Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Long lost dream

This blog started in July, 2006. We have very few murals before that time… and I'm guessing that founder Randy Garsee, a popular TV newscaster, was busy enough he probably didn't have time to post every Tucson mural he'd seen.

(I'd love to put more photos of historic Tucson murals on this blog! If you have photos of murals that the blog might not have or know where to get them, please use the contact form at the right edge of any page… tell me where to find a copy of the photo online or how to reach you to get it.)

When I met artist Curtis Alan Kiwak during the artists’ Open Studios Tour last month, he mentioned that he'd worked on one mural in 1999 or 2000. Here it is — enlarged from a photo of his, so it's a bit fuzzy:
You can see some of his more recent work on his website Artwork page https://www.curtiskiwak.com/artwork and on his Facebook page curtis.kiwak (click there to visit).

His September 28, 2019 post on the Facebook Tucson Murals and Street Art group told some of the story and included the photo above:

Finally found the only photo I have of the one mural project which I ever was part of in either 1999 or 2000. Knew nothing of mural making! I was working at Child and Family Resources when Martha Rothman and Susie Huhn asked me to help create a mural for the Liberty neighborhood. I drew it on the wall with charcoal and magic marker in one day. A crew of volunteers from Lucent Technologies came on the next day. I would mix paint hand out colors pointed to were to paint. [After working] 8 to noon, we had 3/4 of it painted. The next Saturday it was done and became a mural till it got torn down a couple of years ago.
I replied to ask for more details. He sent a Google Maps Street View photo of the empty lot where the building and the mural used to be:

And he wrote:
This is where the building was until they tore it down to make a new building- Child and Family Resources Inc. had grant money to help the Liberty Partnership to do the mural. The Liberty neighborhood had a Community Center down the street, there were Headstart classrooms. But I did do the work in 2000. … I have the original drawing I submitted in my studio buried somewhere .
Thanks so much for filling in a piece of Tucson's long history of murals, Curtis!

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