It’s springtime in Globe and this year the colors are magnificent. Some are found in our wildflowers and most are found on murals. Currently, there are four grant-funded mural initiatives underway which are infusing hope and excitement through public art.
The first project is a series of 13 Instagram-worthy mini-murals on the side of the building at 491 N. Broad. These murals are meant to be interactive so visitors can playfully become a part of the picture, then share images with friends and family on social media. This project was led by Mayor Al Gameros with the City of Globe and paid for by the Arizona Commission for the Arts (ACA).
In 2017, Globe was selected as one of 9 inaugural cities awarded a $15,000 “Creative Communities” grant through the ACA. This program involved two years of seminars on all forms of public art for Globe’s Creative Communities team and then finished by awarding the funding. The Globe team invested this in recording equipment, a movie screen, and sound system, all of which are available for check-out at the library. When they learned additional money was available, they submitted a second proposal for community murals and received another $15,000.
“We emphasized student art and involvement in our grant application. This is why we were originally chosen,” explained Gameros.
After working out some challenges with accessing the funding, the City of Globe hit the ground running with the mini-mural initiative about a month ago with the goal of finishing the project by Poppyfest on 4/1/22. Gameros approached both Miami High School and Globe High School to see if they would like to partner on this project and split the mural space.
Miami teacher, Mary Yazzie, excitedly signed her Career Technology Student Organization leadership students up and they began designing interactive murals that day. Yazzie used a projector at night to trace the student’s designs onto the wall with chalk and pastels. Glen Lineberry, the Miami High School principal, allowed the students to be bussed from campus during their school day to paint the walls. The students finished their work in 3 days and did the first 6 murals seen from the street.
Gameros created the capstone mural in the middle of the wall. He drew a wooden arch celebrating Globe and our recent Poppyfest. He plans to change the “event marker” aspect of the painting throughout the year.
The final 6 mini-murals were done by community volunteers through the “I Art Globe” (IAG) initiative organized by Thea Wilshire as a positive response to the challenges our community has faced secondary to COVID, fires, and floods. The IAG designs were also traced at night and then, on 3/27/22, 39 people ranging in age from 2 to 75 showed up to add the paint.
The mini-mural project is a short-term installation that will be in place for 6 to 18 months. The City of Globe purchased the building where the murals are located and plans to tear the building down to create a North Broad parking lot, skate park, and children’s playground to be built with the support of the Dylan Earven Foundation.
To utilize the rest of the ACA grant, Gameros and the City of Globe are collaborating with the IAG committee to connect with artists to get some large-scale murals painted in the historic downtown. For one of the murals, Corona Signs has been tapped to replace the “Dominion Hotel Cactus Room” ad at 476 N. Broad that had been created in 1970 as a movie prop for the filming of the Great White Hope. The original sign was painted by Paul Contreras’s father and he will now paint the replacement 52 years later. The City is also looking into possibly repainting the teepee and several other mural opportunities.
In addition to the ACA funds, IAG received a $10,000 mural grant from Peter Beesley, in memory of his wife, Carol “Ginger” Booth-Beesley. IAG worked for six months to connect artists and business owners, get the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and City of Globe’s approval, and acquire needed supplies and lifts for the work.
The first large IAG mural is being created at 198 W. Oak by local muralist, Myron Starr. Carol Hindenberger of Diamond M Dental is sponsoring the art highlighting local culture and architecture. Matt Kannegaard of RAM Specialists stepped up to assist with getting the lift the artist needed for the upper sections of the wall.
Other IAG collaborations for downtown murals include one with the High Desert Humane Society at 178 W. Mesquite, one with Farm Bureau Financial Services at 138 S. Broad supporting work already started by Therese Hicks and Jill Wilson, and one with Western Reprographics at 461 N. Broad supporting Tanner Hunsaker’s ongoing efforts to mount a 10’ by 35’ frame that will allow art to be put on canvas and changed regularly. Hunsaker is designing the “Welcome to Globe” inaugural artwork that will grace the frame.
The Stairizona Trail is a new urban trail being developed in response to the loss of walking trails at the Old Dominion Historic Mining Park and within the Tonto National Forest after the devastating wildfires of 2021. This trail capitalizes on the 90-year-old concrete staircases located in the hills of the neighborhoods around the historic downtown area.
IAG worked with Freeport McMoRan to get a $10,000 grant to begin working on the new trail and Regina Ortega-Leonardi championed the project. This money was utilized to hire local artist Rob Otero to paint a mural at the top of the first staircase, bring in Brandt Woods of Safford to paint a cascading poppy art installation on the stair risers, and engage Jim Ohl of Dripping Springs to create handmade light bollards for the stairs. A ribbon cutting for the trail was held on 4/1/22.
IAG recently received a $50,000 public art grant from BHP to continue to add art along the trail. Once city approval is received, this money will be used to hire artists to paint two large murals, beautify the next three staircases, add signage (both directional and educational), purchase benches, and add other art installations along the Stairizona Trail route. If you are interested in being considered as an artist for any of these upcoming works, please contact Thea Wilshire (928-200-8733) or Regina Ortega-Leonardi (808-373-0032).
Thea Wilshire works as an author, psychologist, speaker, healthcare consultant, and AirBnB host. Her passions include community development, the creation of public spaces, trying new adventures, and sharing her therapy dog with schools and medical facilities. Find her blog at https://www.acornconsulting.org/blog.