Thursday, June 30, 2011

BIG changes

The former mural on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Angel Youth Center, 160 E. Alameda at Toole, was looking pretty sad. Thanks to Joe Pagac, there's a new mural:

The shadows are fun in this early-morning photo. The sun is coming from the right... but, in the mural, the light seems to be coming from the left. And click for a larger view to check the job that younger painter is doing... oops! (Use your "back" button to come back to the blog.)

Speaking of changes: I have such a big backlog of mural photos that I'm going to try to post three times a week. Please stay tuned...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Murals being made, part 6 (more tomorrow!)

Rock Martinez worked outside Posner's Art Store (1025 N. Park) for maybe five hours yesterday afternoon... with some help from his brother. Other artists, fans, and friends stopped by. Here's a design (pasted over a photo of the storefront) that shows roughly where he's aiming:

The scene not long after I got there at 2 PM:

And at 5:45:

Rock said he wasn't planning to work today, but he'll be back on Monday. Stop by then if you can!

Update (July 12, 2011): The mural is done.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Weathered fence on First

Let's head back to the archives for this shot (November 23, 2010) of a weathered fence around the home at 1715 North 1st Avenue:

The fence was on the shady side, on a dark day. To make the faded mural easier to see, I brightened the fence (using the Intelligent Scissors selection tool, then adjusting each color Curve for the fence) in the great free GIMP editor.

Click on the photo if you'd like a closer look (and use your browser's "back" button to come back to the blog).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Barrio Centro mural unveiling

Yesterday evening was the celebration of the Barrio Centro mural, on the long wall next to the Lucky Wishbone store at 2712 E. 22nd. (There are earlier photos in Murals being made, part 1.)

After speeches and introductions, it was time for the paper to come off:
On the left side of the next photo, in the white hat, is Michael Schwartz, Executive Director of the Tucson Arts Brigade and Lead Artist/Educator for the project:
After the unveiling and lots of chit-chat, it was time to line up for food — from Lucky Wishbone, of course:
You can read more on the Barrio Centro Neighborhood blog, in the Tucson Citizen article Barrio Centro Community Mural Unveiling on June 18, and in the blog Barrio Centro Neighborhood Mural.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two mural-paintings June 25

Saturday, June 25, are back-to-back mural painting sessions near downtown.

From noon to 2 PM, Joe Pagac will donate his time to paint a mural on the side of the Big Brothers Big Sisters building at 160 E. Alameda (corner with Toole). If you've seen the deteriorating mural there now, you know what good news this is! For more info, call (520)624-2447.

From 2 to 6:30 PM, Rock Martinez (owner of Art Terrain gallery and urban art supply on 4th Avenue) will be painting Posner's Art Store at 1025 North Park.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wildcat School from Warren V.

Warren V has been sending us great mural photos for several years now. Here are the latest. He writes:

“...a really nice sonoran desert themed mural in the alley west of the Wildcat Charter School, facing and visible from Stone (corner of Stone & Drachman). The wildcat logo mural is on the E. Adams street side of the school.”

Thanks, as always, Warren.

Update: On 06 May 2014, the Tucson Daily Photo blog showed photos of the mural behind fencing. The Wildcat School is closing.

Update (January 23, 2016): David Aber sent a new photo (below) and wrote: “Here’s what the mural looks like with the fence down. The best view is behind the Eegees at Stone and Drachman.”

(As always, you can click for a larger view.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tucson Murals, 1990

Tucson author Tom Miller sent a link to an article he wrote for the New York Times, March 4, 1990: The Bold Murals Of Tucson's Streets. It's a great slice-of-life story with details on some murals that are still in town.

Thanks, Tom!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Rooster (and other critters)

Here are three from Warren V: the Happy Rooster Cafe at 1114 South Sarnoff Drive.

Thanks as always, Warren!

Update (July 23, 2011): Howard Rains just sent a fourth shot: the trash dumpster behind the restaurant. It's another great photo from a fun mural spot...

Update (December 3, 2018): Today's Cactus Catz blog entry has two more photos: Monday mural: Happy Rooster Cafe, Tucson, Arizona.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tucson Murals Project Makes the News!

Enjoy this article about the Tucson Murals Project and mark your calendars to meet Jerry Peek!

Wings Over Broadway

Howard Rains spotted this mural on the east wall of Wings Over Broadway, 5004 E. Broadway — just west of Rosemont, the side toward Jerry Bob's. Thanks, Howard!

It looks like part of the mural was either never finished or was painted over (maybe to cover those yellow lines — could they be tags?). If you know the story, or if you've seen the mural without the gray paint, please either leave a comment below or send email to Randy or me.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

So Fine on South Vine

Thanks to Warren V for sending this photo of a mural in an out-of-the-way spot:

Warren wrote “I spotted it today (June 1, 2011) on a warehouse located across the street from Roma Imports 627 S. Vine. I'm not sure of the actual address of the warehouse.’

Thanks again to Warren and everyone else (including you?!) who send photos of mural discoveries. Even though I have another 150 or 200 that I haven't had time to post yet, we're always glad to have more.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Mural for sale (house included)

Looking for a home? This one, at 1911 N. Craycroft (on the northwest corner with Linden), comes complete with a mural on the east wall:

The mural looks like a fixer-upper. (As always, you can click on the photo for a bigger view. Use your browser's "Back" button to come back.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day from Luis Mena

This tribute from Tucson muralist Luis Mena is on the north wall of Miller's Surplus, 1537 S. Craycroft — a few blocks south of 22nd. (There's a bit of early-morning sunlight at the top of the mural.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Murals being made, part 5 (La Pilita talk tonight!)

The well-known mural at the La Pilita Museum, 420 S. Main, has been missing since its south wall was rebuilt. (You can see the original mural in our May 28, 2009 post.)

It's back!

Here are a couple of close-ups this morning, an hour ago: a detail from the design taped to the wall, and muralist Martin Moreno getting the mural ready for another day of work:

He'll give a talk about the mural this evening, Saturday, May 28, at Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Martin told me this morning that you're welcome to email him at

You can read more in Artist Moreno resurrects students' La Pilita mural (Kellie Mejdrich, Arizona Daily Star, Saturday, May 28, 2011).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mural news, mural talk

First: I'll be giving a talk about Tucson murals at the Arizona Senior Academy on Wednesday, June 15th, at 3:30 PM. I'll list some of my favorite parts of town for mural-hunting and show lots of examples. Everyone (not just seniors...) is welcome.

Second, here are a couple of stories from the New York Times that I thought you might be interested in:

A mural in a Brooklyn school has been growing for years. Now it occupies two floors of the school; if it were stretched outside, it'd take two city blocks. And the most inspiring story is what it's done for the students who paint it:

Classes Come and Go, but the Mural Grows and Grows (Fernanda Santos; May 17, 2011)

Some of us love graffiti and some of us loathe it. (It also usually depends on where the graffiti is and what it is...) Then there's "yarn bombing", which is usually cute and often falls apart after a while:

Graffiti’s Cozy, Feminine Side (Malia Wollan, May 18, 2011)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trolley and Fourth Avenue

Howard Rains sent in more new photos that we don't have yet here on the blog. One is this mural of the Old Pueblo Trolley and 4th Avenue:

It's along a parking lot for Plush on 4th Avenue. The mural is half a block south of 6th Street, between Herbert and 5th Avenue, on the south side of a wall, across from the building with the wild wraparound murals. If it has an actual address, it'd be around 450 N. Herbert.

Update (January 25, 2013): This mural is gone. The artist who was painting over it told me that Rock Martinez did the original. “The trolley is gone, and the modern street car is coming,” I said. “Right; gotta keep things fresh,” was (close to) his reply. Here's a photo showing the mural being replaced:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flaming mural on 22nd

Out east on 22nd Avenue — at Stocker Drive — is this mural on Gatoreyez Auto Shop:

It's right around the corner from everyones' favorite spot in this part of town: the emissions testing facility. (Remember those signs telling you how to keep your engine cool before the test? :)

Howard Rains sent the photo; he mentioned that he'd like to re-shoot it some afternoon. In the meantime, I've removed most of the gray cast and zapped up the contrast and color (with my favorite, free, GIMP photo editor.) Thanks for pitching in, Howard!

Update (June 30, 2012): This is just one of the murals at Compass High School.

Friday, May 20, 2011

International School of Tucson

Two school buildings are decorated with murals. First, on the side of 711 Lester St. (at 1st Avenue) — a former convenience store that's now part of the school:

Just south of there is the entrance to the preschool, on the south side of 1730 N. 1st Avenue:

I took the photos in October and November of last year.

Update (November 17, 2014): When the school moved, it left colorful walls behind.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good evening...

Like almost anything, murals can look different under streetlights than they do during the day. A year ago, I tried some late-night photos of murals with creatures, ctitters, and so on, in Murals by moonlight. But none of those photos turned out as "different" as I thought they might.

Today, a new contributor to the Tucson Murals Project sent a mural photo that really is different at night. It's part of the mural-covered front of Dale's Doors, 321 S. Kino Parkway:

(Compare that to the daytime view.)

There's a story behind this story. Back in March, Howard posted a comment on Right at home on Wilmot. From there, I found his blog, Sky Island Riders. Howard enjoys riding around Tucson, snapping photos. He sent in four today. Three of them are daytime views, improvements on the ones we'd already posted.

As you've probably seen, I've got a backlog of photos and I usually only post twice a week. But I didn't want to let this great nighttime shot get lost in the stack, so here it is.

Thanks, Howard!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Art Awakenings

There's a spot of sunrise light at the top of this roll-up door, 222B N. Arizona Avenue (just south of 6th Street)... which fits a place called Art Awakenings, doesn't it?

I've ridden by here quite a few times since I took this photo in mid-October 2010, but I've never seen the door open. A quick online search showed Art Awakenings at the address 450 N. 6th Avenue — which Google Maps says is on the other side of the building from this alley door. I'll put it in my list of places to check...