In 1992, Artist Andrew Rush and 20 art friends began The Drawing Studio in Tucson, Ariz., to offer instruction and fellowship to artists and art students outside traditional institutions. What started as a project among friends attracted others, and a year later, TDS sublet a space in a converted Armory Park market to offer expanded classes. A newsletter and membership program were created to respond to the community’s demand for more.

In 2000, TDS incorporated and received 501(c)3 status. As more and more participants came to study, we expanded into larger space on 4th Avenue. A designated gallery space allowed us to offer a year-round schedule of exhibits.

The communities we served continued to grow. With a heart for service, TDS staff and members launched The Art of Summer immersion program for teens, which eventually expanded to serve youth ages 9-12. In 2005, TDS established its first outreach program to serve seniors who couldn’t access or afford our regular adult programs.

Continued growth in numbers of students and new programs spurred us to double our space with a move to the heart of downtown. We added satellite sites to establish a presence throughout metro Tucson. 

In response to participants’ desire for a more accessible space, in January 2015 TDS purchased a building on an acre of land at Tucson Blvd. and Glenn St. This space allows us to serve our students, grow our programs, and plan for a larger campus in the future.