"Tucson Mural Arts Program has created many beautiful public art displays throughout the City while simultaneously helping delinquent youth straighten out their lives and put their talents to constructive use. It has long been my wish to see TMAP outreach expanded."
- Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
Downtown Mural Project
Iconic Downtown Murals Became Destinations
The Downtown Mural Project was a huge success. There were numerous stories in the press and social media is on fire. This program came after years of hard work, experimentation and the perfect timing. Our most recent collaborations have brought joy, inspiration, dialogue, excitement and energy to our downtown. Hundreds of people are coming downtown to see the murals, thousands more are talking about them. This is much more on the way, stay tuned!
This artwork is inspired by Tucson’s rich cultural diversity, history and urban fabric. The project started back in late January on the heels of the Environmental Services mural project, and the new Traffic Control Box mural initiative. The Arts Brigade issued a statewide call for Mural Artists to submit works, the selection committee, which included Julie Sasse Chief Curator Tucson Museum of Art, Ceci Garcia and Susan Silverman from the Tucson Pima Arts Council Public Art Committee, Mary Lou Thompson of Tierra Antigua Realty and Brandi Haga-Blackman of the Downtown Tucson Partnership reviewed 58 applicants work. As you can see we were seeking muralists that would uphold the highest professional standards of quality, with delightful and inspiring themes.
We want to especially thank the Tohono O’odham Nation, Visit Tucson and Arts Brigade supporters for funding this project. Our partners Graffiti Protective Coatings, Park Tucson, and the Downtown Tucson Partnership provided critical in-kind services. This project would have been impossible without the hard work and dedication of Sabrina Wilson, our assistant project manager. Our artists included, Ignacio Garcia, Niki Glen, To-Ree-Nee Wolf, Rock Martinez assisted by Cristina Perez, Jessica Gonzales, Luis Mena and Isaac Caruso.
Thank you also to the Businesses and property wall owners: Rialto Theatre, City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department, 5 North 5th Hotel, Café 54, Wig-o-Rama, Century Link and John Wesley Miller
ABOUT THE TUCSON ARTS BRIGADE MURAL PROGRAM (TMAP)
The Tucson Mural Arts Program is a results-based beautification program that involves residents of all ages in the design and painting of murals. We offer a viable solution to graffiti, social isolation and property damage by working with our community to collaboratively create works of art.
Through our innovative design process we bring together youth, elders, long time residents, neighborhood associations, schools, social service providers, community centers and businesses. Our public murals follow a fun, inclusive civic engagement and approval process. Our curriculum integrates the City of Tucson process for accepting works of art and the TPAC Public Art and Community Design Committee process.
Mural Arts Program 1996-2018
Trash Container Mural Demonstration Project
MURAL/TRASH CONTAINER ART UNVEILED
On Friday, February 5, 2016, the City of Tucson Environmental Services Department unveild and began delivery of five metal trash containers that have been painted with murals as part of an effort to reduce graffiti. Environmental Services contracted with the Tucson Arts Brigade to coordinate the project. Additional funding was provided by the Graffiti Resource Council in Washington, DC.
Five Tucson artists have designed and painted the trash containers which will be provided to businesses that have a high potential for graffiti and tagging. The City, working with the Tucson Arts Brigade hopes the program will also improve urban aesthetics and ultimately save taxpayers money on graffiti abatement.
Five artists were selected from 44 applicants who ranged from established painters to first-time muralists. The artists are Johanna Hand, Sasha Lewis, Niki Glen, Porter McDonald and Ruben Moreno. The city provided $5,000 in funding for the pilot program, which was matched by the Graffiti Resource Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit vandalism prevention organization.
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik said, “City leaders have been working on this program for quite some time. Even though such initiatives may not end the exorbitant cost of graffiti abatement, they can potentially help save money as well as beautify the city.”
The unveiling of the trash containers will be held in the parking lot, behind the Chicago Store in downtown Tucson on Friday, February 5, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. All five of the trash containers will be on display before being delivered to the business customers participating in the program.
The Tucson Arts Brigade received a total of 44 applications for the Trash Container Mural Art Demonstration Project sponsored by the City of Tucson Environmental Services Department (ESD) and Graffiti Resource Council, with logistical and administrative support provided by GARDEN Inc. This was a very difficult decision and we were so impressed with all the submissions. These artists are helping to demonstrate that there are plenty of talented artists available to paint murals that will beautify and unify our community and help to reduce the maintenance costs of City property.
Five artists, Niki Glen, Johanna Hand, Sasha Lewis, Porter McDonald, Ruben Moreno were selected through a peer-reviewed panel process by seven panelists who represented diverse sectors of our community through their affiliation with the Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB). Their designs will be submitted to ES for final review on Nov. 10 2015, and then we move on to the painting phase. Works will be completed in December 2015.
This is an exciting moment for Tucson, as we strive towards a permanent city wide, year round, youth based After School Mural Arts Program.
Read More about this story in a series of articles in the Arizona Daily Star by David J. Del Grande:
- Dec. 4, 2015 Mural Program Seeks to Beautify and Unify