Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Saguaro tops

These bottomless saguaro are on the east wall of Net Zero Solar, at the corner of 9th Avenue and 5th Street (101 W. 5th). I found them on December 2nd.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Murals being made, part 12: Tasteful Kitchen

On October 21, 2012, I posted a photo of the south wall of The Tasteful Kitchen, 722 N. Stone.

I drive by fairly often. On January 23rd, I saw a finished mural:

It looks pretty different from the sketch that was on the wall in September (when I took the photo that appeared in the October entry).

Update: Rock Martinez painted the mural. Here are photos from Rock's website on January 21.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicago Store murals gone for good?

The Chicago Store, at 130 E. Congress, for years has had music inside and outside. Inside — as Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said in an interview (see below), the store “buys, sells, rents, trades and repairs all sorts of instruments from kazoos to pianos.” On two of the three outside walls were murals of musicians (photos above and below), of a Tucsonan who died tragically (far too young), as well as a couple of murals in an urban-art style:

May 9, 2008
November 23, 2008
May 29, 2009

When I saw that the building was being refaced, I watched for news of changes. The facade was cleaned, and I waited. A few weeks ago, I found this story on

Façade Improvement Restores the Pride of 1903 in Chicago Store Building

I rode by the store last week. The walls are Quite White (actually, a light shade of beige or salmon).

The murals were fading, I guess... murals do change... and I understand that people who don't love art like this could have seen the building as an “eyesore.” Tucson moves on. Still — and especially in the story of McKenzie — we've lost a special place to “Façade Improvement.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Winta Fresh 2013 is Saturday February 2!

On Sunday the 20th, I rode by the amazing mural-lined parking lot for Plush. (You can see it in our October 29, 2012 post.) Around ten people were there painting or watching. I mentioned that this scene looked like the WintaFresh space on North Stone. One of them told me that this year's WintaFresh is coming soon: Saturday the 2nd.

I searched online and found a Tucson Weekly calendar article confirming the date and time (11am - 4pm) and calling this year's event “Tucson's fifth annual Graffiti Expo.” The artist I talked to said that painting costs $50; you get some cans of paint and a space that's yours.

The article says this is “a mural incorporating the work of more than 50 Tucson artists,” but I think that may not be quite true. From what I've understood before — and from another of the artists I talked with on Sunday — these are artists from all over the country who come to Tucson just for this event.

I have a feeling that the 50 artist slots are already taken, but that you can pay $5 to watch it happen. If you can't make it, I'm going to try to be there... expect a full report here on the blog soon after. :)

That's one of the many murals from WintaFresh 2011. If you'd like to see other WintaFresh art, look for 1240 N. Stone in the North of Downtown section of the table of murals.

Update (February 3, 2013): I've uploaded WintaFresh 2013 video (hand-held, unedited, stereo sound) to the TucsonArtInfo YouTube channel.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Have some extra white paint?

Image from
Sometime in February, I'll help to paint a new Tucson mural. (You'll see the story here, of course!) We'll need flat white latex acrylic paint as the base coat (the primer).

If you have some to spare, please either send me email or call me at 520-302-4402. Your paint will be the foundation for part of the Tucson mural scene. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Murals for sale (restaurant included)

OK, I admit that I've used a title like that before. Anyway, the former Farmhouse Restaurant building, 660 N. Ocotillo Road in Benson, was for sale when I drove by on January 10th. The main attraction for art lovers is that it's covered with murals.

Here's a view from the southwest (as always, you can click for a larger view):

And the north side:

Both of the large murals are signed in their lower-right corner:


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Salvador Corona murals at the Bates Mansion

On July 7, 2008, we published photos by Warren V. of the mural on the Stone Avenue side of the Bates Mansion (283 N. Stone near Franklin).

Two days ago, the Arizona Daily Star article by Ernesto Portillo covered that mural, as well as two others (mostly the magnificent mural inside the mansion that's deteriorating). It said that the murals were painted by Mexican artist Salvador Corona, who was active in Tucson until the 1990s.

Here's the other mural that the article mentioned; it's over the north entrance. You might not call it a “mural” because it's not paint on a wall. I grabbed a photo of it on Sunday so you can make up your own mind:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Murals being made, part 11: King Commemoration

Just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Tucson illustrator Sabrina Vincent sent photos of the mural she finished this month. It's at the corner of Columbus & Cooper (just south of Broadway):

The mural is tied together with red scarves — and red yarn, as on the part of the mural around the corner to the left. It's a quote from MLK Jr:

The crossbars on the "t"s are Cupid's arrows — clever, eh? Sabrina is better known as SLOV. Here she (or a fan of hers) appears in the mural:

You can see the mural's progress — from an empty wall, to the finished work I showed first above — on her blog SLOVLY. (She shows this mural in her January 7 entry.)

I think she started painting at the end of November. (That's from the camera data inside her first photos.) The last photo was dated January 2.

Thanks for the mural (and the photos), SLOV!

An Arizona Daily Star story, Tucson Oddity: Fanciful mural greets passers-by (April 1, 2013) tells more of the story.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yet another mural at 7th & Toole

On December 30th, I posted two different murals on the same corner of 7th & Toole.

Today, as I was going through my backlog of photos, I found yet another mural at that corner — a photo I took on November 21st:

I've added this photo to the middle of that post, but I also wanted to show it here in case you're (trying to :) keep track. I've also added the names of the artists who made those three murals.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sunflowers on Marana auto shop

Village Automotive of Marana, at 13111 W. Marana Road, got this new sunflower mural in the autumn of 2012. You can read more about Paul Frederick's shop, and see some other fun photos, on the Village Automotive Facebook page (which is where I got the photo; it's near the bottom of the page).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Artistic home and library, part 2 of 2

On January 15th, we showed murals on the walls of the home at 4102 E. Lester. (It's the corner of Lester Street and Justin Lane — one block north of Pima, halfway between Alvernon and Columbus. As always, you can click the address above for a map.)

Today I'll show you the surprise that I mentioned in the home's front yard. First, the front (the south side):

...the back (facing Lester Street):

...and the inside (without some of the books):

The library's roof hadn't been added yet. Also, if you look carefully at the back side (click on the second photo for a larger view), there are tiny letters around the flower. In case you can't see them, here's the beginning:

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."

There's much more. Why not bring stop by the corner, read the back, take a book... maybe leave a book... and enjoy what these dedicated people have given to us through their hard work and their art?

This is a Little Free Library. You can read more about the movement by visiting

The artist was Judy Ostermeyer. The home's owner is Meg Johnson; she's currently secretary of the Garden District Neighborhood Association.

Meg told me that, as far as she knew at that point, this was the second Little Free Library in Tucson.

I had a very enjoyable conversation with Meg there, next to the library, two months ago — November 20, 2012. (I hope that my notes were correct... I was riding on my bicycle, not expecting to find something like this, and was surprised by what happened next!)

Update (January 26, 2013): Meg Johnson sent new photos. One shows the front with the new roof:

The other is of the back. It has a new Little Free Library sign at the top, as well as the date and Judy Ostermeyer's signature at the bottom:

Thanks again, Meg.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Artistic home and library, part 1 of 2

The home at 4102 E. Lester has murals on the front of the home, along Lester Street, by Pat Redmon (I hope I'm spelling her name right; she's a woodworker) on the left, and by Meg Johnson on the right:

There's also a mural on the wall along Justin Lane. This one is by Pat Redmon:

Out front is a surprise that I'll show in the next post (January 17th).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

750 is three-quarters of 1000...

...and this is our 750th post. I save groups of murals for “milestone” posts like this. These murals are on the walls of Western Dental & Orthodontics, 7701 East Broadway.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New at Bentley's

Bentley's House of Coffee & Tea, at 1730 E. Speedway has been a supporter of the arts for as long as I can remember. They've been in Tucson longer than that: since the late 1980s. (One of my favorites is the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam. If you haven't been to a slam before, you should know that this isn't a typical sedate poetry reading: these talented poets write and perform some strong stuff.)

Anyway, on January 6th, Mark Fleming spotted an artist painting a mural on the south end of the east wall:

He didn't catch her name. (If you know, please add a comment below or send me email. I'll eventually stop by or call to ask.) Here's the finished mural (re-photographed on October 7, 2013, by Jerry Peek):

As always, you can click for a larger view. (The yellowish color at the top-left is actually a bit of lens flare from the sun — which was just above the building when I snapped this shot.)

Thanks, Mark!

Update (October 28, 2013): Allison Miller (who painted this mural) also has a new mural in Swanway Park.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

New ways to see all of the murals

Do you visit this blog from time to time to see what's new? You can always drop in; I add a new mural (currently) every second day. I've just added a couple of features that can let you find out about new murals as soon as they're added.

At the top of the right column are new boxes like the ones shown here. The first lets you watch the blog with a feed reader (RSS or Atom). The second sends you email with a copy of each new post — words and photo(s).

Formatting (the arrangement of words and photos) may look different in the emails than on the website. But, if you click on the blog's title (in blue letters) in the email message, it'll take you to the website to see the real post — and also easily find other murals.

However you see this blog, thanks for coming along!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Mailbox mural

My new Tucson Mailbox Art blog has really taken off in the past month. At the rate I'm finding them on bike rides through neighborhoods, I think Tucson may have more fun mailboxes than murals (and Tucson must have at least 1,000 murals!). If it sounds interesting, please click over and have a look.

The January 5th entry has a mailbox post that's painted like a mural.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Changes around 7th & Toole, part 4 of 4

This post has a new angle on two of the other murals from this series (December 30th and January 3rd) near the corner of 7th & Toole. It also shows a new (and likely very temporary) “mural” near the railroad crossing on 7th Avenue — at the bottom right of the photo below:

Murals are usually painted on (or, at least, attached to) a wall. This one was just sitting there, propped against a phone pole, when I rolled by on a bike ride December 25th. Maybe it's on a building by now?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Changes around 7th & Toole, part 3 of 4

In 2008, the corner of 7th & Toole used to have just one mural behind some garbage. Then a tagger trashed the mural. :(

Now, five years later, the corner is packed with murals. In this third of four posts about the corner in 2012, here's a look at the big roll-up steel door on the east corner of the southeast side of the building at the north corner of that intersection. (It's across 7th Avenue from the formerly-trashed mural.)

On February 3rd of last year, I took a photo of a mighty locomotive painted on that door by Ed Muren III. On December 25, I noticed two small murals on either side of the door:

(As always, you can click for a larger view of the photo.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Changes around 7th & Toole, part 2 of 4

We showed two murals on Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole, in our post on October 7, 2012. I took those photos in June.

When I rolled by on October 18, I saw that the murals had changed. For some reason, the one on the northwest side had a multicolored door in front of it:

The other one, on the northeast side (along the tracks), wasn't black-and-white anymore:

Finally, let's jump ahead to December 25, 2012: one week ago. The mural on the northwest side had been cut away to give access to the loading dock: