Friday, June 30, 2017

Murals being made, part 46c: Tucson's biggest

This project, which has taken around three months from start to finish (with muralist Joe Pagac's wedding and honeymoon in the middle), was finished a week ago! This is the third of three blog entries showing the changes as he worked. In case you haven't seen the earlier two entries, Part 46a covers March 27 to April 9, and Part 46b shows April 12th to the 25th. (His wedding was on the 22nd, so I assume he was outta town by the 25th.)

(By the way: Media reports have claimed that this is Tucson's biggest mural. Maybe that's true when you count the height, but I wonder whether the huge mural on 9th Avenue is longer? And, if you count groups of murals as one big mural, places like Oury Park (made of mosaic tiles, which may have fallen apart by now); the block-long group of murals that run in the wash between 1st and 2nd Streets near Alvernon & Speedway; and of course the super-long murals along Stone Avenue north of Limberlost: All may be bigger by some measure. But I digress. :)

Let's start with the lonely-looking scene on May 8th. The gravel parking lot at the left edge has typically had at least a couple of cars in it as Joe worked. Joe's van would be parked a bit past the parking lot, farther from the left edge. And his “cherry picker” (hydraulic lift) would be somewhere near the mural. But, for a month or so, the scene looked a lot like this (without the clouds...):

The right half:

I think Joe's honeymoon lasted about a month. I stopped by from time to time for signs of progress. May 29th, around 3pm, the hydraulic lift was on-site again. But I couldn't see any obvious changes:

June 1st, I could tell Joe was back in town. The bicycle wheels on the right half had been painted in:

We've been following the javelina's bicycle outline coming and going. Here it is, still missing its frame and handlebars:

The tortoise's front wheel has bits of spokes, but the back wheel doesn't:

By early afternoon on June 4th, the bicycles on the left half were taking shape, and bikes on the other side had shadows. (In real life, the shadows would all be pointing in the same direction — not spread around in an arc. But this isn't real life, is it?? :)

The javelina's bike had a frame and handlebars by 4 pm on June 6th:

And both wheels of the tortoise's bike have the same ghostly spokes as other bikes do:

In this overall view, the lift in front of the left side frames the bikes that are taking shape there:

I walked over to the lift and grabbed a few shots:

The next morning, June 7th, Joe posted a sunrise photo on Facebook. He'd worked through the night of June 6th. Here it is, courtesy of Damion Alexander:

Near 1 pm on June 8th, the bikes on the left side looked almost finished. The man's road bike is missing part of its frame. The woman is missing her left hand and the pedal of what looks like an old one-speed bike.

This view of the left half, taken from the right side, shows almost everything looking finished except for (maybe) the woman's left pedal on June 10th. (Maybe it's behind the piece of wood or whatever seems to be in front of that part of her bike? I never walked up to check.)

Here's the whole mural on June 11th. This photo is a fair amount bigger than most of the ones in this blog entry, so it's especially worthwhile clicking on it for more detail:

Let's jump back to our first entry, Part 46a. Here's a replay of the first photo, which shows Jennifer Martinez on March 27th holding Joe's idea of how the mural would look a few months later. (I've straightened the mural print and removed everything around it — including Jennifer.):

When I compare this original version with the basically-finished version on June 11th, I don't find many differences. One looks like what seem to be multiple suns, one between each of the peaks of the mountain range that starts behind the animals and merges into the woman's dress; they're higher in the sky on the final version than the original. (By the way, don't you love the way that different parts of this design flow into each other — like the mountains into the woman's dress and her hair into a starry night?) The suns are a white-hot color instead of the saturated yellow in the original. And the shadows on the right side are more blue than gray.

On Facebook June 16th, I found a photo that he posted at 8am: Joe in a hazmat suit ready to spray clearcoat over the mural to preserve it. I asked his permission to show the photo here, but I haven't heard from him. You can click there to be taken to the photo on Facebook.

Now for the last part of this saga. I'd been watching a blank rectangle near the bottom right corner. Here it was on June 11th:

It stayed the same each time I checked it in the next week. But, on June 18th, names appeared:

I had thought that this might be the place Joe would sign his mural. But these must be the names of the people who made financial contributions to get the mural onto the wall! On the 18th, the bottom two-thirds had been filled with Silver Donors and Bronze Donors.

On June 19th, a photo popped up on Facebook:

Grace Celeste posted that photo with her fiance Thomas Sullivan, and she gave us permission to show it here.

Look more closely at the bottom of the panel full of names. It seems that Joe painted a wedding proposal from Grace to Thomas:

(Obviously, Thomas accepted.) What a romantic story!

I watched Facebook for news from Joe saying that he'd finished, but there wasn't any. I stopped by on the 19th and found the same panel (with no sign of Thomas and Grace …); the top part was still empty. But, around 7 AM on June 21st — almost two months to the day since he'd hoped to have it finished (April 22nd, his wedding) — the panel was finished:

(To help you see individual names, that photo is especially large. I've also sharpened it and added some contrast to make the names easier to read. The actual panel has more muted color.)

And Joe had signed his name at the bottom left:

Here it is — again, especially wide to show detail if you click on the photo:

Whatta project!! Congratulations to Joe Pagac, all of his sponsors and Epic Rides. Once the Downtown Links road goes through this area, I'll bet there'll be a phenomenal view of this mural and CyFi’s huge one a couple of blocks away.

Next time (Monday, July 3rd), I'll post some closeups.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Two Daily Wildcat articles about Tucson muralists

The March 27 article about Joe Pagac has a photo showing him in front of the design for the huge mural he was just starting to paint on Epic Bikes. The June 7 article about Jose Ignacio Garcia is especially detailed.

Local artist Joe Pagac travels the nation and paints murals

Local artist lets his murals speak for him

Monday, June 26, 2017

Pachanga (Murals being made, part 47b)

Pachanga is Spanish slang for paarty!  And a party is what was had on Friday, June 23rd to celebrate the completion of the "Talking Mural".  There was a car show, good music, plenty of food and drink, and, of course, the mural.  Lots of photographs by amateurs and professionals alike.  Here are some samples by David Aber:
1948 Plymouth Special DeLuxe
Catering Truck
Most came in cars but some on bicycles with children.
Plenty of food and drink for everyone.
One of two pairs of videographers and techs. from Arizona Public Media (PBS & NPR).
Drone w/camera hovering over the mural and festivities.
Johanna Martinez and Alex Jimenez speaking to the crowd.  Mamta Popat from the ADS.

And last, but certainly not least, we have Jerry Peek's photos taken earlier in the day of the star of the Pachanga, the mural itself.
"The Talking Mural"
Translation: El Sur is south and La Doce is twelve.  Thus S. 12th Ave.
Raspados being made at Oasis Fruit Cones
Los Amigos Meat Market
Incident at Arizona Palms Tinting
Arizona Palms Tinting
Rafael's Tire Shop
Alejandro's Tortilla Factory
Temporary poster listing the S. 12th Ave. businesses depicted in the mural and instructions for listening to the interviews (by scanning QR codes next to business names with the reader in your smartphone).  If you aren't at the mural or don't have a QR scanner, you can also go to to see photos, stories and hear those same interviews (currently, a link straight to the list of businesses and photos is Older businesses with interesting signs were selected. (This photo is David's, during the Pachanga).
 As usual click on any photo for a slide show of larger and sharper images.

You can see the beginning of the mural at The Talking Mural (Murals being made, part 47a).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bad teeth and a bug

The Flycatcher, on 4th Avenue at the corner of 6th Street, hosts live local, regional, national and international touring music acts. It used to be Plush Tucson. That mural is along the 4th Street side. (Sun flare made the streak across the mural and the rays above it).

Hmmm, what's that especially-brown tooth in the top row? It says MUCK ROCK:

Luckily, because this is summer and most students are gone, I was able to pull into a parking spot nearby — on June 21st.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Long Tucson Weekly interview with Rock Martinez

While I was out of the country, David Aber spotted this March 9th article about muralist Rock “CyFi” Martinez in Tucson Weekly's "Salvage" section:

Old Pueblo muralist Rock ‘Cyfi’ Martinez on graffiti culture in 2017 and the dismal glint of celebrity.

It's full of details and the interviewer's impressions. It's a good read. If you like Rock's work, click on his Label below to see his murals from this blog.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Talking Mural (Murals being made, part 47a)

Due to finish by this Friday, June 23rd, each of the elements in the mural represents one of the businesses along South 12th Ave. The artist, Johanna Martinez (w/assistants Alex Jimenez & Amatha (Amy) Krier) plans to have interviews with the business owners. The audio will be accessible thru your cell phone, thus the name "The Talking Mural". Johanna and her crew have been working nights from sunset well into early morning. Mamta Popat, a photojournalist from the Arizona Daily Star was there and these are her Photos.  Here are the photos I took on June 19:
North wall of Oasis Fruit Cones
The crew at work
Johanna & Alex
Alex adding details
Amatha also adding details
As usual, click on any photo for a slide show of larger and sharper images. To see other murals by Johanna or Alex on this blog, click their name in the “Labels” list below.

A Cronkite News (ASU) story in the Arizona Daily Independent, Signs Of The Times: Tucson Artist Aims To Capture The History Of The South Side.

This mural replaces an older one that you can see in our November 27, 2011 entry.

The rest of the story is in Pachanga (Murals being made, part 47b).

Update (January 11, 2019): Today's blog entry shows another mural with a QR code — on Toole Avenue. That mural, which is gone now, used your smartphone to make you look like an angel.