 29-Dec. 1).

Hidden in the Hills Co-Chair and Cave Creek gourd artist Jane Boggs said family and friends are encouraged to take the tour together.

“It’s so much fun discovering a diverse mix of talented artists,” Boggs, host of Studio #28, said. “Each private studio is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during both weekends of the tour, giving you plenty of time to meet the artists and watch them in action!”

Boggs said part of the fun is discovering unique studios.

“It’s a bit off the beaten path, but a trip to Curt Mattson’s Studio #35 is well worth it, especially if you love the explosive action of buckaroos and the lore and grandeur of the West,” Boggs said.

Set on two and a half acres with Cave Creek Regional Park as a backdrop, Mattson’s home and studio embody the spirit of the West with breathtaking bronze sculptures, evocative oil and watercolor paintings and freehand charcoal drawings – each one telling a unique story about cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle and life on the ranch.

From Mattson’s studio, weave your way through the Town of Cave Creek, stopping at dozens of studios along the way. Keep heading east to Nicolette Maguire Bonnstetter’s Studio #8 in Carefree. A mixed media contemporary artist, Bonnstetter’s abstracted realism is tied to color and absence of color in space. Her art revolves around objects and many times they are placed in a decorative format, typically associated with women. Her studio guests include Tracy Paul (metal and glass), Christine Sandifur (printmaking), Allison Shock (ceramics), Kim Walker (acrylic/mixed media), and Hilary Wells (mixed media).

Further south, there are several clusters of studios along Lone Mountain, Cave Creek Road and Scottsdale Road, all the way down to Patricia Isaacson’s Glass Studio #18, near Happy Valley and Pima Roads in Scottsdale. Isaacson’s guests include Sandi Ciaramitaro (watercolor, oil, bronze), Kathryn Darner (jewelry), Cynthia Eral (oil), and Merrily Kulmer (acrylic, ceramic, pastel).

“Planning your tour is easy. Simply download a map at www.HiddenInTheHills.org and then look for the yellow lizard signs that direct you to each studio,” Boggs said.

Artist directories and maps are also located at the Sonoran Arts League’s Center for the Arts, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Suite 144, at Stagecoach Village in Cave Creek. For details, call (480) 575-6624.