Barrio Centro Neighborhood Mural Project

A neighborhood civic engagement mural celebrating the life, people, ecology and history of Barrio Centro in Tucson, Arizona.


Chugging Along on our Mural Design

We have so much to report on the progress of our mural project. We have been doing a great deal of research into the neighborhood history, and learning some great things. For example during a recent Elder Share we learned that many rail workers lived in the neighborhood. The work siren world be used by everyone to know what time it was. The rail crossings were only marked with a simple sign like the one pictured here. You had to be careful! The railroad plays a big part in the design you will see in a few weeks.

Our second Elder Share was attended by ten neighbors who shared memories about people and places in the neighborhood. As they painted a landscape of life in the area over the past 50 years it struck me how a single person or incident could dramatically alter the life and history of an area, for better or worse. Did you know that there was an artisan spring where the 22nd Street overpass now is? I loved when we found out that the 29th Street Overpass, where TAB is working on another project, was initiated by neighbor and teacher Angie Flores. She wrote a letter to the city requesting the bridge in consideration of the students safety as they crossed the busy intersection.

Onofre up for bat in Bristol Park, 1970's

We learned about numerous business from Put-Put Golf, Hasty Tastey's, Gooney Golf, Mr. Lee's Market, El Conquistador, and the Olympic size pools at Reid Park.

Sports of all types are still popular in the neighborhood.

Each week our project advances. We have been on field trips to the Arizona History Museum and visited by long time neighborhood residents.

Our most recent visitors were Eddie Flores and Ivo Ortiz. They shared some great details about
neighborhood life and history, and reviewed our design in progress. Mr. Flores reminded the students the importance of staying engaged in civic life and service projects.

We continue to develop our technical skills as well, studying some advanced color theory while adding color to the hand drawn design. The wall is over 180 feet long, so there are numerous details to consider.

Over the next few weeks we will finish our design in preparation for a Design Presentation on Thursday Feb. 17, 6pm at the Potters House 2922 E 22nd St..

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