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Best Mural

Truly Nolen
3620 E. Speedway

READERS' PICK: Run for your lives! The mural on Truly Nolen's east wall offers westbound Speedway travelers a termite- and bee's-eye view of the universe, done in brilliant yellows and reds. The folks inside the building want you to know these critters are the enemy; but the mural makes you think the creepy-crawlies don't have it so bad. It's a masterpiece of local folk art, done with humor and intelligence.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: We've long understood that when it comes to public art, much of our readership favors the American Bucolic mode; and we must admit, Farmer John's Meats, at Grant Road and Interstate 10, is a sublime example. It's at once a lyric meditation on nature; a paean to the pastoral and a timeless expression of the 19th-century principle of manifest destiny. Well, okay, maybe not. But it is a lot better than looking at a great long wall of cement block, and it's diligently maintained against the predations of sun, storm and spray paint. It even weathered a mysterious cattle mutilation attempt by UFOs in 1993. (If you don't believe us, see the evidence for yourself.)

A REAL SCREAM: Some gifted artist seems to sneak over to the downtown Greyhound Bus Lines Station terminal in the middle of the night to execute an inspired vision of an idealized desert--it's not quite Sonoran, not quite the red-dirt country of the Colorado Plateau, but it partakes of both places. It's just south of the Fourth Avenue underpass, at Broadway.

A REAL SCREAM: It's a mystery why such a pure-hearted, innocent mural has to be locked up behind bars. "Share the Bounty," located at Winsett Park on Fourth Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, illustrates the interrelationship between the city we live in and the land that produces the food we eat. Artist Michael Schwartz and the Arts Brigade have created a mural rich in detail and luscious in color. Schwartz enlisted the after-school help of neighborhood kids to complete the project. We especially like the native seeds spread out beneath the purple mountains' majesty.

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