Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy 60th, Bob

Bookmans founder Bob Oldfather (here's his official story from the Bookmans website) has kept new murals on the wall of their flagship store, Grant at Campbell, for years. When I drove in this evening, I saw that Bob is celebrating his 60th birthday (and also, as I found on the website, his store's 35th). This mural on the store's east wall is signed (520)312-7076 Rock Martinez / Tommy Chambers / Art Terrain 2011.

Happy 60th, Bob!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where is this mural?

If you enjoy Tucson's murals from the comfort of your home (or office, or wherever you see this blog), you can just read and scroll down. Once you see a mural you'd like to enjoy in person, though, you need to be able to find it. When I snap a mural photo, I jot down information that I hope will help you. Since most murals are on buildings, I can give the address — or so I believed until after I snapped this photo of a wall of the former El Rapido restaurant downtown:

When I shot this, I was on West Washington Street — no question. The numbers to the right of the door say 77. So, the mural is at 77 W. Washington, right? That's what I thought until I typed that address into Google Maps... and it put the location pointer a block east of the actual spot. I searched for El Rapido and people quoted that same address: 77. What to do?

Luckily, I could ask Melo King for advice. (She created the mural maps that you really should check out if you haven't already.) The bottom line is that the address of a piece of land can change — especially if the streets are close together, so the parcel could "be on" one of several streets. Pima County has online GIS (Geographic Information System) to help you find a current address — and an amazing amount of other information. (See and click on "Main MapGuide Map".)

There doesn't seem to be a 77 West Washington Street anymore. I can tell you that the mural is on the north side of Washington in the middle of the block between Meyer and Court. To get a more precise location, I opened a satellite view of the area from Google Maps, clicked on the front of the building, and chose "What's here?" from the pop-up menu. It says the mural (actually, a spot a few feet north) is at latitude 32.224539 and longitude -110.974388. Here's that view.

What we do for art! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In case you blinked...

...along I-10 at the Miracle Mile exit, here are the three tile murals you would have seen on each side of the freeway. They're all signed Mackender 1994 / Tile by Artistic Tile, but I thought they were added during the recent freeway widening project? Anyway, they're worth a closer look. (To zoom in on a photo, click on it. Come back with your browser's "back" button.)

First, the three murals on the westbound side, from south to north:

Next, the eastbound side, from north to south:

Those are lamps and desert plants at the edges of most photos.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A classier carport

Dress up your carport with a mural — like this one at 6142 E. 14th:

(By the way, we only show murals that are visible to the public. You can see this as you walk by on the street. If, say, this mural had been inside a garage, we wouldn't show it.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Five horses on Speedway

Speedway (at least a lot of it in central Tucson) isn't a great place to be on a bicycle. I tried it early one morning last summer — as the sun was rising and before traffic got bad — to find murals I hadn't seen. (That's a lot easier to do at 10 or 15 miles an hour than at 35 or 40.) For some reason (maybe because my bicycle is an Iron Horse brand — great bike, by the way), all of the murals I spotted fit that theme. (Well, sort of. :)

The first was at Red Garter, 3143 E. Speedway:

At the other end of my ride along Speedway were two horses in a desert scene at Bookstore Southwest Adult Shop, 5754 E. Speedway (click to zoom in):

The last two horses (actually made of iron — or steel), were at Sir Veza's Taco Garage, on the corner with Swan:

P.S. I just noticed that Warren V. sent a photo of the Red Garter horse — more than two years ago — in Randy's post Horsin' Around at the Saloon. With more than 300 murals online here, this is another good reason for Melo's mural map... to help us prevent duplicate photos. In the meantime, thanks to Warren and Melo!

Update (September 22, 2020): I've posted closer photos of the wraparound mural on Bookstore Southwest. And Sir Veza's Taco Garage is gone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Murals with heart(s)

When you're shopping at Rancho Center, in the 3300 block of East Speedway, cross the street to check out these four mosaic murals in the center island. Artist Linda Haworth built them with community youth in 1993.

(To zoom in on a photo, click on it. Return with your browser's "back" button.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Three hundredth is Fourth

Depending on your frame of mind — and maybe where you live — "4th Avenue" means different parts of Tucson. There's the primarily-residential street north of downtown. Between downtown and the university comes the chunk full of fun shopping and eclectic eating. Another stretch of homes fills Fourth south of downtown. Then, south of 22nd Street, Fourth morphs into a string of businesses and (mostly) Mexican-style restaurants as it crosses through the city of South Tucson. (Past there, I'm not sure... but I'm planning to head far south to check that mural scene.)

For this 300th post — almost five years after Randy started blogging about Tucson murals — here's the latest I've found along Fourth: north, central, and south. (I also have lots more to post from South Tucson!)

In a neighborhood on the north, the home at 1248 N. 4th has wraparound murals — mostly on Mabel Street. The first view below is from the east end along Mabel, and the second is from the west:

Head south across Speedway and pass Catalina Park... and you'll be on the university/downtown section of 4th. I'm surprised that I never snapped these next two murals. They're on the northeast corner of Epic Cafe, 745 N. 4th. (As always, you can click on any photo for a larger view... and use your browser's "Back" button to come back.)

Across the street, on the northwest corner of Trinity Presbyterian Church (400 E. University), are two mosaic murals:
(There's a third mural on the east side.)

Update (November 16, 2012): There's also a mural on the north side.

At the north end of the Magpies Pizza patio is a storefront that looks as if had another business in it sometime recently. If you know what it was, please tell me.Farther down 4th, The Fathead Shop has opened a new establishment next door called Mr. Head's Gallery & Bar.

Sacred Art and Piercing Studios, 315 N. 4th, is one of the businesses that keeps mural-hunters busy. Back in August, we showed two of their murals. Here's the same wall a few days ago (January 22)... the mural is signed Rock Martinez & Ruben Moreno:

On a window of Food Conspiracy Co-op, 412 N. 4th, is the best-hidden mural on the street... this little gem over the shopping carts, a sort of self-reflection:

Let's finish this trip down Fourth Avenue in the section near South Tucson. At the corner with 22nd Street, La Buena Cocina (248 E. 22nd) was closed for renovation when I stopped by yesterday afternoon. I hope this mural will still be there when they reopen. (Check out the "shelf" at the bottom. It's painted onto the flat wall, but — in this photo, at least — it looks like a piece of wood.)

Thanks for coming along on this lengthy tour of one of Tucson's best mural streets. As I said, there'll be lots more to come from farther down Fourth, and the rest of South Tucson, in the next hundred posts (and the ones after those).