In the summer of 1999, Tucson transplant Stephen Farley delighted downtown commuters with his "Snapped on the Street" photo murals. Funded by Tucson's one-percent-for-art rule, Farley's soothing images of strolling Tucsonans have been the eye-popping (as opposed to eyebrow raising) exception to ADOT's otherwise contentious State Route 210 project. If you haven't seen them, it's worth a trip downtown just to feel the impact of memory and place these enormous interpretations engender, to newcomers and natives alike. Computer enhanced and rendered into pixelated greyscale tiles, this series of historic images has received nothing but rave reviews from the community ... a rare coup in the public art process, indeed.
LOOSE CHANGE: Ceramic mural on the south wall of Tucson High School, 400 N. Second Ave. This work is still in progress and won't be finished until the fall semester is out, but we can't wait. It's a gallery of ceramic self-portraits made by Tucson High students, framed and mortared onto a cinderblock wall at Euclid Avenue and Second Street. The portraits are beautiful and touching in their humanity and individuality. We hear and read so much mean stuff about teenagers (almost all of it coming from people who aren't teenagers) that it's refreshing to see such positive, hopeful work come from the teens themselves. We look at each of these self-portraits and know the future's in good hands.