Friday, May 22, 2020

Art Meals Tucson

Art Meals Tucson is a program that adds art activity sheets in with the school bus meals in the brainchild of Andrew Tegarden, a Teaching Artist earning his PhD in Art Education at the University of Arizona, School of Art & Visual Culture Education.

Andrew had been doing after-school art classes, and he and the rest us We knew that the digital divide in Pima County had exposed itself, and many youth were not getting the arts education support they deserved. Andrew thought that the simplicity and equity of old-school printed paper with a focus
on reuse and sustainability, along with our traditions here in the Tucson area, on healthy
foods—on resiliency.

Andrew shopped the idea to the UA, his colleagues and TUSD, spending countless hours getting the permissions and support needed. Amidst this pandemic he managed to pull together a curriculum
development team and put in several more weeks of hard work editing, researching and
organizing to produce these four issues of Art Meals.

“Art Meals” issue 1-4 Contributors: Andrew P Tegarden, Delbert Antone, Michael B Schwartz, Mia Ione Garcia, Alyssa Jasmine Thomas, Benjamin Pawlowski and Dianna Taylor.

This first series is free! You can download, copy and share. Please Use Hashtag #ArtMealsTucson

(Click to enlarge)

Issue 1:  Healing Natural (Art) World—Living Giving by Animals, Plants, and People

Issue 3:  Home within Home—Exploring and Enlivening Where Your At

Issue 2:  Nothing’s Trash—Reusing What You Got in Artistic Ways

Issue 4:  Recipes for Change—Food, Art, and the Future

For more information contact Art Meals Tucson:

Monday, April 6, 2020

Arts in the Age of COVID 19

Artist Journal:

In the weeks prior to COVID-19 life was filled with activities, plans, planting seeds and the rush to get outdoor work complete before the summer burn sets in. We had concerns, but the event still felt far away - the world was not ready.

One of my narrative abstract paintings from early 2020
For me the first few week of March it really hit home, the shopping had been done, I felt personally prepared, but as the news got worse people began to socially distance. School was cancelled, shortages at the markets, then shops closing, the economy freaking out. The world was on a collective bad trip. Friends texted and called with regular updates, more information, details and personal situations. Do we socialize distantly through May? August? Nobody really knows, the virus is in control and dictating our behaviors. Some breathe fear.

Work in progress. March 2020
Final version of this painting. March 30, 2020

Today it’s clear, the world has changed… there is the before, and the after. I’ve been attempting to capture the emotions of these past few weeks in my work. The endless questions, lack of clear direction or future. I find myself developing a new routine, adapting, changing. It’s spring, the flowers and trees abloom, the deep blue sky and fresh desert air carry the smell of creosote.

“Once, there was a mountain, then there was no mountain… then there was.”

What has changed for you? Where do you see yourself in 3 months? A year?

Wear A Mask, April 2020

Wear A Mask, April 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

SPECIAL: COVID 19 Artist Resources

I’m assembling a list of resources for our field specific to the COVID 19 situaiton. The images below were made by my friend Ricardo Levins Morales, check out his website for inspiration.

I will keep updating as I become aware of opportunities. I know we are struggling right now, but if we help each other we will get through this, hopefully with a deeper appreciation of how interconnected we and all things are. Keep in touch and drop me a line, let me know how you are doing and if I can help in any way.

Youth and Education

Learning Heros
Education Week
Art Making Activities for Your Kids
Future Ed (summer camp)
City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Homeschool

Arts and Medicine

Center for Arts and Medicine

Entertainment and Events

Pen Podcast
This limited-run podcast, "The PEN Pod," is meant to provide regular updates and conversations about literature and free expression, and provide an outlet for our in-person events that have been postponed or canceled.

Financial Resources for Working Artists

Atrium: Federal Resources 

Emergency Grants for Female Artists Over 40

Writers Emergency Fund

Working Visual Artists Fund

NYFA Emergency Resource List

General Resource List

Teaching Artist Resources

Freelance Artists

Financial Resources

Tool Box - these sites have been updateed with Emergency COVID-19 Resources

Alternate Roots

Center for the Study of Art and Community

Americans for the Arts Interactive Resource and Response 


Online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits

Transitioning to an online workplace 

Digital Tools for Artists to Run a Remote Career During Coronavirus

City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Overview: Keeping Our Small Arts Non Profits and Business Open During this Crisis

In our personal and business lives there are things with our control, action steps that will help us continue our work given the changes around us.

Develop (local/neighborhood) Plan for Continuity
        1) Planning, Communication, Training
        2) Threat Assessment
        3) Activate Plan
        4) Once crisis is over: Evaluate Plan/ record and store.

Communicate with stakeholders to categorize and assign tasks (who will do what):

        Mission critical  - working on site
        Mission critical - working remotely
        non-critical -     working remotely
        non-critical -     non-remote work

3) Develop a process for situational awareness. Identify reliable sources of information.

    John Hopkins -
   Center for Disease Control
   Local/County Health Department
    Mayors Office, City Council Members, Department Heads
    Pima County

4) Check Supply Chains for Vulnerabilities
        Check as far down the supply chain as possible
        Identify alternative vendors
        Self Produce
        Check Supply chains daily/hourly as needed

5) Promote Good Health Habits
        Washing Hands
        HEPA Filters
        Cleaning Supplies (Lysol, Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, Soap)
        Self Containment
        6 feet distance
        Hand Washing Stations

6) Assessment of Community Travel
        Identify modes of transportation
        Identify alternative modes of transport
        Plan car travel: call ahead to make sure gas stations are open along your route
        If flying wear medical mask, use wet wipe to wash down seating area and consoles.
        Get outside, hike, bike, walk, run - maintain 6 feet distance, use common sense.

7) Inventory Supplies
        Clean all items
        On line inventory


Monday, January 13, 2020

2020 Some New Works

Happy 2020! "VOTE"
"with 3 clues"
"Mellow Yellow"
These are hand drawn, scanned then colored on a computer - intended for digital consumption.
I made a short video of another drawing, depicting a simple and delightful day, which you can see in the post below.

A Day in 2020: Jan 3, 2020

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Photo Essay of 2019 Downtown Mural Project

 Photographs by David Del Grande

The Downtown Mural Project has been a huge success. These murals have become destinations and landmarks, bringing thousands of viitors to our downtown.  The project was a partnership with the Tucson City Managers Office as part of a comprehensive economic development program. For the second round we received 44 applications.

Four new murals were installed in the Spring of 2019

Ignacio Garcia 
"Running of the Pinatas" 
31 N 6th Ave
Funded by: Tohono O'odham Nation, Visit Tucson and Rio Nuevo

Jessica Gonzales
"The Path Unpaved" 

35 W Alemeda St.
Funded by: Tohono O'odham Nation, Visit Tucson and Rio Nuevo

 Joe Pagac 

601 N Stone
Funded by: Tohono O'odham Nation, Visit Tucson and Rio Nuevo

Racheal Rios and Carlos Valenzuela 
"La Madre"
86 E Alameda St
Funded by: Sundance, Tucson Pastel Society

Thank You to our Partners at the Sundance Store!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Community Mural Forum Report Back

On Sunday May 19, from 1-5pm the Tucson Arts Brigade hosted a Community Mural Forum to discuss what a future citywide mural program could look like. Over 50 people from throughout Tucson participated in this lively discussion.

Clearly there is a desire to see a City Wide Mural Program to curate, steward and maintain a culturally equitable  Outdoor Gallery of Murals, and a robust employment program that Hires Artists to Work in School, Neighborhood,  Community Centers and Other Places. We want to see the arts as the central component of City of Tucson development policies, not merely decorative “garnish”. 

Tucson Arts Brigade was formed in 1996, creating over 100 murals and distributed over  $300,000 to artists working in schools, community centers, and other places. Demonstration  program such as the Downtown Mural Program29th Street , Barrio Centro, Miracle Manor,
Amphi Action Mural and others typify the programs we are seeking.

During the forum we asked our attendees these three questions:  
  1.    How has the mural program impacted the city? 
  2.    What worked well in the mural program, what can be improved?
  3.    Where will you take the mural movement from here? 
Their answers to these questions are written in this document, and included strong concerns  for marketing, fundraising, community outreach, and the common threads listed below.

A Mural Task Force was formed, and will begin meeting on a regular basis this Fall. (2019). All are welcome to join this group.

The Forum concluded with a Mural Tour of the recent works created Downtown, led by the artists themselves.

Common Threads:
  •     Neighborhoods History Murals
  •     Marketing and Publicity for Murals
  •     Programs and Workshops for Schools and Neighborhoods
  •     Artists Under 30 Fund
  •     Increased Community Involvement
  •     Free Wall
  •     Mentorships
  •     Funding for a City Wide Program
  •     Location Apps
  •     Mural Preservation and Maintenance
  •     Need to Reform Administrative Policy 7

City of Tucson Mural Program
Tucson Arts Brigade
City of Tucson Pilot Mural Arts Program

Question 1:  How has the mural program impacted the city?
  •         The works are iconic, they attract many visitors to the city.
  •         The works help local artists gain more recognition.
  •         Murals inspire other artists.
  •         Ignacio’s mural for example transformed the alley into an interesting and visitable
  •         place, so the murals can be used to better places and make places more inviting,
  •         changes the reputation of an area.
  •         Nobody knows of (mural) program: need to increase marketing for the program.
  •         Politics can exist within city art.
  •         Murals can depict local history.
  •         Used for storytelling.
    Question 2: What worked well in the mural program, what can be improved?

        “Arts” as a career seems possible to new generation.
        Emotional reactions to the art: Kids and adults show excitement and enthusiasm
        Ripple effect: Participants, artists, visitors
        Alley has been transformed
            Murals bring history and better reputation to neighborhoods
        Door to smaller artists is a bit more closed
        Smaller artists deserve exposure
        Diversity in funding sources
        Productivity occurs even when unpaid
        Private projects open to community participation
        Need more publicity
            Publicize through website map, add background information on the murals
            Art that already exists deserves more background information

 Question 3: Where will you take the mural movement from here? 

            Vandalism, insurance, knowing location apps
                Fund mural shield (protective UV top coat
                Create phone Apps to link artists to each other
            Great artists don’t get chosen, which is a shame because their art deserves to be seen
            Allow newer artists to be included
                Proposal workshop, percent of mural funding for novice artists
                A set amount of funding to novices
                Inclusion of more simple, less-skillful murals and professional works
            Public art is very limited, processed through known artists
            Artists should be able to pick their own locations
                Many don’t know their locations before creating design
        Marketing, make these art movements more promoted
        How does this specific group aid these other programs?
            Collaboration between mural programs?
        Add mural lights, draw more attention to murals
        The problem with the Phili methods: we’re not motivated by the same events
            But we are motivated by the border issue, and kids incarcerated, and neighborhoods
        Relying on the city and government to find or approve isn’t always necessary
        VARA-some are protected some are not
        Recognize that young people can create high quality art
            Set aside funding for all artists under 30
        Importance of Outreach
            High schools
            Disadvantaged communities
            At risk youth
            Get community involved in creation of murals
            Create map of city murals
        Role in educating community about history
            Site specific so it speaks to location of art
       Don’t want commercialization
    Where will you take the mural movement from here?
        Parachute cloth
            The Phili Method: teach artists (over 3-10 years) how to paint on “parachute cloth”
             - while this costs twice as much as a normal mural, and requires specialized training.
             You can create murals in places such as prisons and hospitals, where you normally
            cannot paint murals.
        Designating neighborhoods as mural dense areas
        Bring murals and mural arts education to schools
        In combination with beautification efforts (ex, collaborating with Tucson Clean and
        Beautiful, Living Streets Alliance, and others)

i.) Bringing art to disadvantaged communities 

        Establish a free wall for public art like an outdoor studio that can be used by all
            Desigsated space for painting with no approval necessary
        Collaboration within communities
        Mentorships for younger muralists
        Create mural plaques, generate more publicity on the web.
        Maintenance- use the new product “mural shield” to protect the murals from harmful
        UV rays over an extended period, or restore old murals.
        Improving mural maps
        New murals at places like the airport.

        Photographing murals for any publications.
        Create mural workshops; publicize annual mural arts training.
        Site specific designs that relate to local histories.
        Diversity of “type” of murals (ex. abstract, representational, narrative, political, etc.)
        Publicity- ex. articles in “Visit Tucson” & real estate magazines.
        Identify funding for murals for underserved neighborhoods.
        Advertise the cause of work behind and purpose of murals.
        Involve youth high school and youth detention centers; use it help others in more ways.
        Update QR codes to give information on artists, art, bio and cause
        (see TAB QR code murals).
        Involve history and culture in imagery.
        Use murals to give a sense of history to our southwest, architecture, specific events.
        An invitation to get neighborhoods to make their own art, more community involvement
        (with the artists they want).
        Get them (Visit Tucson) to advertise our artists outside of Tucson, to promote tourism.
        Using the Renaissance to reinvigorate old arguments for the arts (for example,
        the argument between line and form).
        Clear instructions on how to apply to be a muralist in Tucson.
        Workshops on how to propose, present and show their work for nervous artists that
        lack experience.
        Getting school and neighborhood groups to create their own programs - teaching them
        how to plan, procure, and create their own murals.

Additional Notes Ideas

    A designated space for art that does not require city or business approval- giving artists freedom and flexibility (free wall concept)
    Provide artists site details prior to designing the mural
 Promoting a personal, historical, or cultural piece
    Focus on mentoring youth, disadvantaged and segregated
     populations; ways to get their artistic voices amplified.
    Make the process simpler for busy people.
    Understand the ripple effect and its power to enact change.
    Bring murals, muralists, and the process to schools.
    Bringing the programs that lacked interest and
    participation back now that the community is
    coming back to life (take advantage of an upswing of interest in the arts).
    How can we brand our project? How do we integrate mural programs in the city of Tucson
    Not bury or be buried, but co-facilities our work to be seen a whole. Community by the public
    (but without letting them take our donations/funding).
        Information on restoring art and murals, maybe a public fund
    “Find a wall and make it happen = individual efforts are powerful as well.
        Ripple effect: seeing artists in action inspires people;
        Murals change a space: ex: Pinatas Running Mural transformed an alley that was dark
        into something vibrant.

    Community Aspect

Bringing murals that invite everyone, not just one artist. (“Hey can I paint there” “yes you can paint here” : type of mindset)
Share artists’ names more prominently.
Designating Neighborhood:
        Sprucing up areas during renovation efforts.
        History and political murals: so much more these murals can do.
 Brainstorm more ideas for fundraising.
    How do we maintain murals?
        Mural Shield.
        Restoring murals, repainting murals.
        VARA (Visual Artists’ Rights Act: some artists waive their rights).
    Bringing back mural program like in high schools that have fallen off the map.
    Tradition of doing this work: let’s bring it back.
    Issue of marketing. Better marketing efforts.
    Murals overall vs. mural program.
    How do we collaborate around town to benefit our community as a whole?
    Create a mural district?
    Connect all artists  - how do we do this?
    Important to support local artists.
    Mountain Ave- using this for history (murals) could be a place for field trips
        Using homes in neighborhoods.
    It’s hot here so people like to walk at night, lighting certain murals can allow them to view
    murals at night.
    Issues of Funding: promoting arts as something our community really values to receive grants.
    More Social Issues depicted in murals.
    More High School Involvement.
    Looking for opportunities to paint murals on the bike paths (Tucson Bike Loop).
    More services to Disadvantaged Communities.
    Web And Mural Map: include background information and data (about each mural)
    Smartphone App to find murals.
    Role of murals in education: History for example: Santa Rita Orchestra, History of
    Amphi Schools, Santa Rita, collaboration with schools, arts groups, private sector to
    create mentorships.
  Try to avoid commercialization, be aware of placement.
    Neighborhood Murals= Community Building.

New Ideas:

  • Free Walls - city doesn’t have to approve, private walls, soap box.
  • Learn more about Public Art Approval process (Policy 7)

Notes assembled and edited by Alyssa Magilaro and Emma Knapp