Sunday, March 31, 2013

Flowers for Easter

The wall around the home at 4137 E. Kings Road (which is just northeast of Broadway and Irving) has a flower garland painted on the wall by the gate. Here's a long shot of the wall and a close-up of the garland:

I spotted it on April 8, 2012.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saddlin' up the dragon

This fun mural, on the southeast corner of Broadway and Longfellow, was painted sometime not too long before I photographed it on April 8, 2012.

Update (March 8, 2015): @VisitTucsonAZ lists the artist as @raycleveland. Here's an Instagram photo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Two doors at Duffy

These two outside classroom doors are at the west end of the south side of Duffy Elementary School, 5145 E. 5th Street:

The school was closed in 2010. But a news article published not long after I took these photos said that the school would be reopened as a district community service center.

(I haven't been by there since. If you have and you know whether these murals are still there — or if you know the story behind them — please leave a comment below or send me a message.)

I found these doors on April 8, 2012. By the way, I'm going to try to find the time to post a new mural every day for a while — to cut my big backlog of photos.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wide on Wilmot

This wide mural is on the north side of the wall along a parking lot at 102 N. Wilmot. I took the photo on April 8, 2012.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sad news from Mary's Street

If you've been following this blog for a few months — or a few years — you've seen our story about the bank's foreclosure on an artist's home,
just northwest of Glenn and Country Club (at 2939 E. Monte Vista). Back in November, 2010, the story was all sunshine and murals — including two of my favorite Tucson murals: the artist's children all along the front wall, and their mother, doing a cartwheel, in a mural on the side of their home.

By the end of 2012, the home was surrounded by weeds and in decay. Mary's oldest daughter, Crystal, told us why. This blog — and KGUN 9 news — spread the story of this art-filled home being foreclosed on. I had hope that things might get better. Yesterday, though, Crystal sent me an email message with (what I hope isn't) the sad end of the story:

Good morning Jerry.

I was just letting you know that my mom is officially out of her house. And it pains me to say that she is having to stop by there almost every day to check on it because transits/thugs are breaking in/stealing things — taking anything they can find that my mom wasn’t able to take with her.

It aches my heart to hear that the home we grew up in — the house my mother has loved and cherished for over 17 years is finally in her rear view mirror (sort of speak).

If you wish to update your blog — Please feel free to use this email and the poem below that I wrote in honor of my mother and her house. :)
(oh and the collage picture attached that show both of them in their ‘glory days’.)

Much thanks to your initial curiosity
And passion for the arts
Your communications and posts have been the silver linings in all of this. :)

Periwinkle (by Crystal J. Wells)

Her periwinkle walkway to her periwinkle door of her periwinkle (and white) house that soon will be no more.

My mother is so friendly and taught me all I know
My mother is so generous,
Even when she has no dough.

Her house may be her legacy
that she's forced to say goodbye
but her cheery disposition has never left her side.

She dreams big everyday
Does her best to solider on
But my mommy will always be...
beautiful, talented and strong!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Compass to the Southwest

David Tineo painted this mural in 1989, on the south wall of the former University of Arizona Press building (now the Esquire Apartments), at 1230 N. Park (the corner of Helen Street).

Three close-ups:

Mark Fleming took the photos. Thanks, as always, Mark!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mama's Hawaiian Bar-b-cue

Rock Martinez has another new mural. (Here's Rock's Facebook page. Thanks, Melo.) Actually, it's several new murals, spread around the Mama's Hawaiian Bar-b-cue location at 850 East Speedway (there are two). They told me Rock finished the murals in the past week or so.

Mark Fleming sent these. Kudos, Mark, for spotting these and taking the time to send them in! If you spot a new mural — and there seem to be a lot of them these days! — please either snap a photo and send it (see the blog header above) or email me and let me know where it is.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Skate Country

Here's the south wall of this roller-skating rink on April 8th:

Update (September 7, 2018): This whole side of the building has been repainted.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Maybe a mural, part 43: El Sur Restaurant

This occasional “maybe a mural” series shows things that you might or might not say is a “mural.” The two saguaros with sombreros on the front of El Sur Mexican restaurant, 5602 E. 22nd, look almost like stencils to me. We generally don't show cookie-cutter designs here on the blog, but this one could well be hand-painted... so, here it is for you to decide!

I took the photo on April 8, 2012.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New header and "about this blog" page

Since Randy's death earlier this week, I've added a new page titled About this blog with history and background of this (almost) seven-year-young story of Tucson murals. You can read it there or by clicking its name in the new “Pages” area at the right side of the blog. (The new “Home” link there is a handy way to see this blog's front page, the latest posts.)

I've also updated the header to remove Randy’s name, and change his email address to mine. (Here's the old header...

...). I gave this change a lot of thought. Of course, you shouldn’t email photos to Randy anymore. I decided to remove his name from the header, as well — and to put his name and his story in the new “About” page (as well as remembering Randy with my post two days ago titled Farewell, Randy...).

We’re almost at post #800. I'm looking forward to the 1,000th! Let’s go!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Farewell, Randy...

I'm so sad to tell you of Randy Garsee's untimely death. He passed away in his sleep this weekend at his home near Washington DC. He became one of two evening news anchors at KOLD in 1997; he and Kris Pickel took their nightly newscasts to the top of the ratings. He was popular for his outspoken, honest style as well as his friendliness and humor.

Randy was a visionary who loved Tucson's art and wanted to share it. He founded this blog on July 12, 2006. (Here are the entries he wrote in 2006.) Not long after — at the start of October, 2006 — he left KOLD.

I joined the blog in May, 2007. Actually, he added me as co-author and then wrote to tell me that he had. I'd just sent in my first mural photo. Somehow Randy knew that I'd love doing this. Though he'd hoped to stay in Tucson, he may have known by then that he'd be moving on to another TV job. He next worked at KTEN in North Texas - Southern Oklahoma. Later he worked in Iraq as a journalist (and wrote two posts from there: No Murals in Iraq and While in Baghdad...). At the time of his death, Randy was communications and public affairs adviser for the Center for Naval Analyses and Institute for Public Research.

If you'd like to read more of and about Randy, here are links to some web pages. As Kris Pickel (his long-time co-anchor at KOLD 13) told me today, “I would include links with the caveat that there is more to every story.” Amen.
(Some of those links — like Randy's Facebook and LinkedIn pages — may eventually disappear. I'll leave them here in case they help someone track down the information some day.)


Update (November 8, 2020): Today I noticed an Arizona Daily Star interview with Randy that was published May 1, 2008: Former anchor's site documents city murals.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SF Bay Area street art sites

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area (I'm traveling this week), I heard of a couple of local groups I thought you might want to know about.

The work above is one of the weekly chalk drawings by Chalkupy, a project of the Fresh Juice Party. Each week, a group of artists go to Oakland's streets (or other locations; you might have seen TV coverage of their Chalk Walk in L.A. — to mock the Art Walk). This particular chalk came from a satellite view of an Occupy encampment in Oakland that later appeared in a Google Map. The encampment was cleared away, so Chalkupy recreated it on a sidewalk. (These “chalks” don’t last long, I heard... Oakland city officials quickly wash them away.)

Chalkupy has produced a guide on how to chalk. It has a lot of valuable techniques for planning a chalk — including how non-artists can join in on the work. Here's a link to the PDF file: Chalkupy HOW TO.

A fabulous Bay Area site for street art is Endless Canvas – Bay Area Graffiti and Street Art.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Along Toole, April 2012

It's hard to keep up with all of the changes to the walls of the building at 191-197 East Toole! I don't think I've published these close-ups I took on April 7, 2012:

Above Siobhan's store

Toole Shed Art Space

Right side of front of Skrappys

Just south of Siobhan's

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Murals being made, part 17: Rialto revised

Our December 26 post Rialto in progress (Murals being made, part 10) showed the start of a new Joe Pagac mural on the east side of the Rialto Theatre. Joe used to paint new murals often to advertise Rialto concerts, but I'm guessing that the big building going up just east of the Rialto blocked the view from the street — so he painted a new mural that's designed to stay.

Since then I've stopped by several times to see what's new. I never did catch Joe (I still haven't met him... he's one of Tucson's busiest muralists), but I did catch some snaps of the mural taking shape. January 20th, LL Cool J was in his place on the right panel:

February 2nd

The right panel seemed like it might be almost finished...

...except for this ghostly figure:

And the left panel was taking shape:

February 23rd

Back from my trip to South America, I rode over the snake bridge to see the mural. It looked finished:

Left panel

Right panel

You can see that it's filled with (mostly) famous people, (mostly) musicians, surrounding Mount (Mick) Jagger. Here are close-ups:

Roger Waters and Kanye West

Elton John and Beck

Susan Boyle

Mick Jagger

Francis Scott Key

Roger Clyne, C.F. and Shakira

Kate Person, Salvador Duran, Fred Schneider, Sergio Mendoza

Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson

Mc Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Nelly

Chris Isaak

LL Cool J, Janis Joplin, Kurt Kobain

That is All

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Beautiful bench at Grace St. Paul's Church

At the northwest corner of Adams & Norton, on the east side of the church, is this gorgeous bench:

And the sign out front, along Adams Street:

I took the photos on April 6, 2012.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Gabriel Ruiz Villegas

I met Gabriel this afternoon as I rolled by the east side of 197 E. Toole. Paco Velez — who also has a studio in this building — told me that he'd planned to repaint one of the murals on the east side. Paco wasn't there, but Gabriel was. He invited me into his studio and showed me the mural he's planning to post on the wall near Skrappys:

It's paint on metal. He made the amazing clouds, scribed the edges, and painted the area around them.

He also painted the last mural on the wall along the 6th Street side of the building. It's the border fence:

On the left — the US side — are female animals. The other side has the male animals...

If you'd like to get in touch with Gabriel, I can forward your message on to his email address. Or just stop by the east wall; his studio is behind the two doors in the middle of these murals and just south of the Che Guevara mural.