Friday, June 05, 2020

Powerful art, and broken windows, after downtown protests

At sunrise this morning, I headed downtown to see what had changed since this week's protests. I found two powerful new murals — and a lot of destroyed building windows with Ben's Bells “Be kind” and “Sé amable,” plus other messages, painted on the boards covering them. Many businesses had paper signs like “THIS IS A LOCALLY OWNED TUCSON BUSINESS” on front — to encourage people not to break their windows, I imagine.

On the east side of Hotel Congress is a new mural by Tucson artist Camila Ibarra:

There were flowers and cards underneath (as always, you can click on the photo for a larger view):

KOLD News 13 has an interview with the artist, as well as some other art downtown, in their story Artists cover downtown in murals, messages for the Black Lives Matter movement. In the article Black Lives Matter mural project launches in Tucson amid protests, unrest, The Arizona Daily Star wrote that Camila Ibarra is an Arizona State University student studying civil engineering who was “distressed about the killing of George Floyd and the oppression of African Americans … ‘I really wanted to contribute to the cause and make a statement piece,’ the Tucsonan said.”

Across Congress Street, on the east side of the Rialto Theatre — where the murals have (until the pandemic) promoted shows at the Rialto — is another new mural:

Although the man and the (I think it's a) chimpanzee at the right, with “Mural by Joe” are there, they're only for to the Prince mural at the left. This mural is by Robbie Lee Harris:

The Star article I linked to earlier quotes Harris: “‘When you see a big art piece, you get lost in that moment,’ he said. ‘It hones you into whatever the message is. My idea is when someone turns the corner and sees the mural, they see that it portrays the innocence that the girl is wishing for. At the end of the day, I hope it triggers the conversation that needs to happen amongst everyone’.”

From my parking spot between Hotel Congress and the Rialto Theatre, I walked west along Congress to Church, then east along Broadway back to where I started. A lot of businesses had boarded-up windows… all of them had the Ben's Bells kindness sign and other words. Some, like the Rialto, had Ben's Bells on their intact windows. Here are photos along my walk:

Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress

Scented Leaf Tea House, 308 E. Congress

Playground Tucson, 278 E. Congress

Caffe Luce, 245 E. Congress

Supercuts, 254 E. Congress

Close-up of Arizona Ave. side of Supercuts, 254 E. Congress

Iguana Cafe, 210 E. Congress

Left side of Iguana Cafe, 210 E. Congress

Former Chicago Store, 130 E. Congress

Zen Rock, 121 E. Congress

Between Senae Thai Bistro and Jimmy John's, just west of Scott Ave.

The Aquadec, 61 E. Congress

Chic Boutique and Spa, 25 E. Congress

Krikawa Master Jewelers, 21 E. Congress

Bruegger's Bagels, 1 W. Congress

Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress

Subway, 29 W. Congress

Caffe Milano, 46 W. Congress

Community Partners, 44 W. Broadway

Penca Restaurante, 50 E. Broadway

Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails, 135 S. 6th

Blackrose World Class Tattooers, 47 S. 6th

Flash in the Past, 43 S. 6th

Former Tucson 12, 124 E. Broadway

South side of Broadway, west of 5th Ave.

AC Marriott Hotel, Broadway side

AC Marriott Hotel, 5th Ave. side

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