Wednesday, November 30, 2022

"I am Tucson" mural celebration December 5

The re-installed “I am Tucson” mural (click to see our November 29th post) will be dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, December 5, at 4pm:
If you're going, please RSVP:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

I AM a re-born TUCSON mural

On September 22 and 23, 2022, Vivian Moore MacKinnon took photos of the Ben's Bells I am TUCSON mural being re-installed at its new home, TCC (the Tucson Convention Center):

The last photo above shows Chad Borseth, the Mural Coordinator for Ben's Bells.

Victoria Sasnett of the Arizona Daily Star made this video interview with Chad showing the mural being made: Watch Now: Ben's Bells recreates "I am Tucson" mural at TCC. One of the things you'll see is that the new mural isn't an exact copy of the original. For instance, volunteers have been making new pieces to use in the mural. Chad also places a small piece without checking any detailed map. (I'm guessing there isn't a detailed map… the reconstructed mural started from a chalk outline.) Also, KGUN9 TV News covered the mural reconstruction in a video: Ben's Bells brings 'I am Tucson' mosaic mural back to downtown.

I stopped by near sunrise on October 17th (so the shadows would be soft when I stood close) to photograph the whole mural:
Next, a photo of the mural taken September 7, 2012:
When you compare that original mural to the new version at TCC, you'll see that the right end of the original is missing from the new version, the mountains are higher, and the one line of writing is now two lines. (As always, you can click on a photo for a slideshow of larger views.) I'm guessing that the color of the bottom half isn't as brilliant because it's not facing the sun.

Here's an overview from Google Street View, looking west from Stone between Broadway and Congress, in April 2016:

The color in that photo is washed-out. Below is a much better photo, courtesy of Ben's Bells… probably taken January 25, 2014. As always (except for Google Street View photos, that is), you can click for a larger view:
Another post, coming soon, will have photos of the original mural being made in 2012.

Now the mural is finally in its new home!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Murals being made, part 72: Scrub this street!

One side of the Union on 6th student apartments runs along Herbert Street, an alley between 4th and 5th Avenues. (The official address for Union on 6th is 316 East 6th Street.) I took the photo above at sunrise on August 23, 2022. The patterns from dancer's dress stretch into the distance.

Unfortunately, trash containers obscure parts of the beautiful mural. I watched for months, hoping they'd be taken away. But I finally gave up after noticing that at least one was labeled with the name of a 4th Avenue business, Drunken Chicken. (I guess that there's really no other place to put a trash bin… it couldn't be on 4th Avenue itself.)

In the summer of 2021, Joe Pagac was painting this mural-in-pieces along with Nolan Patterson (@basik__art, with two “_” characters) and Dixie Vonne (who has a private account, @dixievonne). Here are three photos from Joe's Instagram account @joepagac:

(If you'd like to see the original posts with comments, here are links… …)

I snapped photos on August 10, 2021, showing the stripes and bubbles finished (?) and the dancer almost done:

David Aber took this photo on September 19, 2021:
Lighting was difficult around sunrise on August 23, 2022. But, later in the day, there might also have been trucks parked here and other stuff that obscured the mural even more. So here are photos from right (stripes starting, from near the dancer's dress) to left (bubbles):

It's so sad that such a creative and cheerful mural is hidden along an alley lined with trash bins. When Joe, Nolan and Dixie painted it, I wonder if they knew…?

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Making sick kids happy

Joe Pagac must have a lot of energy! Not long ago, he finished 5+ months hiking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Coast Trail… here's a map. He paints murals as energetically. Sometime before his trip, he painted the hallway at Tucson Medical Center connected to the Pediatric Emergency Department. Here's the spot, not far from an outside door, where kids check in:
If you're already inside the hospital, you'll see this entrance to the hall:
If you aren't familiar with TMC, there are maps at information desks, interactive kiosks, and online at (the halls are shown in the Main Hospital Map). Once you get there, you'll find that the murals are interactive if you use the Artivive app. You can search for the app by name in your phone's app store, but there's also a QR code on the wall next to each mural (TMC has free Wi-Fi):
I'll take you along the hall from the outside door to the main hallway in the middle of the hospital:

I was there on October 2, 2022.

Monday, November 21, 2022

El Tour de Mural

I just read from Jay Rochlin on Facebook about a mural tour that Damion Alexander has run for a few years on the Sunday after El Tour de Tucson:

Joe Pagac, who went on the tour, wrote more and included a video by Evan Davis. Facebook wouldn't let me embed the post (as I did above with Jay's post), but you might be able to see it by clicking this link:

I'll aim to watch for next year's El Tour de Mural and post details here!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Sahuarita Public Art

Photos of the following murals were taken on Oct. 30 in Sahuarita's Anamax Park at 17501 S. Camino De Las Quintas.

"The Land Rests"

By Wagon Burner Arts (Sawaki, Ricky Bush, Carlos Valencia, Maira Escalante)  

"Sahuarita and Astronomy"

By Wesley Fawcett Creigh

"Sahuarita Pecans"

By Wesley Fawcett Creigh

"Sam and Sara"

By Isaac Caruso from a children's book he has written and illustrated.

"Sonoran Sunset"

By Wagon Burner Arts (Sawaki, Ricky Bush, Carlos Valencia, Maira Escalante)

There are other murals in Sahuarita.  Perhaps someday I will have time to photograph them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

More arte bella behind Arte Bella

The front of Arte Bella, on 4th Avenue, is covered with traditional murals. The back side, along the alley named Hoff Avenue, has walls on three sides with murals in a different style. Here's a look around on September 20th, from the left (south) wall around to the right (north) wall:

View into tent at right side above is in photo below

Close-up of top center above is in photo below
The Location listed below, 344 North Hoff Avenue, is the building on the opposite side of Hoff. If you go there, the murals will be across the alley.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Thunder Bacon Burger Company

Thunder Bacon Burger Co. is on North 4th Avenue. Next to the restaurant covered with lightning bolts (the corporate logo) is a mural by Chris Mitchell:
I got there early to photograph the building with its roll-up shutters down. But, as you can see above, that wasn't a great time to take a photo of the mural. Luckily, I found the artist, Chris Mitchell, on the Instagram account @opctucson (Old Pueblo Collective, which sells "Wildly unique art created by Chris Mitchell"). He'd posted a photo of himself next to his mural:
Thanks to OPC for sending that high-resolution version of the photo. (They, along with Chris, will be popping up on the patio at Thunder Bacon Burger during the Winter Street Fair on December 10th and 11th.)

Chris also has a personal Instagram account, @chris_mitchell_art, with much more of his work.