Friday, September 03, 2021

El Pais Motel

This is not your typical motel. The entrance is lined with pink flamingoes and a lyric from the B-52s. Inside are rooms with whimsical names, each with its own mural; vintage trailers; and even a swimming pool with a mural on the bottom. El Pais supports artists in any way they can, and artists have obviously gone all-out to paint great murals.

This mural, on a wall facing Benson Highway, was the first one painted here. The artist was Alejandra Trujillo (@atrujillo_art on Instagram):

At the entrance, from the B-52s (created by Gabrielle Ames):

Not far from the entrance on the left is the clubhouse. Here's what's outside, painted by Jessi (on Instagram @arterosas_, with an underscore at the end):

On the far side of the clubhouse is a covered seating area with a mural by Lyn Sweet (her Instagram has changed to @lynthesweet):

To go along with the vintage trailers — and the spaceship in the mural above — is one of the first electric cars. Randy L. Barton (@randy_boogie on Instagram) painted it:
Randy posted photos of the unpainted and painted car, as well as two videos of it being painted, on his Instagram. (Click there to see it. To see all, drag or use the arrows at right and left edges.)

Many of the guestrooms have their own name and a mural to go with it. From the front of the motel to the back, the first room with a name and mural is “Musician,” painted by Alejandra Trujillo:

Next, the “Comic Book room,” another by Alejandra Trujillo:

The Streamline Moderne room (after the art-deco style Streamline Moderne) has its mural by David Suggs (@suggscess on Instagram):

The “Casita de Khalo” is named for Mexican artist/icon Frida Kahlo. It's by Gabrielle Ames:

At the far end of the building with guestrooms is another mural by David Suggs:

The property was closed during August, so there was no need to keep the pool clean (from all of the dust blown in by the monsoon). The dust made it tough to photograph the mural on the bottom, painted by Gabrielle Ames… but there are (currently, at least) photos on the murals page of her website. The wall behind the pool has another of Gabrielle's murals, though… and yes, that's a mannequin in front:
The pool safety sign actually came from the previous owners, but it fit right in:
The motel's website has some fun photos, and the Arizona Daily Star article Mom-daughter team transforming Tucson trailer park into vintage gem has more info and photos.

The motel is private property with paying guests, so the owners ask that you not look around on your own. You can contact them for a tour, though. My tour was on August 2nd.

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