Sunday, September 30, 2012

Murals being unmade: Chicago Store

The Chicago music store, downtown at 130 E. Congress, has been surrounded by murals for years. The outside walls are being renovated, though, and the murals are gone — for now, at least.

The south wall used to look like this and this. On Friday the 28th, it looked like this and this:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Murals being made, part 9: TAB on Tucson Blvd.

The Tucson Arts Brigade is painting another overpass. Unlike the one at 29th & Columbus, though, the mural is under the overpass.

I took these photos yesterday. You can see the "paint-by-number" design, with a number (1, 2, etc.) for each color. This is how TAB makes it easy for people to join in the painting.

The location is north of the airport on Tucson Boulevard, south of Irvington, just south of Bantam Road.
Update (December 18, 2012): The school just west of the overpass has a number of murals. The December 16 post shows the north part of the campus, and today's entry shows the spectacular David Tineo mural on the south end.

Friday, September 28, 2012

More Creative Ventures

Back on October 26, 2010, we posted a photo of the front of Creative Ventures at 522 N. 4th. Here are two more photos from the south end.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Glossy entrance on Fourth Avenue

Early-morning sun was shining from this doorway on March 27th. It's between 429 and 431 N. 4th:

(Don't miss the little mural at the bottom right.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kenneth by the coast

The letters stretching into the distance spell “Kenneth.” I found the mural March 27th on the door at the east end of Common Grounds Espresso Co, 331 E. 7th Street.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More "unpublished" murals

I never seem to catch up with all of the murals in Tucson. I've started posting photos every day instead of every other day, but there are still more than 200 murals waiting.

If you'd like to see what's coming, look at the unpublished murals pages. I've just updated them. The pages are built automatically, and the photos haven't been edited, but I think you'll get a good idea of what's coming up in the next few months. Here's a link to click:

The murals are listed several different ways. It's a bit complicated at first. But if you look around and read the instructions at the start and end of a page, I think it'll make sense.

Happy hunting...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hippie Gypsy's windows

Back in 2008, we showed the north wall of Hippie Gypsy, the Fourth Avenue institution. Like a number of Tucson businesses, this one has murals painted on the roll-up shutters that cover the windows while it’s closed. Here are closeups of the northeast corner and the east side:

I took the photos on March 27th.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Murals on TAB's Facebook page

Over the past couple of years, the Tucson Arts Brigade has posted mural photos on their Facebook page. Some of the photos are identified; a few give the location and date the photo was taken, but many don't.

Here are links to the photos I spotted that aren't already here on the Tucson Murals Project. Enjoy! And if you recognize the mural, please help everyone out by leaving a comment below, after the list, with the mural number and what you know about it. (We're trying to build a history of murals in Tucson — especially the ones that are gone.) Or, if you'd prefer, send me email. Thanks.

When you click on a link below, it should open in a new window or tab. After you close that window or tab, this one should still be here.
  1. The 4 B's Mural (posted June 1, 2010)
  2. Our Yaqui Culture: ©1998 Tucson Arts Brigade (posted September 28, 2011)
  3. Oasis Community Mural: destroyed: ©2002 Tucson Arts Brigade (posted September 28, 2011)
  4. Hope Beyond Conflict, ©2001 Tucson Arts Brigade (posted September 28, 2011)
  5. Drexel ES, 2007 (posted September 28, 2011)
  6. We Give Birth to a Choice Each Day (lots of details on the Facebook page) (posted November 29, 2011)
  7. Martin Luther King Jr. (posted January 13, 2012)
  8. Happy International Women's Day! (posted March 9, 2012)
  9. Happy Memorial Day from Tucson Arts Brigade! (posted May 28, 2012)
  10. Untitled (posted August 8, 2012)
  11. From our 2001 "Community WORKS" Busbench series (posted September 15, 2012)
  12. 1998 - "Seeds for Life" Sunflower Mural (posted September 15, 2012)
And there's the Blast from the Past TAB Spring 1999 Newsletter that was posted Friday, April 20, 2012. (No need to post info about this.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Murals at The Historic Y

As soon as you walk into the northwest entrance door to The Historic Y, you'll see two murals. One is at the top of the stairwell leading down to the Paulo Freire Freedom School, and the other is at the first turn down:

At the end of one of the several staircases to the second floor is Carly Quinn's tile mural outside the Sky Island Alliance office.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A thorny corner

You and your car won’t be alone at 2nd & 9th. There are five tough guys saguaro hanging around this slightly down-and-out corner.

(On the south side of the parking lot is a multicolored brick wall.)

I made these portraits on March 30th.
Update (July 6, 2015): The north end of this mural has been replaced with an Iron Horse Neighborhood mural.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mural map and mural tours are online!

Almost two years ago (and with some help from me), Melodi King made the first Tucson Murals map. Since then we've added several hundred more murals to the blog, but the map hasn't kept up. Melo has plans for a much better map system next year. In the meantime, I've used Google's "My Maps" feature to build an up-to-date map:

You can use the map from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Its address is: I'd suggest reading the tips and/or watching the video first (especially because there are actually three separate maps; you may want to see them all!). The tips and video are at

I've also made three mural tours:
The murals are listed in order in the left column.

If you have comments or suggestions, please send them from the murals page. Or write them here by leaving a comment below; then other people can see them too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maybe a mural, part 37: decorated home

You might not think of the painted decorations on this house, at 1817 E. 10th Street, as a “mural.” Or maybe you do. Either way, though, they help make the front of the home more artistic than plain stucco.

I took the photo on March 24th.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

TAB grand opening, overpass update

The Tucson Arts Brigade has brought a lot of art to Tucson. Three of their recent projects were the Barrio Centro mural, repainting Winsett Park, and the 29th Street overpass.

This coming Friday, September 21, is the grand opening of their new offices in the Historic Y. Here are the details. It's a beautiful building full of arts- and community-related people and groups. Stop by and meet the mural makers!

Speaking of TAB murals: Last week I rode by the overpass at 29th & Columbus. Several murals had been finished or tweaked since I was last there on March 14th. Here's an update.
Here's the last mural above as it looked on December 18, 2011:
The west end of the bridge has its mural now — and, ironically, some tiny tags. One of TAB's goals is to turn destructive taggers into mural painters, but I guess not every one was on this project.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Community Chalkboard

Yesterday I saw a story on KVOA-TV about the new Community Chalkboard. (Actually, @DowntownTucson tweeted about it.) I couldn't wait; I headed straight for the corner of Arizona Avenue and Congress to check it out:

(And the artist doesn't have two right arms! I set my camera on the mode that takes two exposures — one for the bright areas and another for the dark — and averages them. His hand was moving so fast that the two exposures caught it in different places. By the way, if you have a fairly new camera, check for that mode. It's great in scenes with a wide variety of brightness.)

The chalkboard is 40 feet long, and chalk is supplied. Since it's cleaned often, it's like a constantly-evolving mural. Thanks to David Aguirre for another creative downtown art project.

Friday, September 14, 2012

West of Leo Rich Theatre

I just came across this photo. I took it on March 9, 2005 (during the annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival — the morning rehearsals are wonderful... and free) but never posted it to this blog. It's on the west side of the Leo Rich Theatre, across the plaza from the concert hall. That's La Placita in the background.

(By the way, all of my other photos on this blog are in the public domain: you're free to do whatever you want with them. But I'd like to keep copyright on this one. If you want to use it somewhere else, please ask me first. Thanks.)

Update (December 5, 2014): The area near here has been renovated, as you can see in today's entry on the Tucson Pocket Parks blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cancer Survivors Plaza

On the south side of Reid Park, at the northeast corner of 22nd Street and Lakeshore Lane, is the Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Plaza. Besides being a shady spot with a mural-covered fountain, it’s an inspiring place with plaques that have information for people struggling with cancer. I took this photo on September 2nd.

There are more photos at

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am Tucson (Kindness, part 4)

This new mural dominates the southern half of the block of Stone Avenue between Congress and Broadway. It's just around the corner from the Kindness mural. Across Broadway is the downtown office of Ben’s Bells, the group behind the series of murals (as well as hundreds and hundreds of little bells).

There are lots of fun details, including a bunch of javelina wandering through the mural. Click on the photo if you'd like a close-up. Here are two:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tucson Murals on Twitter too

To see the latest murals, you can always come to this blog. Randy has also been keeping a Facebook page.

I've just started posting murals @TucsonArt on Twitter; I'll tweet the name of the mural post, the address, and a link that takes you to the post here on the blog. (I'll also tweet about mural events and artists; a lot of that probably won't be here on the blog.)

From here on the blog, you can find the murals on Facebook and Twitter feed by clicking on the links under “Favorite Links” in the right column. To follow us on Twitter, here's a button to click:

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sunrise east of Swan

Look to your left and right as you drive along Sunrise Drive east of Swan. You'll see these panels along with some sculptured agave and some real ones.

I rode by on March 16th.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sunrise Drive Elementary

As I rode by on March 16, and glanced up the hill, something told me to take the ride up and see if the school had murals. (Schools are a good place to find murals.) Sure enough, the entrance (5301 East Sunrise Drive) was lined with mosaic murals.

This first mural is by the office door: “The Great Kapok Tree: Sunrise Drive Elementary Celebrates the Rainforest. 5th Grade Legacy 2006.”

In open space next to the office is this colorful scene:

First along the parking lot is the long mural shown above. To the left is a closeup I took of the “5th Grade Legacy” sign in the middle. (As always, you can click on either to get an even larger view.)

More murals along the parking lot:

And next to the classrooms are (surprise!) more murals: