Friday, January 25, 2019

Hotel McCoy VII

A series of portraits by Jessica Gonzales.  Each portrait contains an insect paired with a person based on that person's affinity for a specific insect or one that fits his or her personality.  Photos from Oct. 15, 2018.

Portrait in Progress
Finished portrait of Kendra Maria Olivas Sudano and daughter Ofelia.
The Dragonfly also represents Jessica's own mother.
 Portrait of Lauren Zampier-Enwright
 Portrait of Lydian Osman Ali
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hotel McCoy VI - Why We Live Where We Do

In addition to all of the traditional mural art, there is a poem whose stanzas are between Joe Pagac's murals.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The many murals of Benson

They're all by the same local artist, Doug Quarles. They're all in a photorealistic style. And they're all over the place! Sara Brown of the Arizona Daily Star just tweeted this Star article from December 15th:

A look at the amazing murals in Benson

Monday, January 14, 2019

Want a glittering Ben's Bells mural?

On Thursday the 10th, Gloria Knott wrote in the Arizona Daily Star that several murals near the now-demolished La Placita complex have been removed for storage:

Due to construction in downtown Tucson, Ben's Bells murals need new homes

Here are links to the photos we have of the murals. I think we might be missing one of them:
(I not only loved the glittering murals. I also loved the multicolored complex of buildings that used to be La Placita. Here's a page from my personal photography site, Lamps of La Placita - Tucson, Arizona. The short "tour" ends with a favorite photo that shows La Placita from the Garces Footbridge crossing Broadway. I'm aiming to update the site to work well on mobile phones, too; I want to keep my "tour" pages like these intact.)

Friday, January 11, 2019

#18in2018 (in 2019)

During mid-2018, two special murals appeared — one in Phoenix and the other in Tucson. These “augmented reality” murals were designed to encourage people who were turning 18 before the November 2018 election to register and vote. By using a smartphone app, visitors could make a video and a photo showing themselves with angel wings. (The wings would be added electronically.) We introduced the mural in our May 21, 2018 blog entry New "augmented-reality" mural on 191 E. Toole but didn't have photos yet. The mural is long gone, but now we do have photos. I took them on July 27, 2018:

The mural and its
“sidebar” with instructions

Close-up of instructions

How does it work? The YouTube video #18in2018 Augmented Reality Mural in Downtown Phoenix shows how:

In case that video has been deleted by the time you see this blog entry, below is a screen shot I took as the video played. (To see the wings flap, you'll need to watch the video.)

Cell phone screen showing
visitor with angel wings

The details, and some examples, are currently on the Citizens Clean Elections Commission website at (You can also search for the hashtag #18in2018.) In case that website doesn't survive, here are the instructions that people had:

How it works:
  1. Open the Shazam app (download on Apple Store | download on Play Store)
  2. Press the camera icon immediately below the Shazam button in the app.
  3. Scan the QR code next to the mural on the wall.
  4. Have a friend stand between the wings to see the augmented reality animation and snap a photo of them to share.
  5. iPhone users are able to video screen capture to record the wings in flight! Click here to learn more. Android users are also able to video screen capture but you will have to download an app for that purpose.

I didn't have a chance to fly try the mural before it was gone.

Monday, January 07, 2019

What these walls don't show (now)

How long will a mural last before it's painted over, faded by sun (especially in the western or southern sky), vandalized, or remodeled out of existence (because the wall is torn down, replaced, etc.)?

191 E. Toole on May 25, 2009

191 E. Toole on May 21, 2015

191 E. Toole on June 02, 2016

You can click on a date, above, to see the original blog entry from that date… with other photos, description, and so on. If you'd like to see all of the photos on that wall, go to the 191 East Toole section of the following page…

I've finished the first part of a new page, Layers of murals: histories of a few walls. It documents walls that have changed over time. It's one of several blog Pages (undated blog entries) that are listed in the section titled “Pages”. You'll find it at the top of the right-side column on every Tucson Murals Project blog screen. (To see it now, just scroll up to the top of the screen now and look near the top-right corner.)

So far, the page only shows the muralific building at 191-197 East Toole Avenue. Next I'll add the east wall of the Rialto Theatre. (On my wishlist is the now-gone Bookman’s location at Grant & Speedway. If you have any photos of the murals that were there over the years, please let me know!)

Friday, January 04, 2019

Murals being made (but not finished!), part 48: Rialto Theatre on Toole?

As I drove by 191 East Toole on May 5, 2018, I spotted a new mural on the right side of the wall that faces the parking lot. It was only partly finished:

The 318 is actually the street address of the Rialto Theatre — which is a few blocks away on Congress, near the corner of Toole, at 318 East Congress.

I went back last week (the end of December, 2018) hoping to see the finished mural. But, as far as I could tell, it looked the same as it did in May. So I'll keep an eye on it!

Update (January 21, 2020): When I stopped by on November 24, 2019, the marquee had performers:

(There's a photo showing more of the wall in today's entry.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Starting the new year with a flying address in CDMX

Let's start 2019 with a mural from the Roma Norte neighborhood in CDMX (the city government's new name for Mexico City… short for CiuDad de MéXico). It's next to the building entrance. Nice touch, isn't it?

By the way, our definition of “mural” is basically “flat art on a wall.” We also don't usually cover murals outside of Tucson, but I do it once in a while since I travel a lot — and a little variety can be interesting, eh?

Also by the way, this is partly a sneaky way to let you know that the Tucson Mailbox Art blog is being updated again. Today's blog entry there shows details from the fabulously over-the-top Palacio Postal (main post office) in Mexico City.

If you click on the Location below, you'll see it on a map. Happy 2019!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Miles ELC revisited (too late!)

On May 4, 2014, I drove by the west side of Miles Exploratory Learning Center, next to the parking lot along Highland Avenue — and I saw a mural of the world being painted. It was on a small freestanding concrete wall. I posted a photo on March 21, 2014 in Miles ELC: Murals being made, part 23.

Almost exactly four years later — on May 5, 2018 — I drove by again. This time, there was a completely different mural. Unlike the previous half-finished mural I saw in 2014, this one seemed to be finished:

It looks like I need to keep a better eye on this spot!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Advertising murals

¡Saludos de CDMX! (That's the city government's new name for Mexico City. It seems that most people outside the city don't know that though. FYI, anyway.) After a really challenging year, I treated myself to two weeks in one of my favorite cities. I want to thank David Aber very much for picking up the ball as I dropped it a lot this past year. Next year should be much better for me—and, so, less busy for David!!

As you ride along the freeways, and some of the city's streets, you'll notice murals that are actually advertising. Some are blatant, with companies’ names highlighted and really obvious from a distance. Others, like this example from JetBlue Airlines, are subtle. At first, it looks like the skyline of a city with the word Boston:

When you look at the lower right corner, though, you'll see:

(I hope none of you think of making murals like this in Tucson. Right now, the only commercial murals I know of are painted on the side of the building that the mural is advertising. The mural ad here in Mexico City, though, was nowhere near the airport.)

Happy 2019!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas From Toon Land

Yes, I know I'm stretching the definition of a mural (again).  But it's Christmas, and I thought you might want to celebrate the season by taking a stroll down memory lane into cartoon land with your kids or grandkids.  These photos were taken on Dec. 17, 2018 in the 8200 block of N. Tammeron Ct.  They're in a NW neighborhood where many of the yards are decorated with cartoon characters.

The Jungle Book


Who Framed Roger Rabbit

101 Dalmatians
Click any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hotel McCoy V

More photos taken on Oct. 15, 2018 at the rear of some units.

Sonoran Hot Dog by Joe Pagac

Leggy Birds by Joe Pagac

Cowtown by Joe Pagac
"Cow Skull" by Daniela Umaña Vélez
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

There are many more Hotel McCoy murals to come! Part VI will appear on January 18th.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hotel McCoy IV

These photos were taken on Oct. 15, 2018 at the rear of some of the units.

Little Cowgirl by Joe Pagac
 4th Ave. is the place to see and be seen in Tucson
4th Ave. Vibe by Joe Pagac
View From The Mountain by Joe Pagac
Surfer Dude by Joe Pagac
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Hotel McCoy III

I took these photos on Oct. 12th and 15th, 2018.  They are on the exteriors of the units.

Vintage Chevy PU by Pete Connolly

Vintage Chevy by Pete Connolly

Vintage Chevy PU by Pete Connolly

Corazón (Heart) by Michelle Myrose
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Hotel McCoy II

These photos were taken poolside on Oct. 15, 2018.

Depiction of the Mission San Xavier del Bac. Holding services since 1797.
"The Old Pueblo" by Kurt Schlaefer

"Scuba Man" by Donovan White

Sneaker by Denz

Sunny Day by Alyssa Robinson

The Duke (John Wayne) by Sean Cannon
Click on any photo for a slideshow of larger and sharper images.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hotel McCoy - Front Entrance

The new owner has refurbished a mid-century building and rebranded it as a modern art hotel where contemporary meets retro.  "From the fully restored pool & cedar-lined sauna to the A-shaped entrance & exposed posts & beams, it’s the best of both worlds."  As you will see now and in future installments, the hotel is full of art.  And it's all by local artists.  Let's begin:
 View to the north from W. Silverlake Rd.
That's a vintage(1966?) T-Bird in front.
A-Shaped Entrance Below "A" Mountain

Mural on the west side of the entrance.
"The Life In Tucson" by Daniela Umaña Vélez

Portrait of Serenity Wetherbee, also on the west side of the entrance.
"Serenity" by Jessica Gonzales

On the east side of the entrance is a circle of geometric shapes that symbolize unity and harmony.   It's called a Mándala.
"Mándala" by Daniela Umaña Vélez

Entrance to the lobby within the A-shaped main entrance.
"Tucson Toonland" by Alex Jimenez

Across from the lobby, also within the main entrance.
"Tucson Toonland" by Alex Jimenez

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Welcome to South Tucson (on W. 29th St.)

To distinguish itself from the surrounding City of Tucson, the 1.2 sq. mile City of South Tucson has erected welcome signs at its borders.  At least two other welcome signs have appeared in the Tucson Murals Project at Welcome to South Tucson (on 29th) and at Welcome to South Tucson (on 6th).

At S. 12th Ave., West Silverlake Rd. changes its name to W. 29th St. and that's where you'll see this welcome sign:
Click on the photo for a larger and sharper image.