Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 Mural Festival Report Back

2018 Mural Festival Report Back
by Sadie Shaw

"Sugar Hill" © 2018 Teresa Diane Altamirano/ Tucson Arts Brigade

In April, TAB set out to add more murals into the Sugar Hill (Northwest) Neighborhood’s Bronx Wash to extend the set completed between 2009-17. Although there were many bureaucratic roadblocks in our way, TAB persevered and managed to work with neighbors, community leaders, and even local artist David Tineo to paint more murals in the neighborhood despite all odds.

The Sugar Hill Story Circle in April inspired local artists and TAB members to submit around 15 designs for murals in the Bronx Wash on Linden between 4th and 6th Ave. However, there was a disconnect between the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona and TAB,  and because of a sudden change to the review process, our approval was delayed. Because of this, only three murals from the festival were painted at the original site in the Bronx Wash, but thanks to the generous donation of a neighbor, the majority of the murals found a home on a private wall 6th and Linden (including the mural by David Tineo). Check them out sometime!

TAB is a community driven arts organization, and we exist to inspire new artists and community leaders. From the Sugar Hill story circle, artist and Sugar Hill resident Sadie Shaw painted her first mural and was further motivated to become president of the Northwest Neighborhood Association and a board member of TAB! Together we hope to schedule another story circle and encourage a more open and accessible process to making public art in our community!

©2018 David Tineo/Tucson Arts Brigade
©2018 Sadie Shaw/Tucson Arts Brigade

Thank You To Our Supporters!!

Throughout the weekend over 150 visited, helped paint, took photographs and talked with their neighbors. Many had never met, and didn’t know there was a neighborhood association. Our supply tent was filled with healthy foods and cold drinks gathered by TAB Community Outreach Director Rose Taulton. Each morning TAB BOD member German Quiroga and intern Delbert Antone would set up the shade tent, supplies, water and comfort area. Thanks to all our dedicated volunteers the event had that feeling of comfort, delight and creativity. Many of the supplies were donated, and we especially want to thank ACE Hardware, Tucson Pastel Society,  GARDEN Inc., Felix Lawrence, German Quiroga, Sally Howard, Dorothy Richmond, John Newman, ACE Hardware, Tucson Brown Berets and Adrian Fernandez for making this festival possible.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Free-Walls: What are they?

Could Free Walls Solve Tucson's Censorship Problem?
Tacoma Graffiti Garages, Tacoma, WA

by Felix Lawrence; USDAC, Pima County Outpost

Free-Walls are areas on public property where people can paint, post or draw 2-dimensional (flat) images & text.  Just as the City of Tucson provides public parking, tennis courts etc. it can also provide areas for people to create public art on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Many cities already have such walls; as you might expect, they are not free of controversy!  This article reviews several such sites. Ironically, one of the most famous Free-Walls was in communist China! 

Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) is developing a proposal to open a Free-Wall for public art in Tucson; the proposal is currently in the early research stage, any suggestions you have would be appreciated.  We believe that the public is not just the passive audience for public art, we are also participants.  Our experiences with the Public Art Community Design Committee (PACD) have demonstrated that public art in Tucson has serious barriers to public participation; it is elitist.  PACD has censored the political content of our artwork; apparently it believes it needs to protect the people of Tucson from ideas.
 Olympia Free Wall, Olympia, Wa

The rough-draft proposal we have on the drafting board now looks like this:  

The City of Tucson would require artists to sign an agreement; this would release the City from all liability (both from personal injury, and damage to the artwork).

The City would then assign the artist an area to paint, or tell them to paint over the oldest existing artwork (artwork would be tagged with the date the artist received permission to paint).  There are many City-owned walls already built, visible & accessible from the street, so this wouldn’t cost the City anything, if it is willing to abstain from control & enforcement of rules.  Yes, the artwork may be ugly, offensive etc.  but at least it won’t last long.

The artists could, at their own expense, install video cameras to monitor the site; this info & the archives would be public & available via the internet.  Whatever proposal we put forward, inevitably the City will modify it.

The City’s main concern may be cost & liability (it may want them to be zero).  It may also may want to retain control of the content of the artwork; we must resist this as much as possible if that happens.  It is OK to prohibit obscenity, hate speech, etc. but political & religious content must be allowed if a Free-Wall is to be worthy of its name.

Stay updated on this story by visiting: http://www.tucsonartsbrigade.org/