20th Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour Nov. 18 by Admin 20th Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour Starts Nov. 18Non-profit Sonoran Arts League’s free self-guided tour features 188 artists in 47 studio locations in Cave Creek, Carefree, and North ScottsdaleArizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour and sale, Hidden in the Hills (HITH), celebrates its 20th year during the last two weekends of November, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 18,19, 20 and November 25, 26, and 27, 2016. A signature event of the non-profit Sonoran Arts League, Hidden in the Hills features 188 artists in 47 studio locations throughout the scenic Desert Foothills communities of Cave Creek, Carefree and North Scottsdale. The free, self-guided studio tour offers seasoned collectors and art enthusiasts a rare chance to observe artists at work in their private studios, which are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the six-day tour. Each studio has one or more guest artists who also display and sell their work. All HITH artists are Sonoran Arts League members, and several will be coming from different parts of the state to participate in the annual event. Many guest artists also set up to demonstrate.One of the tour’s artists is ceramist Christopher Heede, who has participated as a studio host for 19 years. His Studio #32 in Scottsdale is a popular stop on the tour, not only for his contemporary Raku vessels, decorative wall sculptures, ceramic pots and other stoneware, but because of his studio’s unique architectural elements and lush landscaping featuring more than 1,500 plants.“I hired local architect William Bruder to design my studio in 1983, and then spent the next year building it myself,” Heede said. “While the construction took place, I lived on the grounds in a teepee, with my dog and the coyotes for company. The experience of teepee life and building a structure with only basic construction skills was scary, yet awesome and exciting. It was a transformational phase of my life in which I grew stronger emotionally and creatively.”Heede’s passion for art dates back to his early childhood. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Greece for two years, which had a big influence on him.“I visited many ruins and museums throughout Greece, Italy, and Germany,” he said, adding that his parents were also a big influence on him. “My mother was a folk artist and my father could build anything. We always had a wood shop.”At age 15, he was accepted into a gifted art program, where he painted and started working in clay. The clay fascinated him, and he was immediately hooked.“My nickname in high school was Dr. Mud because I was always covered in clay,” he said, laughing. “Now I teach students once a week at a local elementary school and they also call me Dr. Mud.”Inspired by Greek and Oriental cultures, the beauty of nature and the vivid colors of the desert, Heede is always trying to expand his skills and push the envelope. His studio has three kilns – all of which he built himself, and he has had to rebuild each one a few times.Recently, he began experimenting with new glazes and colors. “Some of my newer pieces have melted glass over the top of the clay,” he said. “The glass melts at a lower temperature, so it starts to flow and pick up colors. The blue hues in the glass have a lot of depth to them and add a nice turquoise blue shine.”Heede also works with clients and custom builders producing unique and dramatic architectural pieces such as bathroom sinks, kitchen countertops, ceramic columns, floor tiles, and sandblasted and painted mirrors.For more information, call (480) 575-6624, or visit www.HiddenInTheHills.org.EVENT :20th Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour & SaleAs Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour, the 20th Annual Hidden in the Hills event will feature 188 artists who will exhibit and sell their work at 47 studio locations throughout Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale. Artists are members of the non-profit Sonoran Arts League.DATES:The last two weekends in November: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18, 19 & 20, and Nov. 25, 26 & 27, 2016.TIME: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.ADMISSION: A FREE, self-guided tour.PLAN YOUR TOUR: Art enthusiasts can either custom-build their own map or download the Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour map from the League’s event website www.HiddenInTheHills.org. The Sonoran Arts League will begin selling its popular four-color, glossy, collectible Hidden in the Hills artist directory in October for $5.INFORMATION:Call (480) 575-6624, or visit www.HiddenInTheHills.org.To learn about other Sonoran Arts League events and programs, visit www.SonoranArtsLeague.org. Based in Carefree and Cave Creek, Arizona, the Sonoran Arts League is dedicated to the promotion of art, artists, and art education, affirming the belief that art and artistic awareness is essential to the well being of life and the community. The non-profit organization’s 650 members actively participate in community outreach programs, including mentoring programs, workshops, seminars, fundraisers, and other activities, such as the Empty Bowls Project, the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour & Sale, and the Sonoran Festival of Fine Art and the ARTREACH Community Studio.