Update (May 14, 2012): Today's Arizona Daily Star article by Carol Ann Alaimo, Tucson Oddity: Mural recalls 4th Ave.'s quirky denizens, covers this 17-by-70-foot mural. Painted in 1996 by Eleanor Kohloss, it's titled “The Thinkers.” All characters have a thought bubble over their heads. (The dog, who's thinking of a steak dinner, is named Beano.) Some of the characters are Tucsonans, and others are fictional.
I have often admired Oro Valley's public art efforts. I even produced a video of public art in Oro Valley, which you can find on my YouTube Channel. This latest attempt, however, tanks.
Oro Valley has a beautiful new shopping area called the Oro Valley Marketplace. Smack dab in the middle of this strip mall in the desert are two water tanks. Someone decided, "Hey, water tanks are unsightly. Let's paint a mural on them. Better yet, make them look like massive Giant Saguaros."
As I discovered, the great idea of painting the tanks was mutilated by someone else's idea to surround the tanks with an 8-foot-tall stucco fence. Drivers can only see the tops of the tanks! Why not some type of fence so visitors can see the art work from top to bottom? What a waste to spend all of that tax money for well-painted tanks and then hide most of the work.
I got the best shots I could get and cropped the cactus flower for better effect. I even stood on the concrete pillar of a light pole to get shots of the tanks without the wall in front of them. But if you drive through the Oro Valley Marketplace, I'm sure you'll have the same thought I did:
"Paint a mural and hide it? No 'tank' you! Randy Garsee
Jerry Peek's images are public-domain. For non-profit use, he'd appreciate a mention of his name and JerryPeek.com. For profit, please ask first from the TucsonArt.info contact form; give the title of the blog entry, which image, and what you'd like to do.
For full-size versions of these shrunken photos — for instance, to print in a magazine — Jerry has them.
(Jerry is a volunteer who loves to show you murals, and your kindness will help him go on.) Thanks for reading!