Saturday, June 22, 2013
A commissioned mural in Cave Creek, AZ by Alyssa Burke
A commissioned mural in Cave Creek, AZ by Alyssa Burke
Photo by Niba DelCastillo
Photos by Ramon Aguirre
Located at McKinley & 3rd St.
The Estria Foundation is a non-profit that seeks to “create social change through the creation of art” on a global a scale. In collaboration with the Black Mesa Water Coalition, they organized this mural in downtown Phoenix as part of “Water Writes”, a series of 10 murals in major cities across the world that shed light on social and environmental issues. Dozens of artists came together to complete the wall in less than two weeks with help from friends, family, and children.
The mural depicts the stark differences of what energy consumption/water usage means for those of us living in the Valley and for Indigenous communities to the North. On the left, images of coal mining operations and refineries set a backdrop to the golf courses and demanding lifestyle that urban residents enjoy, but that the environment and many communities pay dearly for. On the right hand side are more hopeful pleas for what the future could look like– wind farms, solar panels, and native foods are intertwined in urban and rural settings.
For more on how water usage in Arizona disproportionally effects Native communities, read a previous interview with Jules Badoni here.
Artists involved include Angel Diaz, Jeff Slim, Kim Smith, Edgar Fernandez, Jules Badoni, Sinek, Ramon Aguirre, Averian Chee, Lalo Cota, and more. Other organizations involved include PUENTE, Tonatierra, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
Thomas “Breeze” Marcus and Douglas Miles of Apache Skateboards traveled to New Orleans this Spring for the 44th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. While there, they painted two murals and installed a showing of the traveling “What Tribe?” show that premiered in Phoenix this past March.
To see more photos and a read a write up from Breeze on the trip, visit his website here.
Antonio Pasos completed this mural on PSA Art Awakenings, a non-profit dedicated to empowering the mental health community through creative means, located off Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix.
On their website, PSA Art Awakenings writes:
This mural received direct input from several of our artists including ideas, sketches, suggestions and execution of the final design, all overseen by Antonio Pasos, PSA Art Awakenings Master Artist in Residence.
To the left of the mural there is a single hand lighting a match to a large candle indicating the “Light that Art Awakenings sheds onto the darkness of our symptoms”, the mural begins to radiate light and color on both sides of the composition through the various mediums and techniques we offer. Colorful tile and mosaic, music (the keyboard around the large blue face), the paint brushes and the palette around the central image speaks to our various arts components. All of which contribute to the stairway leading towards the the clouds, to the goals and how far we can reach.
On the right hand side we see a couple growing out of a large tree symbolizing the rebirth of a dormant life run down by symptoms and public shame. Next we see a classic calligraphy legend in Arabic that says “Hope”. Towards the bottom we see a large hand offering a white pure flower, “meaning the innocence lost, and regained through recovery and creativity”.
The wind blew violently for the second day in a row as Karl Addison finished painting his final layer. James Bullough, the other half of the Berlin-based duo “JBAK”, stood nearby and calculated the next move. After sun set, the building would be illuminated by a high resolution projector, at which point Bullough would begin his turn.
He was in a rush to secure a projector for rent by the time stores closed, or else the mural would be delayed even further. The previous day, Addison had spent up to ten minutes at a time strapped in a full body harness to a boom lift, swaying back and forth, waiting for the wind to subside.
“When you’re going this high, there’s no way to plan ahead. It’s like, “How many cans of paint are you going to need?’, and I say ‘I don’t fucking know’ [laughs],” Bullough comments.
Indeed, a six story mural is undoubtedly difficult to plan for. It’s also unprecedented in Phoenix, whose downtown revitalization has produced a thriving mural scene in recent years, but rarely receives international artists or works of this scale.
Initial reactions can be garnered as people drive past during rush hour.
“We’re used to people yelling that they like the mural . . . but people have been honking their horns and yelling ‘thanks’ when they drive by. That kind of means something different, you know,” Bullough explains.
The architectural landscape is dull and overrun with a barrage of earth tones, something that Bullough is quick to acknowledge. This new addition, however, will be a pleasant change of scenery for the many drivers who frequent Thomas Road just West of Central Avenue.
Still, for a city unaccustomed to an operation of this sort, it’s mildly entertaining to watch the logistics be sorted out. In order to project the image that Bullough will then paint over, there’s a possibility that they will detour a major street in the heart of Downtown without permits.
Laughing, Bullough hypothesizes, “The worst they’re going to do is tell us to get the fuck off the road.”
He pauses, then adds, “Well, I guess they might arrest us. This is Phoenix.”
Photos by Jules Badoni & Diane Ovalle
Jules Badoni graduated from Arizona State University a few years ago with a degree in American Indian Studies. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to his art, which is inspired by his culture and heritage.
“I’m Dine’ (Navajo), from the Coyote Past clan. I’m from TahChee, which is located on the Navajo Nation in Northern, AZ,” he explains.
Badoni knew that he wanted to start painting murals after graduation. The first mural he painted while attending ASU took him nearly two years to complete, so he also wanted to find a collective of artists to participate and help with the process. Around this time, he enrolled in Navajo artist Steve Yazzie’s painting class at Phoenix College, which is where he met fellow classmate Edgar Fernandez.
“Edgar identifies with his Mayan heritage . . . [he] looks up to artists like the muralistas mexicanos Diego Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco, as well as Frida Kahlo. Personally, I like Diego Rivera’s art, but not the artist, while I like the artist Frida Kahlo, but not the art,” Badoni says.
Both artists shared a desire to represent their heritage while getting their work out into the open, so when Badoni found a wall whose landlord was willing to let them paint, he approached Fernandez and the project was born.
Images of Thomas Greyeyes work in Chinle in Northeastern, AZ.
German-based artists Julia Benz and JBAK, the collaborative-duo between Addison Karl & James Bullough, painted this mural on Braut Haus in Old Town Scottsdale. The restaurant announced in the Spring of 2012 that it would be inviting artists to paint the 500-square-foot wall in its courtyard, which would be rotated to allow for new muralists and designs to fill the space.
For more, view the tumblr page documenting the mural and the three artists’ visit to the state.