Friday, November 03, 2017

Former Access Tucson mural fading

Eight-plus years ago, I posted an entry here with a photo of the mural on the side of the (then) AccessTucson building downtown, “Girls Unchained.” In May, 2015, Access Tucson closed this building. It re-emerged as AT Community Media.

As of May 29, 2017, the building was for sale and its complex mural was fading. (That's partly because it's on a west-facing wall. The strong afternoon sun can be tough on murals.) I snapped a few closeups:

I searched Google for Doña, Claw, and Miss 17. A January 15, 2004 Tucson Weekly article explains that woman graffiti writers started painting walls around the world in the 1970s. One was Lady Pink. Women like Claw, Miss 17, and Doña followed her lead. You can see signs of all of them in this mural.

As of October 16, 2017, the mural was still there and the building was still for sale. I grabbed more photos:

Update (September 17, 2018): Today's Cactus Catz blog entry has more photos and info: “Girls Unchained” Mural — downtown Tucson.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Our first indoor business mural

[Note from Jerry: Since Randy Garsee started this blog more than ten years ago, we've had a policy that only murals visible to the public without charge — for instance, at a school — would be shown here. But there are so many wonderful murals inside places like restaurants, where you don't have to buy anything (though the owners might appreciate it), that David and I decided to go ahead with the idea. We'll try to add a reminder every time to do things like checking in at the school office. And if you've seen indoor business murals, please feel free to send us photo(s) — after you check with the folks in charge, of course.

Enough of that! On to the yummy mural, and to David…]

On Oct. 4, 2017 I found a nice mural by Paul Lira inside Sue's Fish and Chips.  Sue's opened in 1952 and is still in business after 65 years.

We want photographers to be welcome at Sue's and other businesses, so:  Be courteous and considerate.  Always ask for permission before taking interior photos.  Don't take photos during busy hours and don't disturb any customers.

Due to the small size of Sue's dining area I was only able to photograph about 2/3 of the mural.
Click on the photo for a larger and sharper image.

Here's a link to a nice article about Sue's:  Still Thriving 

Here are links to previous murals at Sue's: Feb. 03, 2010
                                                                Nov. 27, 2014
                                                                April 28, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tineo on Fresno

Famous Tucson muralist David Tineo told me once that he doesn't know where all of his many murals are. I found this one when I pulled off Silverbell and parked along Fresno Street. I looked out my car window and…

This minor miracle happened almost a year ago: October 22, 2016.

Here's the view from the other end (the "teardrops" are sunlight reflections through the lens):

Next, some closeups. The left end:

Two details from the center:

The right end — left side to ceiling to right side (at the top-right corner of the right side is Jesús C.):

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Note: Old blog photos won't magnify

Update (October 19, 2017): The problem I describe below seems to have gone away. (Maybe Google noticed the problem after we tried to open those photos and fixed it on their end?) I'll keep an eye on it.

This past weekend, David Aber noticed something while he was updating the mural map. (If you haven't used the map, it's a great resource — thanks to him!)

On old blog posts — from around 2007, and for at least a couple of years after — when you click on an image to get a larger view, you'll get a dark image but no large photo. (If you'd like to see this, for some reason, one of the many entries with this problem is Virgin Videos?.)

As a long-time-ago Web programmer, I can see that the fix is to change each /s1600-h/ in the page's hidden code to say /s1600/. (Google must have changed this without fixing old pages, sigh.) I'll get to the (hundreds?) of them as soon as I can.

Until then, you'll need to look at the small version of the images. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

AZPM's Emmy is for DeGrazia mural story

Congratulations to Arizona Public Media on their Emmy award! It's for their eight-minute story Restoring DeGrazia, which was Arizona Illustrated episode 407. The description says, in part:
A mysterious mural in a Tucson backyard turns out to be the largest Ted DeGrazia mural still in existence. It was originally painted by the artist in 1948 or 1949 and gives us a glimpse into DeGrazia’s mind before his fame and fortune.
Here's the whole video. If you'd like to skip to the mural story without the intro, scroll the player to 1:58…

Update (October 20, 2017): An article about the mural is in the October 2016 issue of Zócalo Magazine.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cross out L. W. Cross (and something new Oct. 13)

You've heard the stories of Friday the 13th being unlucky, yes? Two days ago, on October 13, David Aber posted photos from a mural on the side of L. W. Cross Middle School. Or so he thought.

(This isn't important to read, but you might have fun with a story of two editors on an 11-year-old blog.)

After the photos went online, he realized that the mural was actually on the school next door: Harelson Elementary, at 826 W. Chapala Drive. On top of that, I'd included photos of the same mural in an blog entry I made four years ago, Mural Heaven at Harelson. He called me today (the 15th) to talk it over.

After ten years on this blog, with many hundreds of entries, it's not easy to keep all of it straight. Still, after ten years, I've gotten pretty good at twiddling things to (mostly) make it all work out.

Just by chance, when Dave called, I was editing new photos of murals I'd posted on the 6th. I'd meant to post the new photos on the 13th, but he posted first. So I'm moving his entry from the 13th to appear today — with this note at the top. (You can see his entry below.) And I've also posted the just-edited photos so they appear as if they went online on the 13th. If I'm lucky, even the links to his post on the 13th should take people to this revised version. I hope.

And I'm sure we'll both be watching six months from now: Friday, April 13, 2018. :-)

L. W. Cross Middle School

The L. W. Cross Middle School is in the Amphitheater Public School District and is located near Tohono Chul Park.  The mural is comprised of 231 tiles made by the school's Tile Club.

Photographed on Aug. 2, 2017.
Click on either photo for larger and sharper images.

Friday, October 13, 2017

More of Kristin's gift

A week ago, we published Artistic gift to neighbors and passersby — a series of murals that a Tucsonan named Kristin commissioned along one side of her home. She invited me to stop by and see the murals myself. On October 8th, I did.

Here's the view south from Kennedy Street along Rubio Alley (a.k.a. Rubio Avenue):

I walked along the alley and found more murals. They're facing the alley, so I'm pretty sure they aren't private. From the back (south), looking toward the front side at Kennedy Street:

Don't miss the statuette in the agave patch at the foot of the above mural:

Here's the east side of that shed:

I walked back up the alley and back toward my car, which was parked along Kennedy. On the west side wall of her home was another small mural:

Thanks again, Kristin, for your artistic gift to neighbors and passersby!

Monday, October 09, 2017

Federal law protects murals

Thanks to the Tucson Arts Brigade for tweeting this Honolulu Star-Advertiser news article (via Twitter) about VARA, the Visual Artists Rights Act:

Two disputes over isle murals show potential legal and PR pitfalls

I haven't read any more. But if you're a muralist or know one, you might want to check into this yourself and/or spread the word.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Artistic gift to neighbors and passersby

A block west of the Downtown Clifton Hotel mural, owners of a home have commissioned three murals on the home's side facing the alley. (That's Rubio Alley, which Google Maps calls Rubio Avenue.) Kristin has written us twice: once with the first two photos below, then with the third photo.

Here's what she wrote in the two messages:
We had these murals painted on the side of our house facing Rubio alley in Barrio Viejo.

The image of the virgin was painted by our very good long time friend Raechel Running. She is a photographer, writer, illustrator, and visual artist who hails from Flagstaff and now resides in Barrio Viejo in Tucson just around the corner from us! Her works include covering the greater southwest and the US/Mexico borderlands.

The second mural is a portrait of Artist and poet Jim Harrison that we commissioned just after his death in April 2016. It was created by a great long time friend from Flagstaff, Jaybyrd Willison. Jaybyrd has a colorful history (literally) painting portraits in oil, being an outlaw biker and no gooder-turned-philosophical-hermit and writer.

We have added to our collection as well since I emailed you last. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. We continue to commission new work and will hopefully have another in progress soon. I have attached one of the murals with the artist Danny Martin standing next to it.

Google Street View shows more art on the front of their home (facing Kennedy). Fabulous!

Thanks very much, Kristin. I'm looking forward to stopping by and seeing the next mural.

Update (October 15, 2017): There are four more murals to see: More of Kristin's gift.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Magnificent mural in Memphis

When I'm away from my Tucson home, I usually end up finding some spectacular murals. Although this blog is about Tucson, I'm also glad to share a few photos of murals in other places.

As I was driving north along 2nd Street — to see a home-turned-museum in Memphis along the former Underground Railroad — I spotted this mural:

The words are familiar here in Memphis — an important city in the US Civil Rights struggle. But I also liked this mural for the rainbow colors and for the painterly way that the letters are partly covered by dripping paint.

(I wonder if the drips partly covering the words symbolizes some Americans still struggling for their freedom? If you go to Memphis, I'd really recommend the National Civil Rights Museum.)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mena repaints Roskruge mural (our 1,300th post)

This blog started on July 12, 2006. This is the 1300th entry since then… most are murals,but some are news and announcements. We have plenty more murals waiting to go online… please stay tuned!

Long-time Tucson artist Luis Mena has been here much longer than the blog! He's still painting murals — as well as sculpting and other work, he told me recently. One of his latest projects was restoring his mural on the back wall of the Roskruge Elementary and Bilingual Middle School auditorium stage. It's one of at least two murals he's painted in the school over the years. You can see them by clicking through the list below.

The top mural in the first page below is the auditorium stage mural during October, 2016, as restoration started. See the blank white band running down from the woman's dress? If I remember correctly: Some kind of internet equipment was hung there; it was moved to a side of the stage. There was more to do, too.

Below are the five blog entries showing murals at Roskruge before he started repainting. (Most of the artists were painted by other artists.) You can come back here by clicking your browser's “Back” (or <—) button.

Note that murals are not open to the public without permission. Check in at the office: Come in the north entrance, then turn left at the top of the double stairway inside.
After Mena told me that he'd be repairing the mural, I stopped by on June 21st, 2017. He suggested I stand on a ladder for a better view over the raised auditorium stage. Here's my first photo:

I'm not sure if he'd done much work by this point; the mural looked pretty much the same as in David's photo posted on January 9th.

Mena showed me some of his plans. Here's the stripe that I mentioned:

Next, two closeups of the bottom left. Roskruge's school mascot is a puma, and there's one in the first photo below… though I'd guess it's not always shown with its skeleton inside:

The woman dancing is Mena's daughter. Here he's working from a photograph of her.

Above, on a podium, is the Mayan plaque he'll add to the mural. To the left, he's holding the plaque in the place it'll go.
I came back on August 10th, when (I think) he was basically finished. First, here's the photo David Aber took; then, a photo I took in August:

(If you'd like to compare larger versions of the photos: Click on one of them, then click on the thumbnails at the bottom of the slideshow window that opens.)

You can see that he's fixed the white stripe next to his daughter. The plaque is near the top right corner. There are probably some smaller changes that I didn't notice. (And the two hanging decorations in front of the mural have been taken down sometime since October of last year.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Miss Muffet's Tuffets II (maybe a mural part 80)

Miss Muffet, better known as Mary Lucking, in collaboration with Dwayne Arnspiger made cast-concrete tuffets that form the bases for eight different ceramic tile mosaics.  They placed them along the Arroyo Chico Greenway in 2013 where I found them on Aug. 10, 2017.  I posted four on Sept. 15.  Here are the rest:

Click on any photo for a slide show of larger and sharper images.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Miss Muffet's Tuffets I (maybe a mural part 79)

Miss Muffet, better known as Mary Lucking, in collaboration with Dwayne Arnspiger made cast-concrete tuffets that form the bases for eight different ceramic tile mosaics.  They placed them along the Arroyo Chico Greenway in 2013 where I found them on Aug. 10, 2017.  Here are four for now.  I will post the rest in a week or so.

Click on any photo above for a slide show of larger and sharper images.

I had to take two of the photos from a side angle to keep my shadow off the mosaic.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Dots and dashes outside TMA

When I spotted this wall on October 26, 2016, it was a fairly new design. (I don't have many photos of the different designs here over the years. Some from November 26, 2015 are in Banda Calaca murals. Others from August 9, 2010 are in Murals at the moment.) The wall is located between the Education Building and the main entrance:

Update (October 20, 2017): Today, the walls are blank… ready for more murals?

Friday, September 01, 2017

Crossroads Selfie (maybe a mural part 78)

Here are two murals (you can call them posters if you like) that I found outside the entrance to the Crossroads Restaurant on June 26, 2017.  The artist is Miguel but I wasn't able to find any further info.  You are supposed to place your face in the opening while someone takes your picture.

Child Size
Adult Size
Click on either photo for larger and sharper images.

The Restaurant also appeared in the Tucson Murals Project on Oct. 31, 2012. Cross Roads restaurant.