Frida Kahlo exhibit heads to Arizona next

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Frida Kahlo exhibit heads to Arizona next

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An employee of the Tucson Botanical Gardens plants marigolds for the upcoming exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” shown under construction Tuesday. The exhibit, which broke attendance records in New York City during its six-month run there last year, will debut in Tucson on Oct. 10. [AP/NEWSIS]

TUCSON - The blockbuster Frida Kahlo exhibit in New York City that attracted the likes of Beyonce is finding a temporary home in Tucson.

“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” broke attendance records at the New York Botanical Garden during its six-month run last year, attracting over 500,000 visitors.

The large exhibit will debut in Arizona on Oct. 10 at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. It hasn’t traveled to any other gardens and likely will not.

“To me it’s transformative and it’s a way for us to connect people in a whole new way,” executive director Michelle Conklin said.

“We don’t know what to expect but I do know in New York they hit all attendance records in their 150-year history. So we know we’re gonna break all of our attendance records in our 40-year history.”

The Mexican artist, long revered as one of the most influential painters in Latin America, has gained wide popularity in pop culture in the past several years. Beyonce dressed up as her one Halloween and last year posted pictures on social media of herself and her family touring the New York City exhibit.

The garden exhibit is a replica of Kahlo’s own creation in Casa Azul, her home in Coyoacan, a Mexico City borough where the artist lived most of her life. It includes cacti, marigolds, a scale version of the pyramid at Casa Azul and even a replica of Kahlo’s home studio. The Tucson Botanical Gardens will host poetry walks, lectures and native plant tours during the exhibit’s expected eight-month run.

Conklin said the exhibit came to fruition through connections with the American Public Gardens Association, of which she is a member. A colleague helped facilitate the exhibit’s tour in Tucson, and Conklin attended the New York exhibit last year and picked out which items would be on display in Tucson. Only the original paintings and some historical items from the New York show will not make it to Tucson because there wasn’t enough space. AP
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