Monday, April 6, 2015

Ajo Street Art Mural Project

"Doors of Perception" by Valeria and Isabella H. (TAB youth artists)

TAB Mural Crew
TAB Community Art History Workshop

The Community Arts Gathering was a coming together of artists diverse in culture, discipline, and practice, held at the intersection of three nations – the U.S., the Tohono O’odham Nation, and Mexico.

A big part of the gathering included the Street Art Mural Project.  Muralists from Tucson joined with artists from throughout the border region helped to enliven an alley between two historic warehouse buildings in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Ajo, AZ.

Artists spent a week painting murals throughout the day and night creating a festival like atmosphere in the once barren alley way.
Alleyway Before

One of the more spectacular moments were when a musicians circle grew to a new orchestra, and spontaneously a couple stared to dance as painters worked on their murals, townspeople mingled with guests from the conference, scaffolding a delightful table of food and beverages.
The alley came to life at night....
...and by day!

Kat's Mural, "Heart of the Desert"
These moments continued and Arts Brigade artists had a ton of fun working with the local high school students and their teacher. Students created a series of individual and group murals. TAB artists taught students the
Porter McDonald at work
basic tools and techniques needed to make a mural.

Flip, by Michael Schwartz

TAB artists worked with about 40 of the high school students. It started with meeting Miranda, she worked for several days on her design between her many other activities. It was clear that this little town was actually really active, and very social. Next we visited the local school and a mixed 6 - 12 grade classroom of some of the nicest young people one could ever hope to meet.

Teaching Artist Michael Schwartz offered a series of skill building lessons in perspective, scale and color and then we were off to paint murals . The next few days we worked on painting tools and techniques at the mural site. Youth from Ajo enjoyed watching TAB youth working, and were deeply inspired by their final mural. They kept asking “how did they do that?” What did you see? asked a teacher, “We saw them talking, making decisions as they painted” chimed in one.

Alice Glasser Mural
The creativity and excitement in Ajo was so inspiring and joy filled for all of us that we decided to continue the collaborations and build our relationships. Our next big events include a multi-media Community Build Day at the Dream Village, 939 S. 10th Ave. in June, and a Youth Arts Leadership gathering in late summer. Look for more details on this blog.

If you are interested in helping realize these projects we have regular organizing meetings. Email for more information. 

The Ajo Street Art Happening and Community Arts Gathering was hosted by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance


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