About The Greetings Tour
The Greetings Tour is a self-funded project started by Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs who travel the country in their RV painting large letter postcard inspired murals from city to city. Their goal is to eventually complete murals in all 50 states. The purpose of The Greetings Tour is to beautify the U.S, with interactive murals and create public art that captures the pride of local residents. To date, they have been on the road for 2 years, completing over 19 murals, with Tucson being the 20th!
The Faces Behind The Mural
- Victor Ving is a former NYC graffiti artist who now creates public murals for local communities. He is one of the co-owners of Klughaus Gallery (http://klughaus.net) and Graffiti USA art agencies (http://graffiti-artist.net).
- Lisa Beggs specializes in Photography. She graduated from Ohio University for Commercial Photography and Dance. Lisa’s portfolio can be found on her website (http://www.lisabeggs.com).
- Rock 'Cyfi' Martinez is a local Tucson artist who helped show Victor and Lisa around Tucson. He has over 15 years of experience and has completed many of his own murals in Tucson which can be viewed at http://cyfiart.com. Martinez painted the letter “C” in the Greetings From Tucson Mural.
After talking with locals, Ving used spray paint to capture the unique aspects and history of Tucson- which can be viewed within each letter on the mural. Each image chosen represents an importance and pride to the Tucson Community.
T — University of Arizona- “A” Mountain
- The University of Arizona is public university located in Tucson, AZ. It was founded in 1885, and was the first university in Arizona. Today, the University has over 40,000 students enrolled and ranks high in many degrees. "A" Mountain is a signature symbol of the University of Arizona; it is located on Sentinel Peak, just west of campus. The "A" is 70 feet wide and 160 feet tall. The idea originated after a football victory over Ponoma College on November 6, 1914. The mountain was completed and 'whitewashed' by students with white paint on March 4, 1916. White-washing was a tradition that stuck around for over 86 years. Nowadays, the traditional Lighting of "A" Mountain occurs the Sunday before Homecoming week. Students,faculty, homecoming royalty, alumni, pep band members, and cheerleaders all gather atop of Main Gate Garage and watch as the "A" is lit up with flares. "A" Mountain has traditionally been painted white, however it has been painted black in protest of the Iraq War, red/white/blue in support of the troops, and sometimes green for saint patricks day.
U — Saguaro cacti, sunset
- Tucson is home to the nation's largest cacti- the Saguaro cacti. Saguaro National Park is located on the east and west outskirts of Tucson. These cacti are only found in a small portion of the United States in the Sonoran Desert. In addition to the Saguaro, Tucson also provides beautiful sunsets every day. The Santa Catalina Mountains and the abundance of saguaro cacti offers an exceptional landscape for the setting sun.
C — Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Tucson tradition with it's roots coming south of the border from Mexico. In 1990 Susan Johnson created a ceremonial performance piece which was creative and celebratory for the grieving of the passing of her father;She found solidarity and acceptance through this method of expression. Today, the All Souls Weekend and All Souls Procession is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones and ancestors. Over 150,000 individuals gather on the downtown streets of Tucson every November for a "two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the ceremonial burning of a large Urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed." The Procession is a sanctuary for community members of al walks of life to express their loss and grief in a celebration of creative energy.
S — Hotel Congress, John Dillinger
In 1919, the famous Hotel Congress and tap room was built on Congress Street in downtown Tucson. It would have continued its charming existence as another place of lodging and dining for road guests if it were not for the events of January 22, 1934. This day forever changed Hotel Congress and it's unique place in Tucson's history. John Dillinger- the countries' most notorious criminal was residing in Hotel Congress with his gang to "lay low in Tucson." However, an early morning basement fire, that spread up the elevator shaft, and the subsequent chain of events led to the capture and recovery of $23,816. Within five hours, without firing a single shot, the police of small town Tucson had done what the combined forces of several states and the FBI had failed to accomplish. When captured, Dillinger simply muttered, “Well, I’ll be damned”. Hotel Congress celebrates his capture each third weekend in January with Dillinger Days, which is a fun event featuring reenactments, food and music, tours and lectures.
O — San Xavier del Bac, Man in the Maze
San Xavier del Bac is a National and Historic landmark in Tucson as well as the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. It is a place where visitors can step back in time and enter an authentic 18th Century space
Man in the Maze is a labyrinth design. This design is commonly seen from the Tohono o'odham or Papago Indians of the Central Valley in Arizona. A common interpretation for the design is as follows: The human figure stands for the O'odham people. The design depicts the story of each human being traveling through life as through a maze, taking many turns while growing stronger and wiser, but always approaching death, as represented by the dark center.
N — Sonoran hot dog
Tucson, Arizona is home of the Mexican-inspired hot god: The Sonoran hot dog. This dog is unlike any other. "The frank is wrapped in bacon and grilled until it's crispy. It's then stuffed into a split-top roll called a bolillo — often made in Mexican bakeries — and topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeño salsa. A roasted chile güero is typically served on the side." There are over 200 street car vendors in Tucson as well as numerous restaurants such as El Güero Canelo and BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs. Daniel Contreras, owner of El Güero Canelo,has had his Sonoran hot dogs featured in The New York Times, Bon Appétit magazine, as well as various shows, like the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food."
For a video of the Tucson inspiration and a time lapse of the mural completion visit https://youtu.be/wtf8SKrg0Nw
Where Can You Find It
The newly completed (2/17/2017) Greetings From Tucson mural is located on the corner of East 7th St. and N Arizona Ave. on the back side of Miller’s Surplus.
For more information on the Greetings From Tucson Mural or the Greetings Tour visit the official webpage- http://www.greetingstour.com