Tucson – December 2022 – 4th Avenue Art Fair

For more than 100 years 4th Avenue in Tucson has been a center of commercial activity.

Twice a year the street is shutdown for a large street art fair. You can’t miss the omnipresent Tiki Man at the corner of 4th and 8th Street. Tiki Man had for decades watched over a putt putt course a few miles away, but when it closed, he was rescued and relocated.

With it’s location just northeast of downtown and southwest of the University of Arizona, it is the street for quirky shops and restaurants.

The street was filled with artist tents.

The local shops added to the overall vibe of the event.

While the official event occurred in the middle of 4th Avenue, it seemed every parking lot along the way had their own unofficial extension of the show.

Murals are all along 4th Avenue and in the nearby alleys.

Nearby is a container park, with shops, restaurants and another great mural. It seems Arizona has all sorts of uses for containerized cargo units, some better than others.

The event brings vendors from all over the west, and beyond. A nice way to spend a Saturday morning.

Tucson – November 2022 – Mural Morning

The morning walk downtown took me through a parking lot full of murals. It was a perfect opportunity for photos as there were no cars in the parking lot this early on a Saturday morning.

After much debate we ‘think’ this is Tucson native Linda Ronstadt in her younger years. Too much time was lost comparing the shape of her face, nose, mouth, etc đŸ™‚

Leaving the parking lot for 3 other downtown murals, a couple have been on other postings but not with this lighting.

Las Vegas – October 2022 – Fremont East Murals

Fremont Street was the first paved street in Las Vegas, and since the beginning of gambling in the 1930s, was the original center of entertainment until the Strip came along a couple of decades later.

Today Fremont Street has a massive cover (more in a later posting) essentially connecting the downtown hotels. Just to the east, outside of this cover, is an area far less glittery known as Fremont East.

A number of the buildings in Fremont East have large murals.

One building was covered on all sides.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Random Views

Some random views of an evening in downtown Salt Lake City.

Trolley Square was once a trolley barn for the original streetcars of the city. For 50 years it has been a trendy shopping district (and somewhere with a patio restaurant open for lunch!). The water tower is a highlight of the skyline.

Another in a long line of stupid arena names in the pursuit of a few more dollars – the Vivint Arena. The streetcars however, are a great (re)addition to the city.

While we are going on strange names – the Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in New Orleans in 1974, playing just 5 seasons there before relocating to Salt Lake City, but keeping the Jazz name, apparently because they switched cities so close to the start of the season they never had time to get new uniforms and advertising completed.

A few murals…

Our hotel for the night had a nice view of downtown for both sunset…

And sunrise….

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.

As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.

The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.

This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.

One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.

The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.

The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.

This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.

Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.

Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.

Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.

Gray Mountain, Arizona – September 2022 – Painted Desert Project

Dr Chip Thomas is a native of North Carolina who went to Diné (Navajo) Nation decades ago as a fulfillment of a National Health Services Corps scholarship he had received. He arrived in this area in 1987.

Decades later he began to paint large scale murals on abandoned buildings throughout the area. Early on he painted what he believed to be an abandoned roadside stand, only to find it was still used and the new art attracted more business. These stands are crucial to the economic survival of the community.

The mural in Gray Mountain is on an old motel that had been owned by a group known as the Whiting Brothers, who had a chain of motels all along route 66 and elsewhere in the west.

The art is a tribute to the Diné Nation and their struggles and heritage, and was completed by Dr Thomas as well as Diné artists.

Mojave & Sonora Deserts, California – July 2022 – Random Views

Our extended weekend took us across miles of desert space, sometimes offering some unusual views.

A canal through the sand dunes along I-8 just west of Yuma, Arizona.

Alfalfa fields in the middle of the desert, with the help of tons of irrigation water.

The town of Twentynine Palms (there were more than 29) has a number of murals.

A church at the edge of town.

Before you leave town headed east you had best take care of all of your business.

In case you are lost there is a sign post at a cross roads along those 100 miles.

I have seen old shoes thrown across telephone wires, but this took that approach to new levels.

Alien/Zombie rock?

Finally we reached the town of Parker, Arizona.

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