Glendale art project captures history - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

Glendale art project captures history

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Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011 3:45 am

One building in downtown Glendale is getting a head-turning look, thanks to a new mural which will grace the outer south wall of a longtime downtown restaurant.

The mural project is part of Artwerks, a city program that is pairing business owners with local artists to enhance Glendale’s redevelopment and revitalization of the Centerline District along the Glendale Avenue corridor.

Local artist Martin Moreno and students at Las Artes de Maricopa painted the mural, “El Corrido de Glendale, Arizona,” which was created on tiles and will be secured in a steel frame on the south wall of Bitzee Mama’s Restaurant, 7023 N. 58th Ave.

When translated, “El Corrido de Glendale, Arizona” means to tell a story of Glendale to music.

At the inception of the project, Moreno met with business owners and citizens to discuss history, concepts and ideas for the piece of public art.

From there, Moreno was free to develop his vision of the piece, which is funded by donations.

The mural on Bitzee Mama’s wall will be a visible addition to the city’s renovated walkway east of 58th Avenue that’s home to First Saturdays, a monthly gathering of artists at work.

“El Corrido de Glendale, Arizona,” presents a 100-year sweep of Glendale history in a work of art laden with symbolism.

The 6-by-16-foot piece includes a mariachi figure in front of a landscape featuring area agriculture, Native American pottery, the iconic Sugar Beet Factory, Glendale High School and the University of Phoenix Stadium, along with some other historical significance such as the Air Force Thunderbirds and Sahuaro Ranch Park.  

The Artwerks program is committed to fostering the creation of a new piece of publicly displayed art once a year in the Centerline District, which is along Glendale Avenue from 43rd to 67th avenues, between Ocotillo Road and Myrtle Avenue. 

Artwerks first mural is a panorama hanging in Velma Teague Library in downtown Glendale.

The work was painted by acclaimed local artist, Lucretia Torva, during the Artwerks-sponsored First Saturday events.

First Saturdays are monthly gatherings from October through May that turn walkways in Glendale’s historic downtown into an open air artists’ studio.

The event includes live music performances along with the creative works of painters, leatherworkers, photographers and other artists.

For details on Artwerks initiatives, its artists or to become involved, visit the Art District page at www.glendaleaz.com/Centerline.

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