Friday, December 02, 2022

"I am Tucson" mural in its first home (Murals being made, part 73)

Our November 29 post I AM a re-born TUCSON mural showed this Ben's Bells mural…
…in its new location at the Tucson Convention Center. The photo above was taken in the mural's original location, northwest of the corner of Broadway & Stone — likely on January 25, 2014. Thanks to Ben's Bells for that photo.

Before and after original mural was made

Courtesy of Google Street View, we can rewind to March 2011, from the northeast (Stone south of Congress), before the mural was started:

Below is the same view in July 2013. Although the color is washed out, you can see the mural on the sunlit side of the structure:

That structure (a ventilation tower for the parking garage underneath, I believe) had Ben's Bells murals on three sides. Below is a view from the southeast (Broadway at Stone) in May 2015:

This blog has photos of the other two Ben's Bells murals on the structure in Murals being made, part 8 (Kindness, part 3) and Ride on, Tucson.

Original mural being made

Now on to 2012, when the “I am Tucson” mural was being made. Thanks much to Monique from Ben's Bells for collecting and sending the historical photos below. The dates came from data hidden in the photo (which can be wrong if the camera's clock wasn't set correctly).

On August 22, 2012, the mural had been outlined onto the refinished side of the structure:
On August 24, 2012, the mural was starting to take shape at 8:05 AM:
Later on August 24, at 6:58 PM, the crew had done a lot…
… but there was more to do, like the rays of sun near the top left:
Here's the finished mural again:

Goodbye to the original mural

I dialed Google Street View back to June 2018. It shows the plaza with the murals. Street View also showed that, in April 2019, the new building which would replace the plaza was taking shape. The photo below shows the scene sometime between those two dates. It's looking south from near Congress toward Broadway; Stone is at the left edge. I've outlined the structure, with at least one of the murals still on it:

In its new home

As we showed last week in the post I AM a re-born TUCSON mural, this is the mural in its new home at Tucson Convention Center:

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

"I am Tucson" mural celebration December 5

The re-installed “I am Tucson” mural (click to see our November 29th post) will be dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, December 5, at 4pm:
If you're going, please RSVP:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

I AM a re-born TUCSON mural

On September 22 and 23, 2022, Vivian Moore MacKinnon took photos of the Ben's Bells I am TUCSON mural being re-installed at its new home, TCC (the Tucson Convention Center):

The last photo above shows Chad Borseth, the Mural Coordinator for Ben's Bells.

Victoria Sasnett of the Arizona Daily Star made this video interview with Chad showing the mural being made: Watch Now: Ben's Bells recreates "I am Tucson" mural at TCC. One of the things you'll see is that the new mural isn't an exact copy of the original. For instance, volunteers have been making new pieces to use in the mural. Chad also places a small piece without checking any detailed map. (I'm guessing there isn't a detailed map… the reconstructed mural started from a chalk outline.) Also, KGUN9 TV News covered the mural reconstruction in a video: Ben's Bells brings 'I am Tucson' mosaic mural back to downtown.

I stopped by near sunrise on October 17th (so the shadows would be soft when I stood close) to photograph the whole mural:
Next, a photo of the mural taken September 7, 2012:
When you compare that original mural to the new version at TCC, you'll see that the right end of the original is missing from the new version, the mountains are higher, and the one line of writing is now two lines. (As always, you can click on a photo for a slideshow of larger views.) I'm guessing that the color of the bottom half isn't as brilliant because it's not facing the sun.

Here's an overview from Google Street View, looking west from Stone between Broadway and Congress, in April 2016:

The color in that photo is washed-out. Below is a much better photo, courtesy of Ben's Bells… probably taken January 25, 2014. As always (except for Google Street View photos, that is), you can click for a larger view:
Another post, coming soon, will have photos of the original mural being made in 2012.

Now the mural is finally in its new home!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Murals being made, part 72: Scrub this street!

One side of the Union on 6th student apartments runs along Herbert Street, an alley between 4th and 5th Avenues. (The official address for Union on 6th is 316 East 6th Street.) I took the photo above at sunrise on August 23, 2022. The patterns from dancer's dress stretch into the distance.

Unfortunately, trash containers obscure parts of the beautiful mural. I watched for months, hoping they'd be taken away. But I finally gave up after noticing that at least one was labeled with the name of a 4th Avenue business, Drunken Chicken. (I guess that there's really no other place to put a trash bin… it couldn't be on 4th Avenue itself.)

In the summer of 2021, Joe Pagac was painting this mural-in-pieces along with Nolan Patterson (@basik__art, with two “_” characters) and Dixie Vonne (who has a private account, @dixievonne). Here are three photos from Joe's Instagram account @joepagac:

(If you'd like to see the original posts with comments, here are links… …)

I snapped photos on August 10, 2021, showing the stripes and bubbles finished (?) and the dancer almost done:

David Aber took this photo on September 19, 2021:
Lighting was difficult around sunrise on August 23, 2022. But, later in the day, there might also have been trucks parked here and other stuff that obscured the mural even more. So here are photos from right (stripes starting, from near the dancer's dress) to left (bubbles):

It's so sad that such a creative and cheerful mural is hidden along an alley lined with trash bins. When Joe, Nolan and Dixie painted it, I wonder if they knew…?

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Making sick kids happy

Joe Pagac must have a lot of energy! Not long ago, he finished 5+ months hiking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Coast Trail… here's a map. He paints murals as energetically. Sometime before his trip, he painted the hallway at Tucson Medical Center connected to the Pediatric Emergency Department. Here's the spot, not far from an outside door, where kids check in:
If you're already inside the hospital, you'll see this entrance to the hall:
If you aren't familiar with TMC, there are maps at information desks, interactive kiosks, and online at (the halls are shown in the Main Hospital Map). Once you get there, you'll find that the murals are interactive if you use the Artivive app. You can search for the app by name in your phone's app store, but there's also a QR code on the wall next to each mural (TMC has free Wi-Fi):
I'll take you along the hall from the outside door to the main hallway in the middle of the hospital:

I was there on October 2, 2022.

Monday, November 21, 2022

El Tour de Mural

I just read from Jay Rochlin on Facebook about a mural tour that Damion Alexander has run for a few years on the Sunday after El Tour de Tucson:

Joe Pagac, who went on the tour, wrote more and included a video by Evan Davis. Facebook wouldn't let me embed the post (as I did above with Jay's post), but you might be able to see it by clicking this link:

I'll aim to watch for next year's El Tour de Mural and post details here!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Sahuarita Public Art

Photos of the following murals were taken on Oct. 30 in Sahuarita's Anamax Park at 17501 S. Camino De Las Quintas.

"The Land Rests"

By Wagon Burner Arts (Sawaki, Ricky Bush, Carlos Valencia, Maira Escalante)  

"Sahuarita and Astronomy"

By Wesley Fawcett Creigh

"Sahuarita Pecans"

By Wesley Fawcett Creigh

"Sam and Sara"

By Isaac Caruso from a children's book he has written and illustrated.

"Sonoran Sunset"

By Wagon Burner Arts (Sawaki, Ricky Bush, Carlos Valencia, Maira Escalante)

There are other murals in Sahuarita.  Perhaps someday I will have time to photograph them.