Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tucson treasure lost

This was the scene three years ago at 2939 E. Monte Vista... which I dubbed “Mary’s Street”:

Since then, things changed (as you can read in our posts four months ago and one month ago). Here's the same wall early this morning:

When I opened my email last night and saw this message from Mary's daughter Crystal (who's one of the kids on that mural, by the way), I knew where my morning bike ride would be:

The grey is sprayed over the windows, too. I get the feeling that the new owners wanted to obliterate all of the color. But they've missed some! See the red squares and yellow stripes on the sidewalk above — and the splash of blue on the inside of the wall at the right. And the little pool still has some blue tiles:

Perhaps they'll re-paint in a benign beige or a pastel pink?

I'll miss Mary's Street.

Update (5:30 PM): Crystal emailed to tell me that KGUN9 covered the story last night. Beware: there's more heartbreak in their “KGUN9 on your side” story.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Childrens' playground mural (un-)tagged

Back on July 19, 2012, I photographed a mural on an out-building at the northeast corner of campus of Annie E. Kellond Elementary, 6606 E. Lehigh (the building was near the corner of Lehigh and Mann). The mural had some really regretable tagging — just the thing that shouldn't be on a playground where kids spend time every day.

That's the cleaned-up version. (I wanted to post it on Sunday but didn't have time to "Photoshop out" the tags — with the fabulous free GIMP editor — until now.) If you want a copy of the unedited original, just let me know.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Jos wraps (up) Good Ole Tom's: murals being made, part 18

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've seen Catch Jos at work! (Murals being made, part 16) two months ago. He (Jos Villabrille, of Murals by Jos) is one of Tucson's most popular muralists. He does beautiful work that you've seen all over town. (The photo I showed in that entry is to the right.)

I wrote that February 28th post after driving by the corner of Broadway & Wilmot (actually, by 6305 E. Broadway), where Good Ole Tom's was about to open a new store. They'd hired Jos to paint their building. As time went on (and, I'm guessing, they saw what great work he was doing), they asked him to wrap their building in murals — even the windows at the front and east sides. Jos worked there until earlier this month: I drove by as he was finishing the front windows, but didn't have a chance to snap photos then. When I stopped by earlier this week, the person I spoke with said that she believed he was finished.

Here are the photos I've taken over the past two months. Notice how he uses parts of the building (for instance, the downspouts) as parts of the murals. The first photo below, and the photos on March 26th, show the right-front windows. After Jos had painted some of them, they were broken... so he had to re-paint the murals there after the glass was replaced. The last photos, on April 26th, show the just-completed front windows and the back (north) side, too. If you'd like to jump to shots I took on a particular date, click one of the dates here:

Update (August 31, 2013): there are many more photos in today's post.

February 27th

^^ South end of east wall ^^
^^ West wall from north end ^^
^^ Center of east wall ^^
^^ West end of north wall ^^

^^ to top ^^

March 5th

^^ West wall finished, north wall to come ^^
^^ North wall sketch (from east end) ^^
^^ Starting a saguaro on a downspout (east wall) ^^
^^ Sketch at north end of east wall ^^

^^ to top ^^

March 22nd

Front in progress
Working near the front window on the east side

^^ to top ^^

March 26th

^^ East side finished ^^
^^ Front nearly done (except the west end) ^^

^^ to top ^^

April 23rd

The murals are done! But my overall photos of the front of the store were blurred. The new versions are coming soon. Here are shots of details:

^^ to top ^^

April 26th

^^ Front (south wall) ^^
^^ Back (north wall) ^^

^^ to top ^^

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

50-year-old murals on Tucson Bowl

On the east side of Tucson Bowl, 7020 E. 21st, are these three murals. (That's a post between the first and second.) Close-ups of each:

And, from the bottom-right corner of the last mural, the muralist's signature, "Kay Mallek Studios, 1961":

Monday, April 22, 2013


At 3412 N Dodge — just south of the Rillito — is this stone mural showing a saguaro over a map of Arizona.

I snapped it on June 17, 2012.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Maybe a mural, part 44: Trader Joe's on Grant

Do a few painted cactus panels along a corrugated steel wall make a mural? Like other photos in this "maybe a mural" series, you decide! I took this early in the morning of June 17, 2012.

There are more murals inside — by Joe Pagac. We generally don't show murals inside businesses or private homes — though we might, some day, if we ever run out of new public murals to show. (Ha! Not much chance of that!)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dressed-up driveway

This mural is along the driveway of the home at 5142 E. Andrew:

I spotted it on June 15, 2012. (If you happen to go by when there isn't a car in the driveway, I'd appreciate a better photo! I'll add it below, with thanks.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

The corner of 11th & University

In May, 2012, Melodi King sent a photo of a new mural painted on the street at 11th & University:

Update (March 12, 2014): A view from the other side:

It was painted by Rock Martinez, Joe Pagac, and residents of the surrounding Dunbar/Spring neighborhood:

Here are two more views from June 12, 2012:

Unfortunately, as you can see in the last two photos below, the colors have faded a lot thanks to the many tires passing over here... as well as the sun and the rain. At least there's a new memorial tower in the middle of the intersection.

(The current Google Map Satellite View gives an aerial look at how far the mural has deteriorated.)

I took these last two photos on April 12, 2013.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Topping the Dunbar/Spring “Monster Mural”

Way down toward the southern end of what I called the Dunbar/Spring Monster Mural is this creature watching over the whole thing. (Maybe that's why this amazing work of art hasn't been tagged yet — as far as I know? Tag and you're stung? :)

If you haven't been out to see the mural, stop by; here's a Google Map satellite view showing the spot along the mural wall. Also check out all of the other art in the neighborhood, like the creative sign posts in the middle of many intersections and the big mural on the street corner at 11th & University — which I'll be posting next.

I took this photo on April 6, 2012.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New near Playground

Mark Fleming just sent me photos of new Joe Pagac murals on the wall of Congress Street just west of Playground. These are on the vacant space next door, 272-274 East Congress:

The EXIF data in the photos says that Mark took them on April 7th.

A big thanks to you, Mark, for sending photos of all the new murals you find. (We have a lot of new readers here, I think. FYI, folks, I'm glad to get photos from you, too. There's no way I can keep track of all the new murals in Tucson myself!)

Update (September 9, 2013): There are new murals at this same spot.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Park Place Chalk Art Festival, part 3 of 3

In this third post of last weekend's second annual Park Place Chalk Art Festical, we'll take a tour through the kifZONE, which was sponsored by Macy's. It covered most of the pavement around the store with small chalk murals. (If you missed Part One or Part Two, click there.)

I took most of these photos the morning after the festival ended, April 8th. These first two show the scene when kids were painting, on Saturday, April 6:

The photos are in no particular order — except that I started at the east end (near the store entrance) and finished at the southwest corner. A lot of the pavement squares were shared between several artists. Watch for the line of quail “walking” through the murals. (And, if a lot of these seem just like kids' scrawls, try looking through anyway... there are some gems in here!) As always, you can click on any photo for a larger view.

Notes about the photos

  • I haven't edited them by hand with GIMP, as I usually do. Instead, I used the automated ImageMagick editor. (Here are introductions to ImageMagick that I wrote in 2006: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.) I used -sigmoidal-contrast 5,50% to level the brightness and color.
  • These are geotagged. So you can use geotagging software to find the approximate location of the art. (The GPS in my camera doesn't seem to be too accurate.)
  • When you click on a photo for a larger view, the photos you'll see aren't as large as usual. To save storage space, I've made the big images 800 pixels wide instead of 1024
  • They're in the public domain. I've cut the size and detail, though, for posting online. If any you'd like an original photo, please send me email. (If you use the photo somewhere online or for profit, I'd suggest asking the artist's permission first — and giving their name so they get credit for their hard work.)
(To see earlier entries, click on "Older Posts" below.)