There was a community mural project last weekend in downtown Phoenix, on Roosevelt Row, right in the midst of the area where the majority of my mural photos have been taken over the last couple of years. In fact, it was at 2nd Street and Roosevelt which is how the project got its name, Ro2. Not only were some of the best-known local muralists (Lalo Cota, Gennaro Garcia, Thomas Breeze Marcus, Pablo Luna, Colton Brock, and Angel Diaz) painting, but they allowed members of the community and their children to join in.

Yes, I said Lalo Cota! If you’ve read my mural blog posts, you know that I love Lalo Cota’s work. He is known for his Day of the Dead (calaveras) murals. Here he is, and we met him. I’ll admit I was goofily starstruck. He is so nice, polite, and definitely knows his PR.

This is another vacant lot that the downtown community is beautifying and they have plans to do other projects in this lot aside from the mural.

I think this was specifically for little kids to paint.

We didn’t go until Sunday afternoon when the mural was almost complete but there were still a lot of people hanging around watching, painting, photographing.

The mural wall is attached to the side of MonOrchid, which I mentioned in a recent post. There is a mural in progress on this side of MonOrchid, too.

Even the sidewalk is colorful here.

This panel is on the opposite side of the wall that Lalo is painting.

And on the back side of MonOrchid, it looks like another new mural has begun. This whole area is now packed with murals. Everywhere you turn, you see another one but there’s still room for plenty more. This article provides more information about this project and the muralists.


Roy’s Big Mural

Another huge mural graces downtown Phoenix, on the Valley Youth Theater’s corporate office. Roy Frank Sproule III, an avionics technician with the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Luke AFB, west of Phoenix, came upon the 69 x 11 foot wall during one of Phoenix’ famous First Fridays in 2007. He had never painted a large scale mural on his own but, after spending six months putting a portfolio together, he approached the staff at the theater and his idea was met with enthusiasm.

He began painting in March 2008 and spent 17 months working on the mural, all while working at his full-time job in the Air Force. He donated his time (2,000 hours) and his own money to the project in order to build his portfolio.

Roy was given 20 years of photographs of the Valley Youth Theater’s productions and, from these, he made a collage of over 50 photographs to fill the 759-square-foot wall. He then outlined the shapes with charcoal dust, a technique used by fresco painters during the Renaissance, using perforated patterns created in Photoshop. Interesting that his technique used technologies spanning centuries.

I’m embarrassed to say that I only recognize a few of the productions represented as theater is not my main cultural interest. Can you identify them?

There are several articles on this project, including Roy’s views of what a mural should mean to a community~he thinks the community should benefit by it~and the artist’s role in creating it. Here is another and at this site is a list of several more.

Roy has another large mural in downtown Phoenix, finished just this last August, that I’ll write about in my next mural post.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s not very often that I get to do anything remotely creative related to my job. But this week, my company is having a Recycled Art Show to celebrate Earth Day. This DIY photo stand is one of my entries. The idea is from the photojojo book. Tony did the fork bending. The tealight holder below, another of my entries, was also shown in the same book.

And the house next door that is being renovated, which has been the backdrop for a few of my recent photos, furnished me with this discarded window-turned-frame.

Oh, and that reminds me. Remember the old octagonal window that I wrote about a few weeks ago from the house next door that was revealed when the investor removed the unattractive siding? He told me then that he thought he would cover it up again but, as it turns out, he is leaving it exposed the way it should be. I’m really happy that I’ll get to see it all the time now.

Do you have any photos of reused or recycled items you’ve made? Link them here if you have…I’d like to see them.






It’s what we all need.

If you’re concerned about Haiti, are an animal lover, and have a few bucks left over, consider the animals who are also suffering there.

In the past few days, several organizations have joined forces to create the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), with the goal of raising funds to help animals in the earthquake-stricken country and to provide direct aid to animals once rescue teams can be assembled in Haiti.

The ASPCA is the latest to join. In addition to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ARCH now includes The International Fund for Animal Welfare, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, American Humane, Best Friends, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International.

According to the ASPCA, “There are an estimated 5 million head of livestock in the country (mostly goats), a large stray dog population, an untold number of companion animals and native wildlife all adversely affected by the earthquake.”

“Currently, a team is staging in the Dominican Republic waiting to get into Haiti to begin work. IFAW and WSPA have also begun to stock a mobile clinic with vaccines, antibiotics, bandages, food, and other supplies in anticipation of bringing direct aid to animals,” the release adds.

You can read more about ARCH here.

A little can go a long way, for the people and the animals.

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do

Wishes Do Come True

To update my previous post, Edie and her kittens headed to Blistered Whiskers, a wonderful nonprofit street kitten rescue, today. There had been a slight miscommunication in that I was not originally aware that I had to take Edie to the rescue, too. Edie is feral and, although we worked to get our little outdoor feral colony spayed/neutered this past spring, Edie did not get fixed. On May 9, she had 4 kittens which she set up residence with in our side yard. I was able to easily pick up the kittens who, even though they could barely walk without falling over, were somehow getting around the barrier I had set up to contain them from harm. They were wandering into the carport, which is very dangerous, and getting closer to the street, also very hazardous to a baby kitten. I felt they needed to be out of here fast.

Edie’s side yard refuge:

Sideshot oleanders

This is the barrier I made that didn’t work for very long for little, inquisitive kittens.

Barrier oleanders

I only found out last night that Blistered Whiskers would not accept the kittens without Edie and I was very upset and concerned about their welfare. I didn’t think I could catch Edie easily and I didn’t want to release the kittens back into my yard but I had nowhere else to take them. Last night I backed up the cat trap to the carrier that I had the kittens in and –good mommy that she is–she went into the trap within a couple of hours to try to get to her babies. So Blistered Whiskers accepted them even though they are over their capacity. I did give them a generous donation which is why they made this exception (they need $$). Edie is now resting in air-conditioned comfort with her kittens in a nice, big cage with a hammock at a very clean, caring place with other mamacats and their babies.

Heading to Blistered Whiskers:

Cat Rescue on the Road

Poor, scared Edie:

Beseeching Edie

Kittens Heading Out

These 4 little kittens, after they are weaned, and reach 2 pounds, will be spayed/neutered and put up for adoption through the group’s website and at some Petsmart locations. They are among the fortunate ones. Phoenix is very hot and this year’s kitten season is especially bad. These little guys will never know how lucky they are to escape the fate of an uncared-for street cat. Edie herself, will remain with them for another 2-3 weeks, get spayed, and will come back here to live with my other outside cats, who also have it pretty good, comparatively speaking. Edie likes it here and I think she will be glad to come home to her extended family once her kittens have grown up a little.

The kittens are very cute but I am more relieved than sad to see them go. This group screens applicants and charges an adoption fee so they should get responsible homes. If you live in the Phoenix area and are a cat lover, this group does a lot of good and can use donations. Times are rough for small nonprofits.

Oh, and one other thing, this group needs a photographer so I offered my photography services to them which, coincidentally, is #2 on my list of how photography can change the world in my May 16 post (and I’m blogging about them which is #4). We’ll see how that goes, I’m more than willing but it took me an hour to get to this place today and, if all their activities are on that side of town, I don’t know how often I can be available.

Now I can put all my cat rescue stuff away for awhile–I hope–and get back to taking photos and doing other, more fun things.

Clean-up time:

Cat Carriers

And Marbles says, “Good, you can get back to paying more attention to me and the other indoor cats.”

Marbles Closeup

Thanks for your good thoughts (and prayers and wishes) for the kittens. And thanks to my friend, Jere, who actually reads this blog, and read a newspaper article about Blistered Whiskers and told me about them. All of the other groups I knew about were not accepting kittens at all. This could have had a far different outcome.