Signing Murals in Tucson, Arizona
I traveled to Tucson, Arizona to sign seven surviving murals out of nineteen that I painted in the Tanque Verde Elementary School Library in 1992 and 1993. They were cut out of the wall board when the old school was demolished two years ago. On May 9, 2013 I met with Doug Price, the Tanque Verde School District Superintendent, signed the murals, and visited the new school where I was able to see teachers and staff I knew.
Originally I painted a large 6′ x 6′ mural for the story time area of the library. This mural was so well received that I continued painting a border around the room with smaller vignettes inspired by popular children’s books and finished it with a “state” mural depicting the Arizona state flag, seal, bird, tree, flower, and the US flag and eagle. One thing led to another and soon I was re-designing the floor plan for the library, designed T-shirts with a lizard mascot design won by one of the students which we sold to raise money to pay for the materials for parent Ron Lowery to build from Martha’s specifications all new book shelves and a circulation desk. Unfortunately in time it was decided the old school needed to be demolished and replaced for up-to-date buildings for the district. The location for the old school is now a new middle school, district office and Lew Sorensen Arts Center. The new Tanque Verde Elementary School is re-built further down the road.
My sincere gratitude goes out to all the students and staff at Tanque Verde Elementary School and district who helped me in the inspiration and production of these murals, and who supported their preservation. I want to thank Garv Larson, a former teacher who photographed all the murals and had two enlarged prints made and framed by the Gaslight Print Shop of the original 6′ x 6′ story time area mural and the state mural. I am very honored that these now grace the walls of the new library with a plaque with my name and Garv’s. I hope someday that the surviving seven murals can be framed and hung somewhere appropriate in the district to continue to inspire the children with the love of books.