But Here In America

It’s heartbreaking
That so many hundreds of millions
Of people around the world
Are desperate for the right to vote,
But here in America
People stay home on election day.

This joy of photographing Flagstaff Arizona Murals and sharing them with you  appears to be unfolding as an occasional series. Traveled up Oak Creek Canyon where the creek-side trees are just catching the eye to signal the Foliage change has begun, but still leaning towards green. Everything is fresh and clean from recent rains, and the fire risk has lowered. There are apples for sale at Slide Rock and Indian Gardens, and the best cider ever.

The Sound of Flight, this month’s  photo essay is located on the east wall of the Orpheum Theater above Aspen Street, in Flagstaff Arizona. It is expansive, a great big bursting with color and detail, two stories flowing into one beauty of a painting.  Claimed to be the largest mural in the state of Arizona. A two full years to plan, finance, and create by Sky Black and the Mural Mice,  R.E. Wall and Margaret Dewar.  So much talented creativity joined and expressed through 150 gallons of high end acrylic paint, millions of brush strokes, on a four thousand five hundred foot space. Yes, that is individual brush strokes.

The opening portion of the mural completed in 2014, shows a large grand piano , it’s top thrown open and many species of birds surging out from the inside, then on into full flight across the wall. The choice of beginning with a grand piano on the  Orpheum Theaters exterior  acknowledges it as a place of performance and the arts.

Sound of Flight- Sky Black and Mural Mice- Autumn 2018

The birds flow out of the piano as would musical notes, and as I stood at a distance gazing, I could see their movement and flight. Up close every perfectly proportion detail adding to the flock. A symphony of birds.

In 2015 a second portion was added, again with the continued generous support of the Flagstaff Community in support of public art for everyone.  There is  Michelangelo’s “David” accompanied by the Lady In Red Muse as well as many small details that are personally significant to someone in the Flagstaff community whether as a sponsored ‘in memory of’ bird or actually painted by a community member.

“The Thinker”  leads the eye on a journey into the Canyon Lands on the southern edge. The gray wolf featured is  Echo, found in the Grand Canyon, part of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project.

There is humor, irony and mischief within the landscapes, and I will leave it to you to find them or create new ones for yourself. There are some images that for me are just plain whimsical and wonderful.

“Sound of Flight” Flagstaff Arizona, USA- Sky Black, R. E. Wall, Margaret Dewer-Autumn 2018

If you are traveling towards or through Flagstaff Arizona, or if you are living close enough by and have never taken the opportunity to view “Sounds of Flight” it is  definitely worth a walk about to see this stunning piece of artwork. Two other murals in Flagstaff I have written about:The Mother Road: Route 66,  Nothing Is Inevitable Here,

Thank you to the Artists, The Flagstaff Arts Council the Flagstaff Business Community, as well as everyone who helped make this beautiful mural available to the public, to be enjoyed by everyone.

A safe, peaceful, prosperous, and creative month of November to each and everyone of you. Your showing up and support of my website JoHannaMassey.com is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Music: Everybody Wants To Rule The World- Tears for Fears

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The Mother Road: Route 66

Escaping the Verde Valley heat and smoke  with a drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. A walk about downtown, a pause  to photograph the train, then delicious lunch at Street Side Saigon,

Setting off back to cross the tracks to downtown in search of pie……..and suddenly the gift of discovering this absolutely stunning mural.

Such a joy to photograph and share with you, and perfect for this weeks WordPress  Photo Theme of “Delta: ”   ‘This week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.’

This is what the artists Margaret Dewar and R.E. Wall have to say about their magnificent work Route 66.

The Mother 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.The Phoenix Avenue Route 66 mural is located 1 block from the Route 66 that exists today. The Phoenix Avenue corridor of the mural was the main drag of Route 66 from 1926 to 1934, but was decommissioned and re-routed a block away and north of the tracks. Many of the businesses that started up here, included the Downtowner, Sierra Vista, and the Du Beau Hostel, which was the first motor lodge in the country can still be found along Phoenix Avenue. They were disappointed to have lost the road and thus allowed to erect giant neon sign towers that promoted their businesses and could be seen from the new Route 66. Today, the City of Flagstaff is showing an interest in spotlighting the former role of Phoenix Avenue in Flagstaff history.

I encourage you to visit The Mural Mice at their  their website for a listing of where their other public murals are located, and if opportunity arrives to see one in person, definitely do. The slideshow below contains lots more of the photos I so happily took on an exceptional  summer day in Flagstaff, Arizona. An excellent and safe month of July  to each and every one.

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