Tucson lawmaker: Career as artist provides flexibility and perspective for work at Capitol

Tucson lawmaker: Career as artist provides flexibility and perspective for work at Capitol

Cronkite News Service

TUCSON -- "Life's too short for beige," Steve Farley said, standing in his backyard looking at the color palette he's painted his home: sandy peach, Easter-egg turquoise and a rich purple.


State Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, makes a living creating works of art such as a tiled saguaro at his home. Farley says his occupation provides the flexiblity necessary for him to commit months to the legislative session and provides a perspective on the importance of the arts despite Arizona's economic challenges.
(Cronkite News Service Photo by Elizabeth Shell)

But what stands out the most also happens to be what Farley does for a living: hundreds of painted ceramic tiles on the back of his house together form a two-story saguaro cactus in shades of green and gray.

Farley, a photographer, graphic designer and public artist, said a benefit of his work is it gives him the income and flexible schedule needed to support his other career: serving as a state representative.

Without it, Farley said, he wouldn't have been able to run for the Legislature in 2006.
"This year we've been in session basically all year long," said Farley, a Democrat. "What you get when you only pay people in the Legislature $24,000 a year is people who are independently wealthy, they're self-employed with odd hours like me, they're retired or their spouse is supporting them. And you don't get people from quote-unquote normal jobs. And that's unfortunate."

For Farley, the road to becoming a representative was similar to when he first started in public art 12 years ago...

Finish reading Tucson lawmaker: Career as artist provides flexibility and perspective for work at Capitol

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


More in Art


Non-traditional graduate art student taps into familia pride to create mural of Rio Grande Valley war hero

Latina ListaNovember 11, 2015

Dallas home to first-ever statue dedicated to DREAMers

Latina ListaSeptember 21, 2015

Spain’s Prado Museum opens doors to blind visitors with special “touch” exhibit

Latina ListaApril 8, 2015

Latina artists showcase pride in indigenous culture and folklore

Latina ListaJuly 29, 2014

Intrn’l Video: Showcasing the creative minds of Bolivia’s design world

Latina ListaMarch 26, 2014

Video: Mexican-born artist uses traditional cloths as canvasses to show resilience of female spirit

Latina ListaFebruary 6, 2014

Video: Smithsonian Latino art curator explains the meaning behind “Brownies of the Southwest”

Latina ListaJanuary 30, 2014

Video: Young California artist creates life-size cutouts of immigrant workers to bring immigration issue to the masses

Latina ListaJanuary 9, 2014

Video: Latino artist creates a “written painting for and about the nature of language”

Latina ListaNovember 21, 2013