Friday, August 31, 2012

Desert Sky Community School

This mural is on the south wall of the school, 1350 N. Arcadia.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A porch on Grant

This mural is on the front porch of the home at 1177 E. Grant Road. I found it on March 5th.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chavez, Gandhi, Tolstoy and Tonan

This long mural at 760 S. Stone is dedicated to Cesar Chavez. The muralist was Melchor Ramirez. I took three photos on February 25th. Here they are, from right to left:

Cesar Chavez and Tonan. After a bit of searching, I found an Aztec goddess with that name. (If you know more, please leave a comment below or send me email.)

Tolstoy and Gandhi

“In memory of Cesar Chavez, Human Rights
and Union Activist, 1927-1993”

Update (April 28, 2014): The mural is part of Cesar Chavez Park, a small city park. Click there to see a photo and details in today's entry in the Tucson's Pocket Parks blog.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moving mural needs new home ¡pronto!

This art car has been sitting in the Netting family's carport while Jessa was away, but she'll be in Tucson the week of August 27th. She wrote that the car was:

“painted in 1998 by Yokohama muralist Rocco Satoshi. I wondered if you might be able to help me make a connection with someone interested in preserving it.

“In his heydays in Japan and San Diego during the 1990s, Rocco covered buildings, vehicles, civic centers, and bridges with his art.

“Several years ago when I lived in San Diego, Rocco Satoshi painted my car as a part of an exhibition. I drove it in San Diego for a few years and then in Tucson when I returned to my home town for grad school. But since then I moved away to New York and will never be able to bring it out [t]here.

“My family is eager for me to get rid of the car as it has been sitting idle and, unfortunately, is now undriveable. But I haven't been able to get myself to donate it to charity as I know it is likely to be scrapped and the mural destroyed. It would make me so happy, however, to give it to any arts organization or artist just interested in it for the painted frame.

“Would you or your community be at all interested in a saving a rolling mural from the scrap heap? I would help arrange a tow.

“Thanks for any suggestions and I apologize for the hurried nature of this request. Please respond rapidly if you have any suggestions for a solution to save the art.”

I took the photos today. The car is a lot of fun! It's a Mazda 626 with Arizona plates (I blurred them in this photo). If you don't have a home for the car, please check around with friends and groups you know. Tucson loves art, so let's keep this rolling mural out of the junkyard!

You can send Jessa email at

Friday, August 24, 2012

Primavera Foundation

Five Points is a great place for murals. This mural is on the Stone Avenue side of the Primavera Foundation, 702 S. 6th.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

5 Points Bikes

The store is at the southwest corner of Stone & 17th & 7th (702 S. Stone), and the mural is on the north wall. I was there on February 25th.

Update (March 8, 2017): The mural has changed a bit. There's a photo of the former mural in our August 23, 2012 entry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Viking Car Wash

The Arizona Daily Star’s August 6 article Tucson Oddity: Haunting mural draws plenty of looks at the Viking Car Wash described this mural at 1120 S. 6th Avenue:

The article says that the mural was painted by Jesus Robles Jr. and that the car wash has been here since 1984. You can see the mural as you drive by on 22nd: look to the north, just west of the stoplight at 6th Avenue. (Or stop in for a car wash!) I drive by all the time but never noticed it. I took this photo on August 17th.

Update (January 5, 2015): There's a new mural here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Maybe a mural, part 36: Address signs on Adams

Once in a while, I post something here that you might or might not call a “mural.” (The last time was July 20th.)

On May 24th, I was riding along Adams Street two blocks west of Country Club when I realized that the nice little address signs could be murals. But they're small, and there are so many of them around town, that I probably won't post many of them. Here are two, though:

Friday, August 17, 2012

More at La Pilita Museum

One of Tucson's best-known murals is on the south wall of the La Pilita Museum, 420 S. Main. We've shown a previous version of the mural, as well as the repainted mural here on the blog.

Here's a more recent photo, from February 11, of the repainted mural by Martín Moreno and the tile work in front of it:

By the front entrance is a painted chile ristra:

When I was there six months ago I asked permission to go out the back door of the museum to see the murals inside the fenced back yard. A couple of the murals are for a water harvesting project; they surround a big cistern:

That second mural above is a timeline starting from before the time of European contact. It's a nice design, but I didn't notice what it shows: water levels, maybe?

Students from Carillo Elementary School nearby have painted some of the murals at the museum:

El Tiradito under a starry sky,
and a weeping woman
The Devil and a Texan (I'm not sure
if there's any connection :)
This mural was behind two posts

Finally, here's a sign for either the students or other artists:

Now that students are back at school — six months after I took these photos — maybe there are more murals?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

El Minuto's murals

In the middle of the line between the redevelopment that replaced part of Tucson's Barrio Viejo with the Tucson Convention Center complex is the long-time restaurant El Minuto, at 354 S. Main Avenue. Here are three photos of the murals surrounding this downtown tradition, from west to east:

I stopped by on January 18th.

Update (May 9, 2014): Today I published a photo of the murals Behind El Minuto.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Where Arctic Son studied

Years ago, not long after I moved to Tucson, I bought a book called Arctic Daughter— the story of Tucsonan Jean Aspen moving to a remote part of Alaska with her family, learning to live in true wilderness.

Fast-forward ten years or so to the start of February, 2012. I saw an article in the Arizona Daily Star about a new DVD being shown — the story of a Tucsonan who moved to Alaska with her family to, well... and I looked on my bookshelf. Same author... but now she was grown up and this was the story of her family.

The sad part was that her son, Lucas Irons, had just passed away — very young and much-beloved. Jean and her husband Tom Irons would fly in to Tucson for one night — to see friends and show the video — at Green Fields Country Day School, where Luke was a student. I couldn't miss this...

I'll leave the rest of the story to Jean's website and the school's Lucas Irons Scholarship page. I mention the story here because the school has murals! It was nearly dark, but I caught four photos. The murals are spread around the campus at 6000 N. Camino De La Tierra.

And don't miss the amazing stained-glass mural in the library made by... Jean Aspen. (She's an artist as well as a writer.) I didn’t get a photo of it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Horse by Mena

When I rode by this horse on February 3rd, the artist’s style looked familiar...

I stopped to take a closer look (and this photo). Sure enough, one of the back legs is signed “Mena”... Luis Gustavo Mena, the well-known Tucson muralist.

The mural was on a garage door on a west-facing building, on the northeast corner of 22nd & Tucson.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

...or this one...

Our previous post showed a mural behind a tall fence topped with razor wire. Here's another one. I found it on February 3rd on a building just north of 744 S. Euclid.

These two murals may be a bit hard to see... but, at least, taggers will have trouble trashing them!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Can't touch this mural...

A high fence, topped with barbed wire and razor wire, surrounds the land and the mural on this building near the south side of the property at 901 E. 12th Street. I was there on January 27th.

A while ago, this was the Sonoran Desert Nursery. Later it was a free community garden operated by TREES PLEASE. Now I see a couple of "land for sale" listings online. If you'd like to see this mural in person, stop by soon! (But don't get too close.)

Update (December 31, 2013): There are more photos from Mark Fleming on today's post Inside the fence.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sabino Canyon Visitor Center

I've been coming here for years — like almost everyone in Tucson — but I didn't spot these murals until a year or two ago. The first is on the wall of the visitor center:

The rest are around the top of the inside of the ramada near the parking lot — the one where groups meet for hikes (like the full-moon hike I was on tonight). I started photographing from the northwest corner of the ramada, clockwise. As always, you can click on a photo for a larger view...

In case you haven't been there, the visitor center is at the corner of Sunrise & Sabino Canyon.