Can you build art? No, I’m not suddenly switching from landscapes and portraits to architecture, but let me tell you a little story. I love risk takers and much of my life, especially with my husband we took many risks in business and in moving to different states and cities. To some people that know me now, my life may seem slow, but I have found that it is good to enjoy a season of regrouping before launching out into new territory.

Last Christmas, as many of you know, I went back after 25 years to revisit old territory, Phoenix, Arizona, the place where I met Ken over 36 years ago. One of the places I most wanted to see again was the Arizona Biltmore.

Arizona Biltmore building exterior

This stunning hotel was opened in 1929. Its design is often attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, but in fact, the true architect on the project was Albert Chase McArthur, who had been a draftsman for the mercurial Wright. Wright consulted on the hotel, specifically, the unusual stylized “Biltmore Blocks” that you can see in the picture above that make the hotel a unique structure. The Biltmore is lined with windows, long and sleek with the mountains of Squaw Peak as its backdrop.

Arizona Biltmore window view

You can see how risky the architectural design was by comparing a picture postcard of a hotel built that same year in Tucson. It took a risk to build a structure so unique as the Arizona Biltmore.

Pioneer Hotel, Tucson, Arizona

While the exterior of the Arizona Biltmore is itself stunning, its real art treasures are found sprinkled inside.

When you enter the lobby you see the Saguaro Stained Glass piece by Frank Lloyd Wright, this is such an exciting interpretation of the desert, full of desert colors. Yes, the desert does have lots of color, especially at certain times of the year when everything is blooming.

Saguaro Stained Glass, Frank Lloyd Wright

Just looking at the lights designed on the Gold Room beam you have to gasp at the beauty of the structure.

Gold Room lights

The hotel has many rooms: the Gold Room, the Mystery Room, the History Room, room 1201, the room where Clark Gable stayed. But the room I was looking for was the Aztec Room!

This was originally built as a ballroom and the first night I met Ken, he took me dancing there. It is spectacular in design:

Aztec room

The ceiling alone is breathtaking:

Aztec room ceiling

Walking back into that room brought back so many memories. My thanks to my brother Alan and Teresa for taking me to see the hotel that chilly New Year’s day.

Aztec room and family

The treasures of memories that I store inside me might fade, but they will always be there.

What kind of treasure are you building in your heart? 

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19

So the answer to my title question: “Can you build art?” Is yes absolutely! But life isn’t just about outside appearances; it’s the treasures you deliberately place inside you and what you do with them that really make the difference.


Categories: Beauty


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