Friday, October 31, 2014

The web on north 4th

I found this Halloween-like scene on Christmas Day, 2013:

It's the front of the former Johnny Ray's Tattoo & Piercing (which was for lease when I stopped by).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Steinfeld Warehouse revisited (and re-energized)

Back on June 7, 2010, we showed a mural on the west side of the Steinfeld Warehouse, with deep shadows. Here's a softer version from September 28, 2014:

On the north side, along 6th Street, some paste-ups:

There's more information near the end of the city's page Preservation of Historic Buildings and Structures.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beautifying I-19

Freeways used to be mostly a bunch of asphalt and concrete. But both I-10 and I-19 in Tucson — as well as other parts of Arizona — have started sprouting art. Here's an example from the southbound side of I-19 at the Valencia Road offramp:

There's more art on the northbound side. But stopping along a freeway, taking photos, and then running across to the other side to take more, isn't a great idea... so I have just this one shot. I grabbed it on August 8, 2013 — from a car headed for Nogales, not on my bike!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Behind Borderlands

Just over a year ago — October 18, 2013 — I took some photos around Borderlands Brewing Company, along the tracks at 7th & Toole. Last month — September, 2014 — Mark Fleming sent me an update.

I drove up Toole to see what had changed. The paste-up mural from two years ago had fallen apart; to the left of it was the newer mural Mark photographed:

Here's the close-up that Mark sent:

Update (March 10, 2015) @JoePagac just tweeted a link to an Instagram photo of him repainting part of this wall by the tracks. Just by coincidence, I caught some photos of the whole wall — but without Joe. I'll post those photos, and the completed wall, in the next few weeks.

By the way, you can see more photos of Joe and some of his work at

Update (April 1, 2015): Joe is finished with the mural. I have a copy of a tweet (from Twitter) showing him finishing up: Joe Pagac finishing Borderlands Brewing mural.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Roadrunner's back

Twice over the years, we've shown murals at the Roadrunner Hostel & Inn: July, 2008 and May, 2009. We haven't posted the mural in back, by their little parking lot:

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

This is one of a few lost mural photos that I just found. It's from August 7, 2013.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

South 6th & Michigan, 2000-2014

First, some good news: Thanks to all of the photos that David Aber and Mark Fleming have been sending me, I'm going to start posting murals twice a week.

Last week, Mark emailed a photo of a mural I recognized. It's on South 6th Avenue, on the southwest corner of a building that's now a beauty shop. We already have photos online of the mural in 2000 and 2010:

Memorial at a tattoo parlor (2000)

In Memory of Crystal (2010)

Here's Mark's photo of the mural this year:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oury Community Center repainted

The longstanding mural on the east wall of the community center at Oury Park (one of the first murals on this blog: here's the 2006 page Ooh... Ahh... More Oury Park) was fading. In 2013, the city of Tucson made repairs (details below). Last month, Mark Fleming sent close-ups of parts of the repainted mural. What a change in the color!

The repainted mural isn't exactly like the previous version. For instance, compare the last photo above, from 2014, to this edited version of Randy's photo from 2006:

The United Farm Workers eagle is black; it used to be red. The man at right is clean-shaven; he used to have a mustache and goatee.

After Mark sent me the photos, I stopped by the mural to get a photo of one section he didn't photograph. It was a cloudy day — September 28 — so the color didn't look as brilliant as in his shots:

I haven't been able to find a photo of the whole mural. (And now that there's a roof over the basketball court in front of the mural, it'll be hard to get a photo of the whole mural.) I did find some of the building's history and a photo of the south side of the mural as it was being restored. It's about two-thirds of the way down the city of Tucson's page Preservation of Historic Buildings and Structures. (For a much bigger version of the photo, click there.)

I also found two older close-up photos by David Lee Guss at If you have any old photos of this magnificent mural, please let me know!

Update (October 15, 2014): David Aber sent a photo that shows almost all of the repainted mural:

(As always, you can click on the photo for a bigger view.)

Monday, October 06, 2014

The rise and fall of Oury Park's murals

More than eight years ago — July 13, 2006 — one of Randy Garsee's first entries on this blog was The Amazing, Fantastical, Beautiful Oury Park Mural. David Aber sent a recent photo of a part of this amazing mural. You can see the same part by looking at the last photo in Randy's post (above). Here are David's photo and what he wrote:

"Much to my surprise, I discovered it’s not a mural. It’s a mosaic.

"Attached is a photo by way of illustration. The years have not been kind. Many of the tiles have detached and fallen to the ground.

"It’s not really important to me whether it’s a mural or a mosaic. My larger point is the amount of time and effort that had to have gone into attaching thousands of mosaic tiles to such a large work of art. Why would they do that?

"If it was important to the artists and the neighborhood, why is it allowed to fall into such disrepair?"

I did some searching and found photos of the mosaic tiles and the making of the mural at Hozhographos Studio.

Last week, I stopped by the mural. Not all of the mural is damaged yet, but some sections are. I tried to contact Hozhographos Studio, but the email bounced back and the phone number listed on the website doesn't connect. What a shame!

Some damaged spots:

I've heard that TPAC is working on the problem.

More on this story — another “rise!” — next week.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Murals Through Our Parents' Eyes

Years ago, the University of Arizona put a series of pages online called Through Our Parents' Eyes: History & Culture of Southern Arizona. Part of the site are six pages on Chicano Murals in Tucson. From there are links to six early muralists — Antonio Pazos, David Tineo, Luis Gustavo Mena with Paul Lira, Martin Moreno, and Roberto Castillo. Each page has mural photos by James S. Griffith.

It's worth a look. (And, by the way, we're always looking for historic murals and stories. This blog started in 2006, and we've only found a few older photos since. Please contact me; thanks.)