Friday, May 31, 2019

Little mural painted for Patricia

As I was wandering through the Lost Barrio (a commercial area on a dead-end part of Park Avenue south of Broadway) on August 22, 2018, I spotted this little mural on a wall by the entrance to Tooley's Cafe. It seemed to have been painted around with new wall paint, as if it had been there for a while.

The caption was a bit faded out; I darkened it. It says “Painted for Patricia / In the year Two Thousand Ten / Francisco”

But who is Francisco? The artist's last name(s) seem to have been painted over. I remember a mural on South Meyer Avenue in the same style. It has a scroll signed “Francisco / 1990”. You can see it at the bottom of the May 31,2009 entry (just by chance, exactly ten years ago!) Marvelous Meyer. If you know whether they're the same artist, or what the artist's name is, please leave a comment below. (You can remain anonymous.)

Update (June 20, 2019): Thenks to David Aber for tracking down the artist. It's Francisco Franklin, a Tucson artist for 50 years. He sells other artwork, too; he's represented by Jane Hamilton Fine Art. His page on her website is

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Murals Being Made, Part 50: Davis Elementary main entrrance

I guess it's a good thing to have too much of a good thing — if it's murals, anyway. David Aber and I are swimming in a sea of (mostly, I think) acrylic paint these days. I've been going back to my photos from the past year or so, cross-checking to try to be sure I've posted everything.

On May 12, 2018, I stopped by mural-covered Davis Bilingual Elementary school to snap photos of Luis Gustavo Mena painting a doors at the school's main (south) entrance. He wasn't finished at the time I got there; I just noticed this as I was going through the photos.

I went back to the school for permission on May 15th (2019). The person I spoke with said that Mena (as he calls himself) is well-loved and has done a lot for the school. She pointed me toward his cafeteria mural and let me wander the school to find all the murals by students. I'll include all of those photos in a later blog entry (I promise :).

Let's start with the photo I took a year ago:

Next, the finished mural, followed by a closeup of Dolores Huerta:

The colored handprints are by students.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Kon Tiki

Yes, that Kon Tiki restaurant. When I met Chris Andrews to get copies of his mural photos for this blog, I realized how many murals he's painted in this town.

You'll be seeing more of them from time to time on this blog in the next few months. Thanks, Chris.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

(Not) Mural Lovers, part 4: tagged and re-tagged

In 2012, two panels of murals were erected along Toole Avenue, along the edge of the parking lot, next to the sidewalk, northwest of the building at 191 East Toole. They've gotten new murals a number of times over these seven years; if you'd like to see them, click on the following link to go to the section Northwest of 191 East Toole; it's part of this blog's page Layers of murals: histories of a few walls.

It was probably in September, 2015, that the murals were repainted for the last time. (You can see the original versions in the last two links in the list above.) Then — probably in the first half of 2018 — a tagger trashed the murals. Most had just a single tag, but one was completely trashed:

The murals stayed tagged for almost a year. But sometime around mid-May of 2019, the murals were cleaned up, the tags mostly erased or painted over. I came back as soon as I could to take photos… but the murals had been tagged again!

I decided to spend a few hours this past Sunday with my favorite free photo editor, GIMP, making copies of the mural with the tags edited out. I didn't get every bit of the damage, but it was satisfying enough!

So here are two photos of each of the ten panels, from left (the northwest end) to right (closest to the building at 191 Toole). The first photo shows the repaired and re-tagged mural on May 17, 2019. Next is my edited version. I'll wrap up with a photo of the fun sign to the right side of the panels. It hasn't been re-tagged (yet).

For some reason, this first panel wasn't re-tagged:

Friday, May 17, 2019

Rock replaces Rock

Back on April 7, 2015, we posted Rock Martinez at 6th & Toole: a video of Rock "CyFi" Martinez painting a mural and a photo of the partly-finished mural. Well, I think it was only partly finished… it stayed there, with no changes (as far as I could tell) until I came back on May 5, 2018, to find:

The left half of the wall had been replaced with a mural featuring Tucson's El Tiradito shrine.

I came back on July 27th and got a much better closeup:

You can see more photos of this busy wall over time on the section called 197 East Toole of the page Layers of murals: histories of a few walls.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Art makers and lovers, please keep us all in touch

A big part of why I do this stuff is that I love helping people find Tucson art. I post photos of murals, and I have a blog about quirky mailboxes, Tucson Mailbox Art. You might be one of 350 followers of @TucsonArt on Twitter, which retweets anouncements of new entries on the murals and mailbox blogs — as well as sending announcements of art evenrs from artists I've met who have mailing lists or Twitter feeds. (Murals blog co-editor David Aber contributes lots of murals and some amazing mailboxes too. Where does he find them??)

If you love art — either to make it or just look at it — I'd be glad to spread the word about things you make or find. Email a photo (larger, with more pixels worth of detail, is better) announcement flier, etc., to or use the "Contact Us" form in the right oolumn of any page. I'll do my best!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Drunken Chicken

From time to time, we'll show a mural or two from Cactus Catz. She has both a blog and an Instagram feed. The photos here are from around the front door of The Drunken Chicken restaurant, on her Instagram post.

Thank you, Mary.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Murals being made, part 49: Lost Barrio Gallery

Back in February, I spotted a mural that seemed to be in progress on the back (west) side of the buildings along the west side of Park Avenue. I snapped some photos, then went looking for someone who could tell me more about the mural. It turned out to be on the Lost Barrio Gallery. I'm hoping to stay in touch with the owner, Gerardo Olmedo, and have more photos soon.

In the meantime, Gerardo sent photos of muralist Chris Andrews painting a mural based on the gallery's logo, which you can see on its sign. The sign is to the right of the door, which is a bright blue. (I took the photo of the sign.)

Let's watch as Chris paints the mural.

Here he is tracing the mural, using an image projected on the door. Gerardo sent this photo on April 13th around 9 pm; I'm guessing that Chris was working that evening.

Gerardo sent this on the 15th. It looked as if Chris might be nearly done, so I decided to stop by the next day.

No, that wasn't all. Later on the 16th, Gerardo sent a photo of Chris painting more.
And, on May 6th, two more from Gerardo. I think this is it!

Thanks much for keeping us all in touch, Gerardo and Chris.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

More Roses & More photos from Chris Andrews

I met with muralist Chris Andrews in February. He's been painting murals in Tucson for quite a while, but this blog didn't have photos of many. Chris gave me copies of quite a few more. I'm aiming to post some of those once a week or so.

He painted murals on all three locations of Roses & More. Now only one location is open. Let's start with it:

5501 East Speedway

This blog's entry, Blooming with murals, shows the building and its sign on August 18, 2010. (You can click there to see it; use your browser's "Back" button to come back.) Here's a photo of the west side from Chris. The photo showed a bit of the roof along the wouth side of the building. The hidden camera data shows that it was taken on June 16, 2003 … though sometimes camera clocks aren't set correctly; Chris suspects that he painted it around 2008):

380 West Grant

This blog has some faded photos taken February 22, 2011 in the entry (More) Roses & More. These two from Chris have a lot more color. The first shows the whole building from the intersection with Oracle; the camera data says that it was taken September 16, 2016, but I wonder if the actual date is a lot earlier? The next shows the west end of the south wall, date unknown:

2510 East Broadway

By the times I snapped photos of this building — the north wall posted May 30, 2009 (I didn't write the photo date) and the west wall snapped on August 28, 2011 — the murals were faded and most of the paint had come off of the roof. This photo from Chris, camera-dated December 3, 2002, shows the north side in bright color:

Here's the first of many thank-yous to Chris for helping to bring back the past.

Monday, May 06, 2019

DeGrazia photo essay shows chapel murals before 2017 fire

On May 3rd, @DeGraziaGallery retweeted a photo essay by Cintia Soto showing places around the outside of the gallery — including lots of photos of the chapel before the May 30, 2017 fire:

(To see the photos, click on the, which will take you to the essay on

Friday, May 03, 2019

Amy's Donuts

West wall of Amy's Donuts.  The east wall was posted to this blog on Dec. 22, 2017 at More holiday food?!  The west wall was painted sometime after June, 2018.

Photo taken on 01/15/2019.
Painted by Jean Liu

I returned on 04/24/2019 for additional photos.
Main Mural
Take-out Window
What furry animal is this?

Our state now has a donut in the name.
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.