Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Legacy of Cesar Chavez

One not easily found, because it is in an industrial area off Benson Highway, is the PPEP mural that honors Cesar Chavez and also depicts the original 1957 Chevy bus “La Tortuga” (tortoise) that was used when PPEP started in 1967. The artist is Luis Mena.
Submitted by Neil Amstutz

Update (September 9, 2012): Thanks to Google and an article about the PPEP Farmworker Hall of Fame, I (Jerry) found the mural. It's at 802 E. 46th Street.

A"maze"ing Mural

Directly across Ajo from Hollinger Elementary (133 W. Ajo) is this office building with a silhouette of a Native American gathering fruit from the top of a saguaro cactus. There is also a Native American and a bird and the Tohono O’odham “man in the maze”. Artist unknown. Submitted by Neil Amstutz

Update (September 16, 2012): The mural has been painted over in bright green (to match other buildings nearby) and this is now a T-Mobile store.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Elementary, My Dear Hollinger.

Submitted by Neil Amstutz:
"At Hollinger Elementary near 6th and Ajo
is this mural that appears weathered by
our desert sun. An Arizona flag appears
with smaller flags of America and Mexico
overlaid on it. There is also a saguaro
cactus, a palm tree and some depictions
of desert creatures. Artist(s) unknown."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Don't Pooh-Pooh Cartoon Murals

Neil Amstutz submitted the pictures below and wrote:
"At Park Avenue and 30th Street is a
yellow building with Winnie the Pooh
overlooking a dirt lot that may have
been for a day care."
On the block wall on the opposite side of the dirt lot
is a long stretch of popular characters that include
Jiminy Cricket, Oscar the Grouch, Dalmations, Huey,
Dewey and Louie, Cars characters, Tigger, Mickey
Mouse, Pinocchio, Pokemon characters and a few others. The artist's name is written 'by Billy Sanchezs'."

Update (June 11, 2017): Randy had made the intersection (Park Avenue and 30th Street) into a link to a Google map. That link didn't work anymore. So I've put the exact street address in the "Location" line below; If you'd like to see a map, click it.

Also, the most recent Google StreetView, October 2016, shows that the business is named My Little Angels Daycare. That StreetView also shows that the first mural in this blog entry (Winnie the Pooh) was still there. The second mural had been covered with some play equipment and at least one fence.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Holy Mural! It's Painted Over!?!

Neil Amstutz e-mailed this photo and wrote that this mural "used to be on Alvernon south of 29th street on the tattoo parlor. The wall has since been painted white unfortunately. I do not know how long the mural had been there." Amstutz took the photo in May 2007.
Does anyone know the artist? If so, e-mail me: randygarsee@gmail.com

September 11th Mural: Painted Over

Neil Amstutz wrote about this mural that it
"used to be at Mission and Ajo at Pancho & Angie’s tire shop. Unfortunately, I could not get there any time when the lighting was decent [or] that someone wasn’t parked in front of the mural. It showed the Twin Towers. Also unfortunately, this mural was also painted over this past summer. I think it had been there since early 2002."
If you know the artist's name, please e-mail me: randygarsee@gmail.com

God is in the Details... & the Mural

This mural is located on "westbound Broadway at Columbus. This mural is still there."
Submitted by Neil Amstutz

If you know the artist's name, please e-mail me: randygarsee@gmail.com

Update (April 12, 2012): The artist is Cindy Guare.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

10th Avenue (On The Edge of South Tucson)

SUPER South 10th Avenue
By: Jerry Peek
One good spot for a quick mural overload is on South 10th Avenue, just as you cross into the city of South Tucson at 25½ Street. (From 22nd Street in Tucson, turn south at the light onto 10th Ave.) They're everywhere: on your right and your left, and on a couple of side streets too. So, drive slowly or park on a side street and walk back for a closer look.

First, on the left (the east side), is this collection of food and beverages -- possibly intended to start you thinking about all of the restaurants and taquerias farther south, after 10th turns into 12th:

Half a block farther, at 26th: the sun, the moon, and a star — by Carlos Valenzuela:

The Tucson Electric Power substation at 27th has a full block of wraparound mural. Here's some of the show -- including three pirate ships whose captain, I think, was named Columbus:

Galloping horses at 27th, and floating lots-of-things at 28th:

There's more! But I'll leave that for you to discover... and wrap this up with a way to (partly) wrap a mobile home in a mural -- including a saguaro, and many saguaro blossoms -- at the corner of 10th and 36th:

Update (October 1, 2014): A July 23, 1994 article in the Tucson Citizen, Cultural Art, covers murals along this section of 10th Avenue and has quite a bit of information about Antonio Pazos' mural at the Tucson Electric Substation on 27th Street.

Update (September 7, 2015): Much more detailed photos of the power station murals at 10th Ave. and 27th St. are in today's entry, 10th at 27th revisited.

Update (January 7, 2016): Mark Fleming sent more-detailed photos of the mural with running horses.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

MEAT Me in Tucson!

Farmer John's Meats. It's boarded up and out of business. Must've had a mooo-ving sale.

This is a massive mural that spans a couple of hundred feet. You'll find it at 1102 W. Grant Road, just east of I-10. As I recall, there was also some grafitti at the rear of the building that was somewhat detailed, although it had nothing to do with the cows and cowboys of the Farmer John's Meats mural. And that's no bull! (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Update (March 11, 2012): There are more photos in our October 7, 2011 post.

Update (December 13, 2023): The Arizona Daily Star article Tucson Oddity: Farmer John mural the very picture of roadside art, written 9/27/2010 and updated 7/21/2014, says “Painted in 1963 by Leslie Grimes, a former Hollywood scene painter, the panoramic mural depicts dozens of cattle charging through the desert on an outer wall along the north side of Grant.” It also says the mural was touched up over the years. (Artists have told me that murals on the south and west sides of buildings fade more quickly because they're blasted by Tucson sun.)

Thanks to Doris Evans, from the Facebook group Tucson Murals and Street Art, for that tip.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Wild West

Erik S. e-mailed the location of this wild west mural. This one is located at the intersection of Grande and Congress. "The desperados are on the northeast corner [it used to be a bail bond office, note the lady with the bag of money]," Erik wrote.

Thanks, Erik!

Update (June 12, 2024) by Jerry Peek: Google Maps Street View has a rough photo of this street corner in January 2008 with a GRAND OPENING banner above the heads of the five people at the left end. Here's their June 2011 view:

By June 2013, only the five people at the left end of the mural remained; the center and east areas had been painted earth-brown. The sign over the building entrance — diagonally along the northeast corner of Congress and Grande — said “Connecting Threads Sewing Studio 206-9820” (back then, Tucsons didn't need to dial the 520 area code before phone numbers). In April 2015, the left end with the five men was pretty badly tagged. By August 2016 that last part of the mural had been covered in brown.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Virgin Videos?

Erik S. also e-mailed the location of this mural. He wrote, "The Virgin of Guadalupe is on a video store on the southeast corner" of Grande and Congress.
Thanks again, Erik!

Update (December 6, 2010): the mural has been repainted.

Update (May 15, 2024): As I wrote today's post (which shows the mural on May 5, 2024) I took a closer look at the last photo above. Near the right edge is the artist's signature:
Though it's fuzzy, it seems to read: Miguel Angel Grijalva 2002.

A Google search for "Miguel Angel Grijalva" tucson mural found two mentions in the book Vanishing borderlands: the fragile landscape of the U.S.-Mexico border, by John Annerino (Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2008):
  • On page 67 is: “Maria Garcia invited me to photograph the Miguel Angel Grijalva mural of La Virgen de Guadalupe on the wall of her tenda.” (That should probably be tienda.)
  • On page n5 is: “La Virgen de Guadalupe mural by Miguel Angel Grijalva on page 67 was commissioned by Maria Garcia and photographed and published with her permission.”

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jerry Peek Joins the Tucson Murals Project

My new blogging team member Jerry Peek sends this "peek" of dancers. He writes, "It's in front of a house at the corner of Warwick Vista & Wilson, just southeast of the railroad bridge on 22nd. It's a series of paintings of dancers; I don't know its story."

If anyone has artist information on this mural, please leave a comment at the end of this entry. (You won't need an account and can stay anonymous.)

To see a larger version, click on the photo. If you’d like to view or download full-sized versions (which may have hidden geotags: location where the photo was taken), click on one of these:
Update (May 26, 2020): After 13 years, the mural has been freshened. There are closeup photos in today's entry.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chicago Store

In Downtown Tucson.
A place that could very well bring music to your ears.
Here’s a map.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My First E-mailed Mural Pic!!!

Can a mural bring a community together?

Linda Drew e-mailed these pictures to Randy's Tucson Murals Project. She writes, "[here] are a couple of pictures of the mural created by Hedrick Acres neighbors (HANA) under the direction of Tucson Arts Brigade muralist Michael Schwartz in 2005. The mural depicts the Tucson Mountains. The project was funded by a grant from PRO Neighborhoods."
"It is located in a drainage of the Navajo Wash, southwest corner of E. Fort Lowell Road and N. Mountain Avenue. [Here's a map] We met with Ward, City and UA officials to gain permission to use the lot at the corner of Hedrick and Mountain. We defined two components, a public bulletin board and art; to share information and make neighbors feel welcome in the space. Neighbors came together to paint the wall in temperatures over 100 degrees F. I was very encouraged by the number of people who just showed up to help on the project. —Linda Drew

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Beer & A Deer

There's something subliminal about the mural on the side of the The Bambi Bar at 5050 E. Speedway.
Imagine driving along Speedway in late June. It's 107 degrees outside. Your air conditioner's broken. You spot a waterfall. "Is it a mirage?" you wonder. You don't know. You don't care. Your tongue is sandpaper. Your throat is as dry as my humor. Wait. That waterfall is on the side of a bar. The Bambi Bar. What a cute beer, uh, deer. Horns, not antlers, blare behind you! "It's green you idiot!" You shove your foot onto the accelerator and all you can think is, "Man, I need a deer."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Just a little off the top...Oops! I've got a helmet on.....

Is there a title for World's Smallest Barbershop? I'm not sure. However, the Tucson barbershop bearing these murals is about the size of your average SUV.

Nonetheless, you will find said barbershop and military murals at 5321 E. Speedway. Here are the directions from Interstate 10. Keep in mind, you can't take a photo of it without bothering the business adjacent to the murals. It's a place that sells vehicles. If they ask what you're doing, simply tell them you're looking for something about the size of the barbershop, but with better hair mileage.

Update (October 17, 2014): A page on waymarking.com titled Iwo Jima says the muralist was Paul Lira.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Windows & A Gateway

There are a series of murals on Broadway Boulevard at Barraza-Aviation Parkway in downtown Tucson. Here are directions to the murals from Interstate 10.

Created by Stephen Farley, they're titled,

"Windows to the Past, Gateway to the Future."

Now this can be a VERY busy intersection so save your rubbernecking for the red light. Your car should not become part of the artwork, if you know what I mean.

By the way, Stephanie from Tucson wrote the following e-mail about this mural.

"The artwork that's titled 'Windows and a Gateway' should have the men that made the artwork right along with the artist, because the tilework is indeed art of its own. Tile Canvases hand glazed each piece of tile that you see downtown on that mural. And they continue to repair them on a regular basis whenever they get damaged. So, hats off also to Rick Young and Tom Galloway from Tile Canvases on a great piece of art!"

Update (April 1, 2007): The page Windows to The Past, Gateway to The Future has a link that shows photos of the 14 main panels.

Update (May 12, 2012): An Arizona Daily Star article, Life stories: Tucsonan immortalized on mural, tells the story of Gail Fafard and the panel showing her with two friends in the mid-1940s.

Update (June 27, 2022): KGUN9 TV broadcast a video interview 3:49 long with artist Steve Farley. The online version includes more information and photos.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

How to Ruin a Mural

As more and more pictures are added to this blog, you'll occasionally ask yourself, "Why did Randy include this ugly mural?" I'm not a trained artist, so it isn't my position to critique the art. However, you will find me complaining about one thing: positioning of the mural. This mural, on a well-traveled corner of Speedway and Stone, is next to an abandoned, neglected, vacant lot. The mural attracts the eyes of passersby, but, HELLO, CITY OF TUCSON, do you want their eyes to also see this lot. Maybe it isn't the city's responsibility. Maybe it's the owner's. WHO CARES? We have Adopt-a-Highway programs, maybe we should start an Adopt-a-Lot program as well.

(Update from Jerry: as of February, 2010, there's a different mural but the lot is still ugly.)

Update (January 29, 2019) from Jerry: I cropped the photo above to the mural area and brightened it. As always, you can click for a larger view:

Downtown Culture

Teatro Carmen

380 S. Meyer Avenue in downtown Tucson.

Artist: Martín Moreno Title: Untitled

Jonesin' For Art on Speedway

On the Corner of
Speedway & Jones

There's more than just the colors that make this mural stand out on the corner of Speedway & Jones. It's also the part of the flower and the hummingbird's wing that, well, uh, stand out.
As beautiful as it is, this mural is unsigned. If anyone knows the painter, please pass it on to me.