DeGrazia Elementary and Ted DeGrazia
DeGrazia Elementary School is named after the artist Ted DeGrazia and is housed in a beautifully designed building. Ted DeGrazia is an American impressionist artist. His work is known thoughout the world. He worked with many mediums including oils, ceramics, pastels, waxes, watercolors, etchings, metals, and jewelry. Two of his popular themes were angels and children and the culture of the Southwest and Mexico. He produced thousands of art works in his long career. Millions of copies of his work have been sold around the world. He donated many works for use by UNICEF, the American Cancer Society, and other charities. Ted DeGrazia was born on June 14, 1909. He was the third child born to Domenico DeGrazia and Lucia Gagliardi who were Italian immigrants. DeGrazia grew up in the tough mining life of Morenci, Arizona. DeGrazia graduated from Morenci High School and worked in Morenci until he enrolled in the University of Arizona in 1932. To earn money he played the trumpet in local bands and formed his own orchestra. He studied music under Professor Joseph De Luca a former assistant to John Philip Sousa. DeGrazia dropped out of the university and lived in Mexico periodically for the next several years. In 1942 famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco sponsored DeGrazia in an exhibit in Mexico City. The interest in his art caused him to eventually return to the University of Arizona. Ted DeGrazia received a masters degree in art from the University of Arizona in 1945. His master's thesis was titled "Art and Its Relations to Music in Music Education." Mr. DeGrazia also earned bachelor's degrees in music and art from the University of Arizona. DeGrazia built his first gallery in Tucson around 1947. His art developed a strong following and he remained a prolific artist until his death in 1982.
Bibliography: Reed, William, De Grazia: The Irreverent Angel, Frontier Heritage Press, San Diego, California, 1971