Tubac is Arizona's first European settlement, established when the Spanish soldiers built a presidio in 1752. The town has seen its fair share of change over the centuries; Tubac has been an Indian community, a Spanish Colony, part of the New Mexico Territory, a Mexican community and an Arizona Territory.
Today, art and history are juxtaposed amid the stunning beauty in Santa Cruz County. In the 1940s, the late painter Dale Nichols visualized an art colony and started a school in 1948. Fascinated with the seclusion and simplicity in the desert landscapes, Nichols painted in a Tubac studio for six years. Other artists followed and helped promote the town by showing their works to interested passers-by.
Today, Tubac is an eclectic mix of more than 90 shops, galleries and restaurants. Set in a mercado atmosphere, the town invites visitors to stroll through the shops in leisurely fashion. Painters, potters, sculptors and carvers are among the many artists who make their home in the village and they produce works in every medium. Works by nationally and internationally known artists fill the galleries and bring national acclaim to the area and its humble beginnings.
In February of each year, the community hosts the annual Tubac Festival of the Arts. Famous artists from around the country descend on Tubac for the celebration of the arts in every form. For more than 40 years the festival has drawn visitors to the village. The nine-day festival draws more than 150,000 visitors from around the globe with internationally acclaimed artists and works in all media.