Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First Annual Paint-A-Thon to Fund New Tucson Murals

"Second Saturday Downtown Paint-a-Thon!”

Tucson Arts Brigade Invites You to Paint with Them at Second Saturday Paint-a-Thon Fundraiser on Jan 14, 6 - 10pm

Tucson, AZ - Local non-profit organization Tucson Arts Brigade, responsible for the Tucson Mural Arts Program and many new and beautiful downtown murals, is hosting a fundraising event on Saturday, January 14th  from 6 - 10pm at Monsoon Collective 127 N 5th Ave.  Guests are invited to join in painting murals on free walls and let their creativity loose while mingling among other art-minded Tucson folk and providing some much-needed funding for this great arts non-profit. 

Entry is $10 a person and all ages are welcome.  Snacks, brushes, and walls will be provided, but we do ask that you bring your own paint as ours will be limited!

Profits from this fundraiser will go directly to maintaining existing murals, providing materials and supplies for the creation of new murals, and keeping the Tucson Arts Brigade active and running.

TUCSON ARTS BRIGADE, INC. (TAB) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts and education organization dedicated to participatory community arts with an emphasis on facilitating inter-group opportunities for youth, elders, and adults.

Monsoon Collective is an exhibition and temporary art space that can be found at 127 N 5th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, just south of Thunder Canyon Brewery. Call 520-791-9359 for more information, or write us at

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Project Profiles: Emma Bayne and Manny Garcia

Tucson Arts Brigade muralists are hard at work. We are so excited to share a few snapshots of upcoming mural projects.
Every week we are contacted by artists who want to paint the town. Each mural takes a considerable amount of time. Artists design the work of art, get it approved, gather materials, prepare the wall, transfer the design, paint the mural and finally protect the mural from the elements. Imagine a huge canvas, painted outdoors. It takes special tools, techniques, materials  and a lot of patience. We are now seeking donations for our neighborhood mural program. Most murals range in cost from $500. to $10,000. depending on the scope of the project. TAB works closely with artists creating a collaborative environment where artists share skills, resources and time to accomplish projects. Here are a few snapshots of muralists we are working with this month;
Every donation you make helps bring smiles to peoples faces;
Manny Garcia is an 80 year old artist. He paints on all sorts of objects like fords and wants to paint a mural depicting the wildlife of Tucson. He is really excited to work on a small wall and sent in this design, reminding us that he will be adding many more plants. Manny says he just wants to share the natural beauty of this place, and leave his mark on the town he loves so much.
We are seeking a highly visible smooth wall about 5 feet high by 14 feet long for his mural.

Emma Bayne is 19 and a freshman at the University of Arizona for Art Education. Her ultimate goal is to teach middle to high school art and how to be the next generation of artists. She was born in Denver Colorado, but raised here in Tucson. She has always loved Tucson’s character, especially the art community.

She has designed a mural for the North West neighborhood and writes: “My mural is about rebirth and creativity. It is a model of new life and holds personal significance in that I am starting on this new phase of life, growing older and going to college. I believe that life is circular and death only leads to new and beautiful life. In the mural the skulls represent the past and death, the butterfly of sacred rejuvenation and originality and the spiral of the cycle of rebirth. I chose the tiger swallowtail butterfly because it is my dad’s favorite animal, his symbol of sorts and my dad is the biggest inspiration and motivation in me pursuing art. I tied in the desert flora and fauna to represent Tucson’s amazing wildlife, and used bright colors to give the feel of fresh beginnings. I hope this mural evokes happiness and inspires to community to be thankful of life and to use their resources and time in creative ways. I love being able to give something back to the community which raised me by doing something I love to do.”
We are also seeking to raise $1500. for materials, to manage the project, document and coordinate unveiling celebrations.
Donate to Tucson Arts Brigade Today and help make these murals become a reality.
By Mail: TAB POB 545, Tucson, AZ 85702

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tucson Loves Murals!

Tucson Loves Murals!

You helped fund 16 new murals in 2016, and all the work we do is dedicated to you. It’s your tax-deductible investment that results in the murals you love. We know these works have become destinations and landmarks, with people coming downtown for a mural tour, a meal and entertainment.  We hear so many personal stories of people being inspired by these colorful works.

Now it's your turn. We need your help to fund the creation of new works, maintain and preserve existing murals and provide educational opportunities for our community to learn more about what it takes to create these epic works of art.

This holiday season we want to invite everyone to chip in to help paint the town in 2017. Image if everyone who enjoyed these murals was able to donate $50 or $100! So lets keep moving forward and create some new murals in 2017!

Here is how you can help:

New Murals Fund
The new Murals Fund supports the creation of new murals throughout Tucson. Currently we are working on the Bronx Wash Murals at 4th Ave and Linden and gathering designs for spring murals such as the ones in Ajo, AZ.

Donate to the New Murals Fund

Mural Preservation Fund
We maintain over 30 mural sites throughout Tucson. Through wear and tear these works often need maintenance or preservation. Often these repairs are done by student artists and emerging muralists, providing a source of hands on experience.

Donate to the Mural Preservation Fund 

Mural Education Fund
Each year TAB provides mural tours, presentations and hands on mural arts education experiences for youth in Pima County. This fund is used to hire teaching artists to facilitate murals in schools, community centers and other places.

Donate to the Mural Education Fund

Lets Paint the town!

Here is a handy Flier you can download and share!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Community Mural Forum Oct. 26 at Center for Photography’s Auditorium

The University of Arizona School of Art is partnering with The Tucson Arts Brigade Mural Arts Program, to offer an exciting public event discussing the present and future state of public murals in Tucson.

Colin Blakely, Director and Professor, School of Art, and Michael B. Schwartz, Temple’s Tyler School of Art ‘88/UA MFA ‘91, Founder and Director of Tucson Arts Brigade and its Mural Program, will be inviting the greater arts community, students, faculty, the School of Art Board and the City of Tucson mural advocates for a panel discussion about the mural arts in Tucson, focusing specifically on the programs’ downtown murals and ongoing efforts to create a sustainable mural program in the city.

The panel takes place on October 26, 2016, 5:30 – 7:00, in the Center for Photography’s Auditorium on the U of A campus. The evening will feature a discussion with Blakely, Schwartz (formerly part of the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Program), Prof. Alfred Quiroz (mural artist of record on campus and in the studios); the City of Tucson’s prominent muralists which include Ignacia Garcia and To-Ree-Nee Wolf; and Camila Bekat, City of Tucson’s Office of Economic & Business Development.

The School of Art Advisory Board, in discussing a worldwide mural trend early last spring, quickly discovered Tucson Arts Brigade initiative to support the creation of murals in neighborhoods, schools and community centers.

The latest initiative led by the Tucson Arts Brigade and launched in May ‘16 resulted in eight murals in the downtown area and was funded by Tohono O’odham Nation with additional support from the City of Tucson. The Advisory Board subsequently connected Schwartz to Mr. Blakely, whose second year goals include expanding community outreach within the School of Art. “Tucson is a vibrant community for artists, and the university has an important role to play in recognizing and supporting that community. Works of public art like the Tucson Arts Brigade’s mural project remind us of art’s ability to impact our everyday lives in positive ways,” says Blakely.

The muralists will receive a modest honorarium from the UA School of Art while the panel discussion will provide important recognition for the launch of one of the Southwest region’s greatest mural development projects. “The mural program seeks to create an outdoor gallery that embraces local, national and international talent, creating paid opportunities for artists and promoting Tucson as a world class exotic destination.” says Schwartz.

Promoting these local and regional artists’ murals dovetails with Tucson being named UNESCO’s first top City in Gastronomy, also being ranked 7th Best Music City in USA, and all moving the spotlight onto Tucson as a relevant and ascending national center for the arts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fall 2016 Arts Brigade Schedule Features Murals, Lectures and More!

Installation Art/ Visiting Artist
Wednesday Sept 14   
2:30 - 6pm, $15. per student (Ages 11-17)

We will be set up and meeting on location: Art Club at Monsoon (A Pop Up Art Collective)
127 S. 5th Ave. *Parents please pick up and drop off from this location.*

For this session we will be doing installation art and working with Miss Hazard, a visiting mural artist from the UK.

Community Artists Potluck & Artists Talk by Miss Hazard
Wednesday Sept 14
6pm - 8pm  (Free & All Ages)

This month we are proud to host Miss Hazard UK based an Illustrator, Graffiti Artist, Designer and Director at KOP & Hibbert Contemporary Art Gallery. She will be doing an aerosol mural while visiting our community.

Come learn more about her work at the September Arts Brigade potluck.


Mural Painting
Wednesday Sept 21 (raindate, our Sept. 7 was rained out:)
2:00 - 7pm, *Free*   
All Ages

We will be set up and meeting on location: East Warwick Castle Lane Overpass on South Tucson Blvd. (between Drexel and E Irvington Ave.) Adjacent to the Esperanza ES. *Parents please pick up and drop off from this location.*

Open Studio Session
Wednesday Sept 28   
Wednesday 2:30 - 6pm, $15. per student (Ages 11-17)
44 W. 6th St. Studio 13
(enter from 9th Ave, around the corner from parking lot where red stairs are near the railroad tracks)
Working on individual visual arts projects in your selected media.

Community Artists Potluck & Artists Presentation
Wednesday Oct 19
6pm - 8pm
(feature topic TBA) (Free & All Ages)
44 W. 6th St. Studio 13
(enter from 9th Ave, around the corner from parking lot where red stairs are near the railroad tracks)

Acrylic Painting Workshop
Wednesday Nov 9
6pm - 8pm
All Ages. $40. per person, all supplies included.
44 W. 6th St. Studio 13
(enter from 9th Ave, around the corner from parking lot where red stairs are near the railroad tracks)

Learn the basics of acrylic painting. You get to go home with a painting too!

Community Artists Potluck & Artists Presentation
Wednesday Nov 30
6pm - 8pm
(feature topic TBA) (Free & All Ages)
44 W. 6th St. Studio 13
(enter from 9th Ave, around the corner from parking lot where red stairs are near the railroad tracks)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016-7 Community Arts Internship Opportunities

Call for Mural Assistants and Interns

Help Beautify and Unify Tucson!

 2016 - 7 Mural Arts Internships Opportunities
We have several exciting internship opportunities open. If you are like to have fun, build community and work with a highly energized creative team of change makers and artists this opportunity is perfect for you.
(10 - 20 hrs a week) Mural Arts Program: This position includes assisting Lead Artists, visiting artists, working on mural projects and maintaining our inventory of murals.
(5 hrs week) Marketing & Development: Help fund raise and publicize TAB programs and opportunities.
(5 hrs week)  Assessment and Research: We are seeking social science or education majors familiar with a variety of approaches to evaluation, assessment and tracking tools.

Internship Positions reports to the Executive Director and supports the executive leadership team in daily operations.

What will I actually be doing?
  • Assisting Muralists as needed;
  • Preparing, priming walls, top coats.
  • Coordinate transportation and field trips;
  • Assist in material inventory and distribution;
  • Assist on documentation;
  • Assist Coordinating community paint days and projects;
  • Assist in identifying and securing healthy snacks;
  • Update calendar listings to local media, follow up calls;
  • Studio work: painting, cleaning, light lifting, preparing surfaces;
  • Painting and preparing walls.
  • Assist on Community Cultural Development initiatives, colloquia and meetings.
The ideal candidate will have:
  • Experience or interest in working within the field of community cultural development.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, a pleasant telephone manner and courteous and professional work style.
  • Capacity to execute tasks with accuracy, consistency and attention to detail.
  • Outstanding organizational/planning skills and the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
  • Ability to function professionally in an open studio environment.
  • A sense of humor and describe oneself as flexible and reliable.
  • Finger print clearance required for some tasks. (working with youth).
How to Apply: Submit information to:
Please include contact information, schedule, CV or resume, and a cover letter that answers:

1. What interests you in this opportunity?
2. Briefly describe your most relevant experiences and skills for this position.
3. What should we know about you and/or your background that might not be evident in your CV/resume?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Iconic Downtown Murals Become Destinations

Niki Glen's Pollinators Mural
Tucson, AZ: The Downtown Mural Program has been a huge success. There have been numerous stories in the press and social media is on fire. This program comes 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 City of Tucson 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 are, Ignacio Garcia, Niki Glen, To-Ree-Nee Wolf, Rock Martinez assisted by Cristina Perez, Summer Kitchen Studios – Alexandra, Rachel and Tim, Jessica Gonzales, Luis Mena and Isaac Caruso.

A very special thank you also to the Businesses and property wall owners: Rialto Theatre, City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department, 5 North 5th Hotel, CafĂ© 54, Wig-o-Rama, Century Link and John Wesley Miller. 

If you need additional information on the mural project, or how to support our efforts, visit our website at

There were a number of great stories about the Downtown Mural project. Here are links to the Arizona Daily Star and Zocolo articles, which include some great writing, photographs and links to artist websites for you to enjoy.

9 new murals in downtown scream TUCSON
By Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star

Tucson’s New Outdoor Art Gallery
by Craig Baker, Zocolo Magazine