Friday, February 16, 2024

Murals being made, part 77: TUCSON is back

There's been a mural on the south side of the building on Stone, just north of Speedway, for at least 18 years… maybe longer. The wall in the photo above was painted in 2023; there's lots more about it farther along in this post. Thanks to Kevin Blow — from England, UK — for the photo.

The years 2006-2022

The wall first appeared on this blog in Randy Garsee's August 8, 2006 post How to Ruin a Mural:
Randy wanted to promote Tucson murals to visitors as well as Tucsonans. He wrote that a dirty, vacant lot in front of a mural was a bad idea.

By 2010, Rock “Cyfi” Martinez had painted a mural on the wall… still with a vacant lot in front. See New mural, same lot. (Cyfi was also leading an urban art festival called WintaFresh just north on Stone. Our first post about it was Winter Fresh in July (?!) on July 6, 2011.)

On January 1, 2015, the blog showed a new mural that spelled T-U-C-S-O-N in big letters:
The post with that photo, TUCSON, has close-ups of the original letters and the artist who painted each one.

By May, 2019 — more than ten years after Randy's complaint — there was a Popeye's restaurant directly in front of the mural that blocked the view from Speedway! (Google Maps Street View shows the restaurant went up between June 2018 and May 2019.)

By February 15, 2022, the mural had faded. The post TUCSON is fading… shows the sad scene.

Ready to restart: April 2023

A bit more than a year later, a new mural was coming. This Google Maps Street View shows the empty wall in April 2023, ready to be painted:

Jerry's photos on May 23, 2024

From the west end (near Stone)

From the east end (away from Stone)

T by Kati Astraeir

U by Donovan White

C by Coda One

S by Ruben Urrea Moreno

O by Salvador Duran

N by Johanna Martinez

After May 23, artists kept painting. As you can see above, some artists had farther to go than others.

Artists' progress photos

Thanks to artist Ruben Urrea Moreno and Johanna Martinez for the 140 (!) photos and videos they shared with me. I picked 22 of them. There are three videos; the rest are photos. They aren't exactly chronological; I put them in an order that felt good to me. Thanks, both of you!

Finished: December 16, 2023

The next time I stopped by was mid-December. The mural was done. (At the top of this post is a photo of the whole mural by Kevin Blow. I'm not sure when he took it.) My photos are below: first from the right (east) end, then letter-by-letter from the left end. I've also included some close-ups; they're always underneath the photo they're taken from. Again, the artists were: T=Kati Astraeir, U=Donovan White, C=Coda One, S=Ruben Urrea Moreno, O=Salvador Duran, and N=Johanna Martinez.

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