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Press Release

To Bead True Blue

By Jenny Hanzel
January 25, 2009
"I am delighted that this year we have moved to the new Doubletree location...which has easy access from I-10 and the airport during the construction in downtown Tucson." 
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To Bead True Blue is a six-day show that runs concurrent with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. It showcases compelling design and handwork of the finest artists, artisans, and merchants. The upcoming event is located at the Doubletree Tucson Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ, on February 1 through 6, 2009. The hours are February 1 – 4, 10AM to 6PM; February 5, 10AM to 8PM; and February 6, 9AM to 12PM.

To Bead True Blue represents five hundred exhibitors, each selected for quality handwork design in art jewelry, glass bead making, gold and silversmithing, lapidary, textiles, glass art, enameling, ceramics, art couture, designer components, embellishments, handwovens, wearable art, metalwork, antiquities, clay arts, collectibles, handmade cloth, bead and jewelry trade supplies, and interior décor.

The idea is to present a new and dynamic Arts and Crafts show, focused on the handwork of many diverse cultures and traditions, organized around traditional bead making, mixing ancient and modern, from thousand-year-old carved amber beads to contemporary wearable art.

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The 2008 show was jam-packed with attendees –merchants, buyers, business owners, art lovers, and collectors. A stream of shoppers walked past art couture, jewelry designs, beads, findings, silk shibori, woven tapestries, hats, mustika-pearls, tribal kilims, hand painted yarns, art fabrics, carved stones, buttons, gold filigree, embroidered robes, and many other displays of artisanship.

Director Anna K. Johnson says –“I am delighted that this year we have moved to the new Doubletree location, and our visitors will enjoy its central location, which has easy access from I-10 and the airport during the construction in downtown Tucson.”

The Doubletree has ample parking, frequent shuttle service, an orange grove, swimming pools, tennis courts, two restaurants, and is across from the historic Reid Park.  

Ms. Johnson goes on to mention –“Last year we outgrew our facilities, and the Doubletree affords us the opportunity to expand. There will be workshops in art clay, jewelry design and marketing, bead making, polymer clay, silk painting, mixed media and found object art, fiber art, metalwork, hand knotting, wire work, hand weaving, and Kumihimo, along with free seminars and forums on jewelry and bead making.”

The show is open to the public, registration required; exhibitors sell on a cash and carry or order writing basis. No admission fee. For registration, exhibitor, product, and workshop lists, and parking information, visit

If you are in the retail clothing, bead, jewelry, art, interior décor, or gift trade, or if you are a designer, art patron, collector, or design-savvy person looking for an opportunity to network with artists and artisans, as well as attend workshops and lectures, and meet with other attendees, you won’t want to miss To Bead True Blue, where bead making and artisanship are integrated with contemporary handwork.

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