Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Let's hope this mural isn't washed away! (Murals being made, part 74)

From February through April, 2023, Jessica Gonzales and Rock "CYFI" Martinez spent more than two months painting a mural along the north bank of the Rillito River. Here it is — from the west, across the river — on April 21, just after it was finished:
As always, you can click on any photo for a slideshow of larger views. But there are close-ups below.

At the right end of the photo above, you can see the pedestrian bridge at the east end of the mural. If you visit from the north bank — along River Road between Country Club and Camino de Boscaje Escondido — cross the bridge, then walk west to get a view of the whole mural. Along the south bank, you might think of parking at the Racquet Club, but I'll bet they won't like that… Instead, park at Rio Vista Natural Resource Park, at the north end of Tucson Blvd. — 3974 N. Tucson Blvd. — and walk about ten minutes east (or ride your bike) along The Loop pedestrian/bicycle path.

This distance sign is at the east side:
At 4,000 square feet, this mural is the largest so far in Pima County's public art collection… for more on public art, see The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona Public Art page. (Maybe we should start a list of mural sizes in this blog?) Another large mural — which, at the time (July, 2022) was called the biggest — is in our post Another big Joe Pagac mural: Zion City (Murals being made, part 70).

The mural is in two sections, above The Loop path and on the concrete riverbank below the path.

BG Boyd Photography released the video below on April 24th:

Here's a link to click for a larger view in your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4313OlU3-84. You can see more of BG's mural videos at https://bgboydphoto.com/videos/Murals

The mural extends along the Rillito River to the west of Country Club. The Google Map below shows the length as 0.1 miles. Using the 50 ft. scale at the lower right, I estimated 650 feet long:
Although we give the address Google Maps assigned to it, it's easier to find with the written directions near the start of this post.

February 14, 2023: Top half being painted

I stopped by on February 14, 2023 (Valentine's Day!), with snow on the Catalinas, while Jessica and CYFI were painting. The bottom half, along the riverbank below The Chuck Huckleberry Loop path, was blank. The top half, along (above) the path, was in progress:
I made two videos of the mural, from left (west) to right (east), while I was walking… so they're jumpy!
  • Left side
  • I skipped the middle part, which is only a foot or two high, because at this time it was mostly all a single color.
  • Right side (not well framed, oops)
(There are a few videos of other murals etc. at the YouTube handle @TucsonArtInfo.)

A bit later, the two muralists and crew arrived:
Here's a closeup (taken from the south bank with a cell phone camera, so it's a bit fuzzy if you click to see a larger view):
They were working next to the wall, in the north (westbound) lane of the path. Notice the flashing safety markers between the lanes. That didn't slow down some bicyclists! I heard that, at this point, there had already been one accident.

April 21, 2023: Both halves finished

As soon as I read that the mural was finished — more than two months after my previous visit — I stopped by with my DSLR camera and a zoom lens. The safety markers had been packed into a corner near the path to River Road, and the path was clear:

Next, 16 photos of the mural from left (west) to right (east):

The view looking west from the pedestrian/bicycle bridge:
Ride (or walk) by!
A note about photos: If you're taking photos, don't stand in the riverbed — unless you don't care if the top and bottom halves of the mural line up. There's a photo below that I took from the riverbed. I ended up coming back with a camera that has a true zoom lens — not the “digital zoom” in phone cameras that can make fuzzy photos — to take the photos above from the south side of the Rillito.

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