Photos Courtesy of Hidden in the Hills

Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour, Hidden in the Hills, returns to the Valley for a 26th year. The popular event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday: Nov. 18 to 20 and Nov. 25 to 27. This year’s free, self-guided tour features 174 artists at 47 studios throughout Cave Creek, Carefree, and North Scottsdale.

Showcasing both nationally recognized and emerging artists, Hidden in the Hills attracts thousands of patrons who appreciate fine art and seek a variety of mediums, styles, and price ranges. With the event taking place the weekends before and after Thanksgiving, the art tour also attracts holiday shoppers who want to find an original, unique gift.

Ceramic artist Myron Whitaker’s stunning vessel, “Large Ferric with Agate” graces the cover of this year’s popular four-color, glossy artist directory. The contemporary, raku-fired piece features rich textures and earthy colors. The inspiration for the piece––a striking Brazilian agate––sits atop the vessel’s handle.

From 18-Wheelers to Contemporary Ceramics
Myron Whitaker likes to joke that he is “as country as country gets,” something that no one could guess by viewing his large body of contemporary ceramic works. Growing up in Kannapolis, North Carolina, he never imagined pursuing a career as an artist. In fact, he spent more than 16 years manufacturing 18-wheelers. One day, he ran into his high school art teacher who encouraged him to take a ceramics class she was teaching at a local community college. The class fueled his passion to learn more, and within a few years, he left his job to work full-time as a ceramic artist.

“When I first started doing ceramics, it was pure fun. And then I fell in love with it,” Whitaker says. “I’m really living my dream. When I sit down on the wheel to throw clay, I know that’s where I’m supposed to be.”

Today, some 14 years later, Whitaker is best known for his large scale, raku fired vessels.

“Raku is one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the ceramic process. The anticipation of instantaneously seeing red hot clay pieces evolve into the final glazed and black smoke artwork is the most gratifying part of the journey,” he says.

Ferric refers to the firing process. “It’s an acid that I pour over the vessel before firing it,” he said. “In this case, I used more than 40 pounds of clay to create the vessel, and I decided to use ferric instead of a glaze in order to bring out the earthy colors and give it a primitive look.”

Whitaker will exhibit his work at mixed media artist Carlos Page’s Studio No. 32 in Cave Creek. For maps and details, visit