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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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6/21/2009 9:57:00 PM
Mural tour offers glimpse into city's arts heritage
Courtesy photo
From left,
Courtesy photo
From left, "Mural Mice" Margaret Dewar, R.E. Wall and Mary Schulte stand near the "Art for All" mural at 109 S. Granite St.
Special to the Courier

PRESCOTT - Only a few blocks from each other, Prescott's downtown murals offer a glimpse into the influence of the arts on the community and the people who shape it.

Any given day, the artists, or "mural mice" of the Downtown Mural Project under the direction of Prescott native R.E. Wall, are working on the newest project of the community art collaborative.

Wall started the project in 2001 and since has incorporated contributions from hundreds of local artists, children and some first-time painters.

A tour of the murals beginning with the "Art for All" mural at the Granite Street Garage might lead you to someone who has a story about working on a mural.

What sets the Prescott murals apart from those of other cities is the focus on cultivating community spirit, said Wall, 29.

"They (the murals) are infused with Prescott stories, chosen democratically, and lovingly painted by local artists. Hundreds of citizens helped to place them and some have taken years to create," he said.

Starting a self-guided tour at the "Art for All" mural immediately provides the viewer the spirit of the project, offering vivid depictions of the role of the arts in the community over the past 150 years.

The mural illustrates Prescott's pioneer tradition, theater history, accomplishments of the cowboy artists, and present day contributions.

Completed with a gem stone-studded mosaic, the mural steps back in time to wild western vaudeville, brings to life lonely cowboy songs, and highlights some of the town's oldest traditions such as the Fourth of July parade and lively dancing celebrations on the plaza.

A walk behind the Bank of America Building on Gurley Street next to the Granite Creek Bridge will lead you to the mural initiative's first project - the Granite Creek Watershed Mural.

Then head south along Granite Creek to Mile High Middle School, where the Mile High Safe Routes to School mural displays the work of the school's students who painted under the guidance of Mural Project volunteers.

The Downtown Mural Project collaborated with Prescott Alternative Transportation on the work celebrating the tradition of walking and riding a bike to school.

Walk up the hill along Goodwin Street toward the public library and you can witness the newest work currently in progress, "Mural Beyond Words."

The Mural Mice currently paint about six days a week on this piece at the library's south entrance, and are sometimes joined by as many as 60 kids on Saturdays.

The mural explores the role of the public library in the cultivation of creative minds and the preservation of freedom to explore the spectrum of ideas and opinions.

For more information, visit

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Article comment by: get it?

The editor has removed this comment because it violates the Terms of Use agreement for The "Use of Service" portion states, "If you use the Service, including the Messages Boards or Blogs, or submit essays, e-mail messages or other information via or, you agree to abide by and be bound by the following:
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Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Thanks for this story. I was aware of the 'Mural Mice,' but thought it only related to children and the public library. I've gone down on a Saturday to take pictures to put in my grandchildrens' stories. Now I know a lot more and can tell them a lot more. Thanks, again. And thanks to R.E. Wall for taking on a project like this - and at such a young age. He certainly is demonstrative of the younger generation taking charge. My hat is off to him. pamtetreault

Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009
Article comment by: Paul

Thanks goes out to Danny at Prescottstyle for the photographic images of the Mural and Mice. Good Job Mural Mice!

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