Monday, December 10, 2012

Together We Thrive Mural Update

The Weaver, with details of Empire Market and Coronado Hotel

On January 8th, 2011, the city of Tucson came under the national spotlight as millions of people learned about a shooting that had taken place. The attack left multiple people wounded, six dead, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition. Giffords had been shot in the head, and the political nature of the shooting drew in huge national media coverage. President Obama traveled to Tucson to mourn the six lives that were lost in the shooting, and to address the attack on Congresswoman Giffords. He encouraged community healing and delivered a speech centered upon the theme “Together We Thrive”.

To be decided!

Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) sought to embody this theme, and to use it as the foundation for a mural commemorating the lives lost in this tragedy and all of the people who were affected by it. The mural would be located in the heart of the 4th Avenue district, where TAB had originally planned to restore their 1997 mural entitled “Share the Bounty”. Instead, the Together We Thrive mural project on 4th Avenue began.

"Participants are currently discussing what should go in the remaining six blank spots on the mural."

As the planning process started, the project gradually transformed. The theme of thriving together as a community was still at the heart of this muralendeavor, but it began to expand beyond just the shooting that took place. Members of the Tucson community engaged in a dialogue about the future of this mural and, much to the surprise of TAB, a different focus took shape.

Detail of Weavers Tapestry

The theme of “Together We Thrive”, at its core, is about more than community during crisis. It’s about community in daily life, the community that continually shapes us. Though the vision for the “Together We Thrive” mural was born out of tragedy, it now seeks to celebrate Tucson’s history of thriving together as a community in the 4th Avenue district. 

The base of the mural is the original 1997 “Share the Bounty” mural project. TAB is working to reconstruct and modify the original mural, building the “Together We Thrive” mural by transforming and adding to the existing components. The 4th Avenue merchants and residents shared their input for the project with TAB and together they formed the new focus for the mural. The goal for this mural project is that it will celebrate the history and community of the 4th Avenue district, while integrating pieces of the original “Share the Bounty” mural. It’s a blend of the old with the new, a rich and colorful progression celebrating Tucson community.
Power to the People Detail
There are two main pieces of this mural project, located in Haggerty Plaza located at 316 N 4th Ave.. The first piece of the mural has been completed, but the second piece is still in progress. TAB would greatly appreciate your support in moving forward with the second half of this mural project.

If you would like to get involved in the Together We Thrive mural project, please email or call (520) 623-2119 or visit our website at

Piney Hollow, and the Native Seeds Gardener Detail

 Whats Next?

you are formally invited to join us to participate in a…

Long Time Residents
~ Story Sharing ~

January 8th
The Historic Y
 738 N. 5th Ave. Suite # 101-c

If you grew up, worked or lived around 4th Ave., or are interested in Tucson stories, we invite you to join us for an evening of story telling and art making. This information will be used in the design of a mural in Michael Haggerty Plaza (316 N 4th Ave)

 For More Information or to RSVP, call the Tucson Arts Brigade at (520)-623-2119


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Annual 911 Day of Arts Service

By Victor Lopez

On September 9th, 2012, the members of Tucson Arts Brigade along with local volunteers gathered together at the 29th Street Overpass adjacent to the Jim and Vicky Click Boys and Girls Club for the annual Day of Arts Service, in remembrance of 9/11. 

Between 1pm and 5pm, light landscaping, repainting, and an overall cleanup were done in the area surrounding the overpass. At the end of the day, participants gathered together to share their personal experience on 9/11. The different experiences and viewpoint’s on 9/11 were quite intriguing. 

A majority of the adult volunteers spoke of family members that were closely involved, the experience of those family members, and what emotions they went through when they found out about the attack. The youth volunteers generally spoke about the effects of 9/11 that are apparent today from a younger generation’s perspective. 

One issue that the entirety of the group made very clear is that, we need to not only recognize global tragedies, but everyday problems such as the homelessness in our cities all the way to tagging and gang violence. We all need to do our part and put in the work to become a thriving cooperative community. 

Victor Lopez is a Tucson Arts Brigade intern and is currently a senior at Amphi High School, Vice President of the school mural club, and helping TAB employ Community Cultural Development strategies in the Amphi Neighborhood.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vibrations Music Festival Live Murals

Poster for Vibrations Music Festival
  From Thursday July 19 - to the wee hours of Sunday July 22 the Tucson Arts Brigade summer mural crew weathered a few storms and installed a series of six interlocked images. These designs were grotesques by request of the Slaughterhouse  in that the site is a popular local Haunted House. Painted in acrylic throughout the two days festival, these murals each represented an milestone in the careers of some of Tucson's most talented and ambitious young artists. The Artists Team included Aileen Boggs, Bryan De Los Reyas, Jacqi Garcia, Aria Pelayo, Juan Rey Rocha and team leader Michael Schwartz. This project was a collaboration with Digital Vibe Entertainment and a special Thanks to Alana Luna for setting this up!

Ari and friend in action
Aileen working on details.

The murals took three LONG days to create.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blog Consolidation 1

We are in the process of streamlining our many blogs, eliminating ones we don't need and attempting to make this material a little more easy to navigate and enjoy.

Note this project is on hold. Follow the links to find out about how you can get involved in other Community Arts programs.
The now deleted Archer Neighborhood History Mural Blog

 The Archer Center Mural Site had only one posting on June 13, 2010 that read:

“This site will report on the Archer Neighborhood Center Mural project. This exciting after school mural project starts in September and includes;

- After school mural arts workshops for youth ages 11-17 (Mondays 3-5pm)
- Neighborhood design sessions and
- Inter-generational Workshops

Check back soon!

A flier was circulated and several youth responded to an question and answer session. After the presentation it was clear youth were excited about the project.

The Flier Read:
“ Do you like Painting and Drawing?

Join the Archer Center  Neighborhood Youth Mural Team
Who: Youth Ages 11 - 17
When: start DATE TBA

Where: Fred Archer Center 1665 S. La Cholla Blvd.

What: We will be collectively designing a mural for the lobby of the Archer Center. The mural team will go on to paint and install the mural after approval.”

"The project never did come to pass, but lessons were learned that have become invaluable as Tucson citizens weave a web of arts and culture that can stand the test of time. In reality we learned so much about the barriers and challenges to creating murals in our current economic and cultural climate."  - Excerpt from artists journal Sept. 2010

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blast from the Past TAB Spring 1999 Newsletter

You can enlarge images by clicking on them.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Community Arts and Education

The National Education Association has been working with the Howenstine High Magnet School in Tucson , AZ, as part of their Priority SchoolsCampaign. Howenstine is a unique place with a concentration on experiential, hands on learning.  So we were delighted when the NEA came to visit a few months ago to check out our work in creating the Barrio Centro mural with students, neighbors and businesses surrounding the school.  

The Arts Brigade is now in it’s second year of collaborating with the Barrio Centro Neighborhood and Howenstine.  We are already looking forward to our third year as we build new alliances with surrounding neighbors as part of our city-wide effort to Beautify and Unify Tucson.

Over the past four years TAB has developed exciting new arts programs in response to community defined needs of Jobs, Literacy, Environmental Issues and Beautification. In 2009 the Barrio Centro Neighborhood contacted TAB in their efforts to curb tagging and bring together their neighborhood for a fun interactive activity. The video produced by the NEA was a result of our first project together. There are currently plans underway for a series of murals in the area.

To find out more about the Tucson Arts Brigade, or how to request a project, visit our web site or Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MLK Day of Art Service

On Monday, January 16 from 1-4pm in
Winsett Park, 316 N. 4th Ave. we were joined by dozens of people to paint and dialogue about the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King in our daily lives and work.

This was an opportunity for Tucson to honor Dr. King’s legacy through arts service. The MLK Day of
Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. A Walk Up Art Station was present on site where the public shared stories, ideas and commented on our
Together We Thrive Mural Project design for the site. 

We are really excited because this spring we start actually painting the mural! 

Workshops continue every Tuesday from 3-5pm at Howenstine Magnet High School, 555 South Tucson Boulevard.

Here are some samples of the work created:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BEYOND photo essay

Watercolor by Amy Orr

On January 7, as part of the BEYOND festival, TAB unveiled the proposed mural design for "Together We Thrive Mural". This was also a time to reflect and share ideas revolving around the January 8 tragedy.  Over 50 people stopped by throughout the day, including drummers from One Heartbeat.

An example of one of the artworks created Jan. 7

The public had an opportunity to comment on the design, and suggest changes and additions.
Artists of all ages contributed.

Next week join us for the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Arts Service
Together We Thrive Mural Project: Community Input and Walk Up Art Station

Monday, January 16 @ 1-4pm
Winsett Park, 316 N. 4th Ave.
All ages FREE event

This is an opportunity for Tucson to honor Dr. King’s legacy through arts service. The MLK Day of
Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. 

TAB will be hosting a Walk Up Art Station where the public can share stories, ideas, create water color reflections and comment on the proposed mural design.