Mescal, Arizona – May 2022 – Old West Movie Studio

For many decades when Hollywood wanted to make a Western movie, they came to Arizona, with Tucson alone having over 1500 location credits on IMDB.

About 40 miles east of downtown Tucson is a small dusty town of Mescal. Just north of town, with a perfect backdrop of the Rincon Mountains, is the Mescal Movie Studio.

Originally built in 1968 for the movie Monte Walsh, it was one of the settings for a number of famous movies including Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Tombstone, The Quick and the Dead, as well as many TV shows including Little House on the Prairie.

Over the years it had fallen into disrepair, until recently when a local family purchased it and began restoring it. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are open for tours, which include volunteer actors.

Our docent lead us on a very informative 1 hour tour. While not a fan of western movies in general, the tour, and the history of the place makes this a great stop – far better than the tacky touristy setting of the actual town of Tombstone.

One of the clock faces from the movie The Quick and the Dead – a key to the movie’s plot.

Tucson – May 2022 – Pima Air and Space Museum

The Pima Air and Space Museum is one of the largest non government sponsored airplane museums in the country. While much of their collection is military, with a mix of commercial, I (as usual) focused on the abstract views, rather than document the collection.

Part of the collection has been used as blank canvases for ‘The Boneyard Project’, where they used the old planes for their art.

Tumacacori National Historic Park Arizona – April 2022 – Oldest Mission in Southern Arizona

The Spanish Colonial Jesuits missionaries established numerous missions throughout the area that is now Arizona in the late 1600s. The Mission San Jose de Tumacacori was established in 1691, with the existing church’s construction being started in the 1750s.

The grounds are now owned by the National Park Service.

Safford, Arizona – April 2022 – Post Office Murals

From 1934 until 1943 the U.S. Department of Treasury funded a program that produced murals for Post Offices across the country, most as they were being built. This brief posting highlights the murals in the Safford, Arizona Post Office.

Safford is one of the larger towns in eastern Arizona, with a population today of about 10,000, although only 2,000 people lived there when the post office was built during this period.

The murals are titled ‘The History of The Gila River Valley’, completed by Seymour Fogel who was once an apprentice to Diego Rivera. It depicts the pioneers of the area, including the conquistadors and a Franciscan monk, farmers, cowboys and natives.

Fogel’s initial proposal had more intense detail of the plight of the Native American’s, but it was met with such resistance from the local townspeople that the design was modified to this more sterilized version.

Tucson – March 2022 – The Best of Murals

Tucson has literally hundreds of murals scattered around town. These, in my opinion, are the best.

‘Howdy From Tucson’
960 South Freeway — Tuxon Hotel
Artists – Joe Pagac, Arielle Pagac-Alelunas, Lena Alelunas, and Brett Wolgemuth
Community Foundation Campus Mural
5049 East Broadway Blvd
Artist – Ignacio Garcia
Tribute to video game ‘Earthbound’, which has a town called Twoson in it
5055 East Speedway Blvd
Artist – Ignacio Garcia
Loft Cinema
3233 East Speedway Blvd
Artist – Jessica Gonzalez
Momo’s Mexican Restaurant
1838 East 6th Street
Artist – Danny Martin
Sahara Apartments
919 North Stone Ave
Artists – Joe Pagac and Katherine Joyce
‘Roadrunner Cycling’
601 North Stone Ave
Joe Pagac
‘Epic Rides’
534 North Stone Avenue
Artist – Joe Pagac77
‘Epic Rides’
534 North Stone Avenue
Artist – Joe Pagac
‘Goddess of Agave’
440 North 7th Avenue
Artist – Rock Martinez
‘Families Belong Together, Water & Thorns’
86 East Alameda Street
Artists – Racheal Rios & Carlos Valenzuela
‘El Tour de Tucson’
177 North Church Avenue
Artists – Joe Pagac, Katherine Joyce, Arielle Alelunas and Brady Fellows
Solar Culture Gallery
31 East Toole Avenue
‘Harboring Beauty’
191 East Toole Avenue
Artist Joe Pagac
319 West Simpson Street
Artist – Isaac Caruso
‘La Pilita Cultural Center’
401 S Main Avenue
Artist – Martin Moreno
Hotel McCoy Mural – I am unable to locate the name or artist (any help will be greatly appreciated)
Hotel McCoy
720 West Silverlake Road
Artist – Joe Pagac
Arizona Arts Live
702 South Stone Avenue
Artist – Robb Harris
Old Pueblo Parking Garage
33 West Congress Street
Artist – Danny Martin
‘Salvador Duran’
111 South 6th Avenue
Artist – Diego Roa
178 East Broadway Blvd
Artist – Fin Dac
‘La Mujer Empoderada’ (The Empowered Woman)
1 North 5th Avenue
Artist – Ignacio Garcia
One of a series of murals at 197 East Toole Avenue – Studio One (A Place for Art and Activism). Tucson is located in the historic lands of the Tohono O’odham.
English Salon Spa
27 North Scott Avenue
Artist – Rachel Fitz
Cobra Arcade
63 East Congress Street
Artist – El Mac
‘Barrio Viejo’
600 South Meyer Avenue
Artist – Johanna Martinez

‘Dream of a Sunday Afternoon In Menlo Park’
Avenida Del Palo Fierro
Artist – Rock Martinez
La Chaiteria
1002 West Congress Street
Artist – Alejandra Trujillo
‘Butterfly Lady’
1016 West St Marys Road
Artists – Sawaki & Wagon Burner Arts

Bisbee, Arizona – December 2021 – An Artistic Mining Town

It is only about 20 miles from Tombstone to Bisbee, but culturally it is a world away from the old west gun crowd. Bisbee is known as an artistic town, full of free spirits, having been named the ‘Best Hippie Town in Arizona’.

It was founded in the late 1800s as a mining town, and there is evidence of that everywhere, with the town situated in a steep valley with a 1 street commercial district, and houses scattered up and down the hills.

Many of the houses and commercial buildings have interesting architecture, but the crown jewel is the Art Deco Cochise County Courthouse.

When the mining eventually died out in the 1970s, the artistic crowd found the town perfect for them, with a fantastic climate, interesting architecture and affordability. Today the town thrives on as one of the destinations in Southern Arizona.