Thursday, August 27, 2015

"A" Mountain, Paul Bunyan, a flying VW bus, ...

This mural must have a story behind it... but the high fence topped by three strands of barbed wire, and the guard dogs behind it, made me decide not to try to find out. The building doesn't seem to have a number, though Google Maps told me 2735 North Stone when I clicked on the building. It's the next building south of Tommy's Food and Drink, which is at 2747... I pulled into their parking lot on April 12th to take this photo:

The mural is full of Tucson icons, as well as (mostly) old Volkswagen cars and "buses" (the classic VW camper wagons). (Click on the photo for a larger view and have a look for yourself.)

All of the VWs in the mural reminded me that the business across the street, and just north — at the southeast corner of Glenn & Stone — used to be called Uncle Bob's VW Repair. (Then it was Uncle Bob's Used Cars.) Is there a connection? Hmmm. (Our photos of the murals on that corner are on August 18, 2008... March 11, 2010... and May 3, 2012.) I'll aim to stop by the office at Uncle Bob's and ask.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Murals wrapped around books (in Oracle)

Although we usually cover murals in Tucson, I spotted an extraordinary wrap-around mural — actually, two murals — when I was in Oracle April 12th for their annual Artist Studio Tour. The bigger mural wraps around much of the parking lot, and the smaller one stretches around part of the front of the building.

By the way, the town's website has a library page explaining that the library is staffed completely by volunteers! If you know more about this, or know how the murals were funded, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

Here's the main mural, from left to right:

And the mural on the front side of the building, left to right:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Not-so-floral mural

It was June 28th when I got email from Mark Fleming with photos of a flower shop on South 12th, a couple of long blocks north of Drexel Road. I edited them a bit for posting on the blog, then — it seems — I forgot to post them? I don't see them here, so here they are!

First, the mural. Next, close-ups:

Thanks, Mark. More of your photos soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

AZ Daily Star: Chris Pratt's mural (in WA state)

Yesterday, Google Alerts sent me email about a story in the Arizona Daily Star with the word “mural” in it. I jumped on it, of course. :) The story was about how a mural in a small Washington town's restaurant had helped bring business in — especially when the story hit social media. Here’s the article:

Cuddle parties; Quidditch in the park; Chris Pratt's mural

When Randy Garsee started this blog almost ten years ago, he had a policy of only showing murals that anyone could see, for free. That especially means: no murals in people's homes and back yards. It also includes restaurants… although people can go into a restaurant without paying, maybe Randy thought sending people in to see a mural wasn't kind to owners or people dining there?

After reading the article, though, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to promote business owners’ support of muralists — and blog readers’ enjoyment — by showing murals in restaurants (and other businesses, too?). I'd only do that with the business owner’s OK, of course.

If you have any thoughts about that, please leave a comment below. (You can remain anonymous if you’d like to.) Thanks.

Monday, August 17, 2015

More changes on Toole in April or May

We've posted quite a few photos of the two five-mural panels along the northeast side of Toole Avenue — between the street and the parking lot — so many that I have trouble keeping up with them! On April 5th, I rolled by the southern panel — across the street from 174 East Toole — and saw a couple of new panels, as well as one under construction:

The second panel has two rows of difficult scenes, surrounded by flags of nations (if you'd like to see them more closely, click to zoom in):

Here's the third panel:

I just checked Google's Street View and found a similar image in May, 2015. The fourth panel was still part-done (or part-undone?):

Monday, August 10, 2015

April at 199 East Toole

April 5th, at the northeast end of this ever-changing building, were a (former) charcoal grill…

and a (still used) dumpster:

At the southern end of the east side I saw Rock Martinez’ partly-finished mural.

What's next?? (It’s been four months, more than long enough for an update on this amazing building. Stay tuned.)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A bit farther east...

Almost five years ago — December 13, 2009 — we showed the First mural in "kindness corridor" near the UA's Main Gate. Ben's Bells has been adding murals around town since then.

A bit farther east — a few steps from the right side of that mural we showed five years ago — are more murals. They're on the southeast corner of the building just south of University, along Park:

At the left edge of that photo, underneath the stairs, is this mural with two or three faces and “Be kind to each other” written twice, once from left to right and the other from right to left, backwards:

And here's a closeup of the face at the left side of the stairwell:

I took the photos on March 13, 2015.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Embracing graffiti?

In case you missed it, an article that the Arizona Daily Star said was “one of this week’s most talked-about stories” is here:

Embracing graffiti could help contain it, save Tucson money

From the story: “Options like graffiti walls or mural projects could provide a productive outlet for taggers, said Michael B. Schwartz, director of the Tucson Arts Brigade.”

Here's a summary of reader comments:

Facebook comments from our readers

The discussion continues!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Walkway treat: Treat Walkway

The Tucson Arts Brigade collaborated with the Broadmoor-Broadway Village Neighborhood Association to add tile murals along the walkway that stretches the distance where the car-width Treat Avenue would otherwise be: between (at the north end) Manchester Street and Stratford Drive, and (at the south end) between Stratford Drive and (farther south) 22nd. It's a wonderful stroll… And, in the the middle — where the walkway crosses Arroyo Chico on a footbridge — here's what you'll see on the south and north sides of the bridge:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Joyful murals at Our Mother of Sorrows

Here are more excellent photos by David Aber. He wrote that he found the group of murals “at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Parish and School at 1800 S. Kolb Rd. Evidently it is a custom at the school for each graduating class to paint or tile a mural. Five of the eight photos are class projects for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. I must have missed 2011 and 2014.”

No worries, Dave. Thanks for all of these!

Class of 2008

Class of 2009

Mural dedicated September 12, 2009

Class of 2010

Class of 2012

Class of 2013


Monday, July 27, 2015

Build your collection with Google's "My Galleries"

Before I introduce this bit of (typically) groundbreaking news from Google — and mention that this entry isn't specifically about Tucson art — I'd like to suggest that seeing art on a computer screen or phone just isn't the same as experiencing it in person. How can you feel the depth, time, and movement of — say — a Jackson Pollock work by viewing an image on your screen? Don't stop traveling (in person, not electronically), folks...

Still, Michael Schwartz told me about a new Google service that lets you build your own collection of online art. If you don't have lots of money (or frequent-flier miles), you can get a rough idea of what it's like to be in a museum of your favorites by visiting

Be your own curator at The Centre Pompidou? Pourquoi pas?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This way to the beach (¿la playa?)

On December 12, 2010, we posted photos of the murals on Mariscos Chihuahua locations around Tucson — restaurants with great Mexican seafood. On June 1, 2015, I noticed that the 22nd Street location had a sign at the left edge of its mural:

In Spanish, “the beach” is “la playa.” Whatever: Thanks for the extra fun, Mariscos Chihuahua.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Murals being made, part 29d: Done!

We've been following a new mural by Johanna Martinez on the east wall of the Buffet Bar. When I stopped by on June 2nd, the details seemed to be filled in... and she'd signed the mural (at the lower right). I've been out of town, so I haven't talked with her... I think it's done!

Here's an overview, then some closer shots:

Don't miss the great detail in the locomotive's smoke. The first two photos show it best.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Murals being made, part 29c

Last Thursday's entry showed the Buffet Bar's mural partly-done; muralist Johanna Martinez was out of town. On May 5th, I caught her there, on scaffolding with a small version of the mural (covered with grid lines to make enlarging it onto the wall much easier):

The E on the end of Iron Horse (named for the neighborhood) is coming together. Here's Johanna painting a leg:

We'll wrap up this series next time.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Murals being made, part 29b

Last time, I posted photos of a mural taking shape, March 7th, on the east side of the Buffet Bar. The bartender enthusiastically showed me what the finished mural would look like and told me the artist's first name, which I remembered as Joanna.

A couple of weeks later, a reader wrote to ask about the Greetings from Barrio Santa Rosa mural. I'd been in touch with the muralist, Johanna Martinez, a while back. So I sent her a copy of the reader's question and also asked her if she was working on any other public murals. She wrote back and said she was painting a mural on the side of the... Buffet Bar. Joanna... Johanna... oh!

She'd be leaving town soon; I couldn't find a time to stop by and see her painting. (That's next time.) But I stopped by on April 5th, while she was away, and snapped a couple of photos. Here's a view showing what's left of the “tough-guy” saguaro mural and what's new on the new mural:

The bison have more detail, the landscape has taken shape, and the middle of the title is there. Here's a close-up of the title:

Iron Horse (for the neighborhood) is missing the first I and the last e.

The saga continues next time — in part 29c!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Murals being made, part 29a

Thanks to a friend who lived nearby, I heard that a new mural was going up on the east side of the Buffet Bar — taking over the right half of the tough-guy saguaro mural. I got there on March 7th to find...

The circle of benches had been moved into a line, and the mural was taking shape. The train's smoke was two patches of white — one of them starting over the smokestack:

To the left of the train, the outline of a prickly pear cactus:

More next time, in part 29b.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

New at Luke's on Alvernon

On February 8, 2011, we published a photo of the mural around the seating area at the Luke's Italian Beef location on Alvernon. (There are four locations now.) David Aber visited on June 5 of this year and found a new mural(s). Here are his photos showing the three sides of the outdoor seating area:

East view:
South view:
West view:
There's a typo in the sign in the middle of the south view: If it's supposed to be in Italian, restorante should be ristorante. But, otherwise, what a delicious mural!

Thanks as always, David.