Saturday, July 30, 2011

From camels to sailing ships...

You can make that (virtual) journey yourself outside 2817 N. Country Club (just north of Glenn). At the time I shot these — November 25, 2010 — they were on two empty-looking walls next to Caravan Import Foods. These tile murals are signed “Abdulla” - Hand Made - Ja(?)sim, AZ.Tucson"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who needs a garden?

The ultimate xeriscaping may be: hire a muralist to paint plants on your walls!

Well, I'm not sure that's what the folks at Casa de Ladrillo (the house on north side) - 3131 E. Glenn (e. of Country Club) were thinking, but the thought crossed my mind. (I took this photo back on November 25, 2010.)

Update (September 12, 2013): The shot above was taken from the southeast corner of the home. Later, I found a mural near the southwest corner and posted a photo today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bright desert mural

This little tile mural is almost small enough to be in the "maybe a mural" category. But I decided it was big enough. :). It's on the white house at 2808 N. Dodge (just north of Glenn, on the right side). I snapped the photo on November 25, 2010.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cortaro Farms, now and then

These photos are from Howard Rains, who wrote on Thursday that he loves tracking down murals as he rides inside and outside of Tucson. Above is his photo from near the corner of Cortaro Farms and I-10, on Cortaro just east of the railroad tracks. Below, I've cropped to just the mural and stretched the photo a bit (with the GIMP editor):

Thanks as always, Howard!

Update (September 23, 2016): The steam locomotive depicted (Southern Pacific No. 1673) is on display at the train depot on Toole Avenue in Tucson. Thanks to David Aber for the tip.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mixed murals

El Rancho Sereno, at 3800 E 4th Street (just west of Alvernon), has a variety of murals that you can see from the street side of their property:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maybe a mural, part 15

Here's another piece of “wall art” that isn't painted on, fresco-style or otherwise. Tucson has lots of cut-metal gates like this one, on Stewart, just north of Drachman. Is this a mural? Or is it just a piece of art that a lot of people will enjoy?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Maybe a mural, part 14

This artistic address on the wall of a home at 1208 N. Plumer is painted directly on the cinder-bock wall around their home. It beats a simple number on the wall... but is it “a mural?”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On the other side

In May, 2010, I spotted a faded mural on the south wall of the Family Resource & Wellness Center, at Michigan Drive just west of 13th Avenue. But (maybe because the gate into the schoolyard behind was locked?), I didn't check the north side of the building:

This view is from two months ago: May, 2011. This mural on the north wall is behind an area covered by a canopy.

As Martín Moreno pointed out to me while he was re-painting the south wall of the La Pilita Museum, murals on the south sides of buildings face the worst sun and fade the fastest. That's probably why this north-side mural is in much better shape than the one on the south side.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Posner's looking good...

I've stopped by Posner's Art Store, 1025 N. Park, a few times since Rock Martinez started to paint their front window. Every time the mural has been better. Sunday morning (the 10th), it looked “finished” to me:

You can compare the mural to Posner's logo (and, for now at least, see a poster advertising the start of painting on June 25) at

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Maybe a mural, part 13

Here on the Tucson Murals Project, we run an occasional series called "maybe a mural." (What about a couple of tile "blankets" or "serapes" that have teen "tossed" across a stucco wall? Are those murals??) We generally leave those questions to you. (Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder...) What about a "mural" that's destined to be cleaned (or fade) away — like a mandala made of sand?

Anyway, we're back to the archives... back to a time when it was cool enough outside that people wanted to stand on the pavement and spend a lot of time enjoying (what you might call) murals drawn on the sidewalk. These are during an exhibition opening, October 29, 2010, on the big patio at the Tucson Museum of Art. The were made by students at the Museum School, in a Day of the Dead theme, and they were gone after that night.

Murals? That's for you to decide. Art? No question.

To find other murals on this blog that have vanished, scroll through the table of murals (or use your browser's "find in page" command) to look for the word GONE. Then click the link in that line for a photo of the (now-)missing mural.

Murals being made, part 7

Three months ago, we showed David Tineo's team painting a new mural in Murals being made, part 2. They were working indoors, painting separate panels that would eventually go onto a frame on the east side of Mountain Avenue. Here's that frame yesterday:

There's not much to look at yet, I know. An artist on the project said this frame is bigger than the last time she saw it. So, if you're driving on Mountain Avenue just north of Glenn in the next few days, look between the trees by the church, near the corner of Adelaide.

(If you see something different, I'd appreciate an email or a phone call -- (520)302-4402 -- to let me know. A photo would be even better!)

Update (May 18, 2012): Part 8 of this “being made” series was posted today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Winter Fresh in July (?!)

For this 350th post on the Tucson Murals Project blog, I couldn't think of a better topic than something I know almost nothing about. :) Actually, I started to learn about the annual Winta Fresh "convention" when I met painters who were watching Rock Martinez painting the front window of Posner's Art Store. Winta Fresh is a place where graffiti artists (who don't live in a neighborhood with a community mural project to work on) can paint -- and learn from other artists -- without worries about being arrested.

If you haven't spent much time looking at graffiti art (a.k.a. sometimes as "urban art"), don't get too much idea from that first work about the rest of them. There's a big variety in urban art, just as there is in more-traditional art. For instance:

The venue is a vacant lot south of Undisputed Fitness & Training, 1240 N. Stone.

The wide, long and high space is like a walk-in art gallery, with works of art in blocks on both the north and south walls. (The fence around it can be closed, though, so bring binoculars or a zoom lens.)

Rock plays a big role at Winta Fresh (and, when it happens, the corresponding Summer Fresh), and he told me that the murals on the building's east wall (along the alley) were made by nationally-known graffiti artists who came to Tucson especially for Winta Fresh. You can see their work at the very end of the January 10, 2010 post.

There's a Winta Fresh every year, so I'm not sure which photos from the archives are from which year. The post I just mentioned must have been showing the work from Winta Fresh '09 or '10. I'll try to straighten that out! In the meantime, here are two more scenes from my early-morning ride to the "gallery" this week:

If you'd like to see more, try one of the page, image or video search engines on the Internet. Here's a Google page search you can click on:

[ tucson "winter fresh" OR "winta fresh" OR wintafresh ]

From the results of that search, you can also click on "Video" at the left edge.

Here are a couple of other things I found in a quick hunt through Google results (for other searches). One is the poster for the Winta Fresh December 13, 2008:

I also found a Myspace page for Tucson Graffiti.

If you have more resources about Tucson graffiti to share — or comments, or complaints, or whatever — please leave a comment below or send me some email.

Happy 350th!

Update (February 16, 2013): I've just posted photos of the WintaFresh 2013 painting party.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Solar (system) Culture

At the end of 2010, the mural outside Solar Culture Gallery had birds, bugs, desert and mountains. The scene here at 31 E. Toole has changed once a year, at least. Here's the view last week. (Click to zoom in and see the solar system between their hands.) 2012, anyone?

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Here's another downtown mural from Joe Pagac, on a wall around a construction site at 274 E. Congress: