Page 17 - the NOISE November 2013
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Mural Mice Margaret Dewar & R.E. Wall at the new Phoenix Avenue/ Route 66 mural to be dedicated this First Friday. PHOTO BY TY MCNEELEY
and revealed one of the beautiful formations sculpted by the wind in the night. I go out on the sand before sunrise to see what wonders I might encounter as the sun comes up to cre- ate the shadows that articulate these wonder- ful sculptures of sand,” Mr. Martonyi says.
The SAGA: Visions of Fine Art Show will be held at the Old Marketplace, 1370 West SR 89A in Sedona, November 15 thru December 5. An opening reception will be held Saturday, No- vember 16 from 5PM to 8PM. Stay tuned for more on SAGA and artists Levi Fitch, John M. Soderberg and others in the December issue of the Noise.
The Mural Mice are easily remembered from the uproar of opposition over the Miller Valley Mural they completed in Prescott a few years back, and though their expression in public art has come to an abrupt halt there, they are bringing their talent and color to Flagstaff. The new Phoenix Avenue—Route 66 Mural, located at 5. S. San Francisco Street on the South-facing wall of the Lumberyard Brewery is nearing completion.
It’s a warm October day when I stop by to chat with R.E. Wall & Margaret Dewar and to catch up with them since the last time we interviewed earlier this year. At that time only the base layers of paint could be seen, with the beginnings of details appearing here and there. Now, one week shy of the mural’s dedi- cation ceremony the mural is alive with color, ranging from sepia-tones at the edges to full, bright neon at its center. While Ms. Dewar paints, I talk with Mural Mice founder R.E. Wall, who speaks for Mural Mice Universal.
“We were able to put together a mural that gives a little piece of the spirit of each of the ages,” Mr. Wall says. “In doing the Route 66 mural we’ve learned a lot about the town. We studied from the Cline archives at NAU, public libraries around the state, and the Internet. We also spoke with quite a few historians and lo-
cal residents. The road lived for about 60 years in its full glory. We were able to put together a chronological storyboard that offers a little piece of the spirit of each of the ages in ten- year increments, from 1926 - 1985. Route 66 books and even modern travelers tell us that it was a virtual microcosm of American culture all comprised into one great road stretching from Chicago to L.A.”
Mr. Wall tells me about the scenes in the mural. “The All-Indian Pow Wow, lasted 50 years. It took place from 1929 to 1979. The all- Indian Pow Wow took place during the July 4th weekend.” he says. “It drew Native Americans from all over the Southwest and Northwest. They would travel across vast distances on wagons with rubber wheels, being pulled by horses all the way down to Arizona for this big gathering of the tribes. It actually doubled the number of people in town. Upwards of 10,000 people would converge in Flagstaff quite suddenly. They would pitch tents up on Mars Hill and would base themselves there with campfires and cooking throughout the nights. During the days, they would participate in pa- rades and dances along Route 66. It was quite the treat to come down and watch the natives dance in their regalia and the pageantry. Peo- ple would seat themselves on top of the build- ings and along the street to see the parades. The great All-Indian Pow Wow was apparently quite the thing to experience.”
“In the center of the mural we have a neon strip that is both Phoenix Avenue and the Route 66 strip at twilight when the neon is seen the best. Classic cars in the foreground help to define the era. The kitsch road signs of plastic Indians and odd attraction signs line the road on the way out of town. In the 1940s when World War II started, many of the vehicles on the road were military trucks and transports. They drive past the Navajo Weap- ons Depot and past a local mom and pop service station. Navajo shepherds are mov- ing a large flock of Churro sheep across the
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