It seems like almost every Tucson wall tells a story.
Some of them involve the Virgen de Guadalupe and others involve a man's skull shooting colorful beams of light into the ether.
Here's just a little selection of some of our favorites seen around town. Tucson's muralists continue to be hard at work during the pandemic creating images that are both hopeful and thought provoking.
UPDATE: Now with 12 more murals that you can find all around Tucson.
This mural by Yu Yu Shiratori is one of the newest additions to Tucson's mural scene and is one of several murals that can be seen at the MSA Annex.
Location: North wall of the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento
Joe Pagac and FORS Architecture collaborated on this delighful mural that greets guests at the newly opened Tuxon Hotel.
Location: East wall of The Tuxon Hotel, 960 S. Freeway
Las Adelitas mural
This mural designed by Paco Velez Anzueto is nearly complete and is part of a large collection of murals that can be found on the east wall of his gallery Studio One: A Space for Art and Activism and the Toole Shed. "All of the murals are political and have something to say that represents our community," he says. "This is an homage to las Adelitas of the Mexican revolution and an homage to our warrior women of today."
Hope. Pass it on
A group of artists all contributed to this vibrant mural with a hopeful message in early June. The artists are: Tommy Ohlrich, Sketch71, KT Held, Mel 'Melo' Dominguez, Lourdes Escalante, Sawaki, Koraima Lupian and Araceli G. and was organized by Wagon Burner Arts.
Location: The north wall of the Dan Kalm State Farm Insurance Agency, 2654 N. Campbell Ave.
Black Lives Matter Project Murals
In early June following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the wave of protests across the country, Tucson artists Robbie Lee Harris, Adia Jamille, To-Ree-Nee Wolf and Nolan Patterson painted murals focusing on hope and love as part of the Black Lives Mural Project in collaboration with muralist Joe Pagac. These murals are temporary so be sure to experience them sooner than later.
Robbie Lee Harris used the Rialto Theatre's east wall to create a mural that was uplifting and hopeful but would also help start conversations about the treatment of people of color, he told the Arizona Daily Star.
Location: On the east wall of the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
Adia Jamille's design is vibrant and colorful and depicts African Americans experiencing the everyday joys of life.
Location: On the west side of the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento
To-Ree-Nee Wolf's bold mural (adjacent to Jamille's at MSA Annex) is of four black people and also incorporates ravens, often found in her work.
Location: On the west side of the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento
This mural created by Nolan Patterson is one of several murals with empowering messages on the east wall of the Studio One: A Space for Art and Activism and the Toole Shed.
Jessica Gonzales painted this mural in mid-April and each letter in the word 'together' is done in the style of the logos of iconic local Tucson establishments.
Where to find it: On the east wall of Playground Bar and Lounge, 278 E. Congress St.
Black Lives Matter Mural
Camila Ibarra created this Black Lives Matter mural to support the movement.
Location: On the northeast corner of Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
Wild for the Night
Chris Miller painted this mural says the Tucson desert inspired this mural, painted in 2017, which includes a wildcat, saguaros, the mountains and a sunset.
Location: On the north wall of 2610 N. Stone Ave.
Find these floating whales it near the corner of Campbell Avenue and Grant Road. They're painted by local artist Joe Pagac. He says the mural represents the idea of thriving even under the most challenging circumstances. This is one of five murals commissioned this summer by Banner-University Medical Center Tucson. crdex`
Location: The old Catalina Theater building, 2320 N. Campbell Ave.
Hot tip: Some Tucsonans may recognize the adjacent lot as the former location of the midtown Bookmans, which has since moved to the Rancho Center plaza on Speedway Boulevard.
Desert heart mural
If you needed proof that saguaros are the heart of the desert, look no further than this heart mural created by well-known Phoenix artist Lalo Cota. Find this mural a couple buildings down from The Loft Cinema heading east on Speedway. It's also one of the murals commissioned by Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.
Location: Custom Auto Sound by Stero Pad building, 3443 E. Speedway Blvd.
Hot tip: The bobcat in the mural is a little nod to the University of Arizona.
No-Tel Motel mural
Painted just below the notable No-Tel Motel sign on Oracle Road, Jessica Gonzales's mural connects the city's street art scene to Tucson's interesting past. It's one of the five murals commissioned by Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.
Location: No-Tel Motel, 2425 N. Oracle Road
Hot tip: The heart the woman is holding in the mural is meant to convey compassion and the feathers represent worries floating away.
Fourth Avenue mural
If this artwork puts you at ease, lean into it — That was the intention behind Ignacio Garcia's latest mural, which can be found on Fourth Avenue at the A Foam and Fabric Place building.
Location: A Foam and Fabric Place, 246 N. Fourth Ave.
Hot tip: The calming colors and woman's relaxed facial expression are meant to evoke feelings of tranquility and breathing easy.
Desert lungs mural
Lalo Cota created another mural for Banner, which can be found near the corner of Oracle Road and Prince Road.
Location: 3540 N. Oracle Road
Hot tip: Similar to the other mural he created of the heart saguaro, the tree and lungs signify life.
Selena mural at American Eat Co.
Local artist Jonny Ballesteros spent about two weeks spray painting this '90s-inspired image of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez on an American Eat Co. wall, just in time for the Tejano music queen's birthday this past spring.
Location: American Eat Co. and Market, 1439 S. Fourth Ave.
Hot tip: Ballesteros says the mural was envisioned by Lower Arizona, an online shop and Instagram account that celebrates hip hop and Mexican culture.
El Rio mural
Several El Rio Neighborhood Center murals painted in 1976 by Tucson artist David Tineo got a lot of sprucing up this summer with the help from local artists and youth vlounteers.
Location: El Rio Nighborhood Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd.
Hot tip: There will be a community event to celebrate the restored artwork on Saturday, July 20, 6-8 p.m.
Running of the Piñatas
You can find Ignacio Garcia's mural of a boy running away from colorful piñatas near Sixth Avenue and Congress Street. It's one of four new murals that popped up this past spring as part of the Tucson Arts Brigade Downtown Mural Project.
Location: The UPS Store Downtown Tucson, 31 N. Sixth Ave.
Hot tip: The mural was inspired by Garcia's own childhood memory of being chased by a bull in Redington, Arizona, on a family trip.
The Little One Mural
Find Jessica Gonzales's vibrant mural on the north wall of the The Little One restaurant in downtown Tucson. Gonzales, a Tucson artist, says this mural was inspired by the idea of exploration — in both the physical and emotional sense. It too is part of Tucson Arts Brigade Downtown Mural Project.
Where: The Little One, 151 N. Stone Ave.
Hot tip: Enjoy some tasty food at The Little One while you're at it. Just remember to bring cash.
This 94-foot mural of desert racing roadrunner, rattlesnake and horny toad was created by Tucson artist Joe Pagac and can be spotted as you're heading into downtown on Stone Avenue.
Where: Cirrus Visual building, 601 N. Stone Ave.
Hot tip: This is another mural that's part of last spring's Tucson Art's Brigade Downtown Mural Project.
Hot tip: The mural is 94 feet long.
Feel the desert come alive with this wonderful mural created by local artists Racheal Rios and Carlos Valenzuela. It's part of the downtown mural project.
Where: 86 E. Alameda Street, near the Tucson City Court.
Hot tip: There are long benches connected to this mural, so you can sit and hang out with the art for a bit.
This mural was finished on Dec. 18, 2018 by artist Karlito Miller Espinosa aka Mata Ruda and his two University of Arizona art students Analaura Villegas and Brisa Tzintzun.
Location: Historic Y building, 300 W. University Blvd.
Hot tip: The patchwork quilt of images actually represents various organizations that use the building.
This midcentury modern hotel is being lovingly restored and covered in murals.
Location: Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road
Hot tip: This is a very Tucson space, from local artwork and furniture to food and beverages.
Primavera Foundation’s public art mural
This mural is part of Primavera Foundation’s South Tucson Greenway Public Art Project. It's one of three murals that depict daybreak, noon and evening — as well as aspects of the neighborhood’s history and culture.
Hot tip: The murals were created by youths in Pima County’s Las Artes program.
Sugar Hill Neighborhood murals
Find these cool murals created by the Tucson Arts Brigade in the Sugar Hill Neighborhood.
Sugar Hill is a historic midtown Tucson neighborhood that now encompasses the El Cortez Heights, Feldmans and Northwest neighborhoods and was home to many from Tucson's African-American community.
Location: Near the Southeast corner of North Sixth Avenue and East Linden Street
Location: MOCA: Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson, 265 South Church Ave.
Hot tip: While you're there, check out the museum. It's open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Two Danny Martin murals in downtown Tucson
Find these two new murals created by local artist Danny Martin in downtown Tucson. One is a camera lady that can be spotted on the Etherton building, the other is a bandana-wearing woman painted on a private residence near Stone Ave. and Simpson Street.
Location: Etherton Gallery, 135 South Sixth Ave.
Hot tip: This mural shares the same building as Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails. Go for a fancy meal then look at some art.
Hot tip: This mural is right next door to WomanKraft Art Center, a non-profit dedicated to supporting women and under-represented artists .
Wavelab Recording Studio mural
Artist Diego Roa created this mural, which can be seen near the corner of Boradway Blvd. and Sixth Ave. in downtown Tucson.
Location: Wavelab Recording Studio, 111 S. Sixth Ave.
Hot tip: You can watch a video of Roa working on the mural here.
The Talking Mural
Tierra Y Libertad worked with artists Alex Jimenez and Johanna Martinez on “The Talking Mural” on the Raspados Oasis building. La Doce Foodways Project engaged residents, business owners and students to learn about sustaining and strengthening the barrios along South 12th Avenue.
Location: Raspados Oasis, 4126 S. 12th Ave.
Hot tip: Do not leave here without a raspado.
You can find this mural of an adorable girl skeleton on the corner of 6th and Toole Avenue in downtown Tucson. It's a creation by Tucson artist Joel Valdez and muralist Rock Martinez.
Hot tip: The building in the background of the mural looks like the El Tiradito wishing shrine to us.
Why I Love Where I Live
These two murals were commissioned by Why I Love Where I Live to help other people see Tucson's beauty. Artist Danny Martin painted these to coincide with Arizona's 106th birthday. Kristin Tovar, co-founder of Why I Love Where I Live, said murals played a role in her own journey toward loving Tucson.
Location: 234 E. 6th St. on the wall of Reproductions, Inc. facing Sixth Street.
Hot tip: The mural of the girl listening to music is actually a tribute to Tacos Apson. Note the album she's listening to.
Tucson greeting card mural
This mural was created last year by traveling artists Victor Ving Lisa Beggs as part of a cross-country mural project called the "Greetings Tour". Rock Martinez contributed by adding his artwork to the letter C in TUCSON.
Location: 406 N. 6th Ave. On the back wall of Miller's Surplus.
"Goddess of Agave" mural
This 40-foot creation is another Tucson mural by Rock Martinez. He also had assistance from artist, Cristina Perez. The woman in the mural is painted in the likeness of Brandi Watkins who is Martinez's girlfriend. It's one of eight murals done as part of the Tucson Mural Arts Program.
Location: 440 N. 7th Ave. The west side wall of the Benjamin Plumbing Supply building.
Hot tip: Try viewing this masterpiece from the Franklin Street Docks.
"Crested Eclipse" mural
Martinez continued his cactus people theme this year with mural of a crested saguaro lady on Fourth Avenue. Find it in the Sky Bar parking lot.
Location: Sky Bar Tucson, 536 N. 4th Ave.
Hot tip: Stargaze at Sky Bar — they have telescopes on the patio every night that are free to look through.
Star Wars cantina mural
Mos Eisley Cantina gets a Tucson remodel with this Star Wars mural created by local artist Jenna Tomasello. In this Arizona remake, Han Solo is enjoying a beer and burger in what looks like the Fourth Avenue restaurant, Tall Boys.
Location: Tall Boys, 600 N. 4th Ave.
Hot tip: This mural is right across the street from the crested saguaro lady. Make the trip to see both!
In Tucson, bicycling plus murals equal perfection. That’s what local muralist Joe Pagac was counting on when he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund this enormous mural (130 feet wide and 30 feet tall) at Sixth Street and Stone Avenue. It features a man, woman, tortoise javelina and jackrabbit riding bikes.
Location: The back of Epic Rides, 534 N. Stone Ave., facing Sixth Street
Hot tip: Get close and you'll find a hand-painted list of all the donors
Skeleton wearing a man mask
There's a lot of things going on here. When you unzip the dude wearing headphones he becomes a skeleton with shining beams of color emerging from his head. And then there's the people cheering in the background ... Where do we buy tickets for this show?
Location: Behind Exo Roast Co. on Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue.
Hot tip: Perhaps this one is better appreciated with a beer from nearby Tap & Bottle.
It's hard to imagine finding mermaids and water in the Sonoran Desert. We found it and Nemo, actually.
Tucson muralist Joe Pagac made this one, but you wouldn't know it because it's not signed. "The concept is something perceived as ugly harboring something beautiful inside and protecting it," Pagac said.
Location: 191 E. Toole Ave.
Hot tip: It's only 90 percent finished and all the models were homeless people from around Tucson.
All Souls Procession mural
Local artist Susan Kay Johnson’s crazy-long mural will remind you of the All Souls Procession because she painted it to depict the yearly event. The mural takes up a whole block on Ninth Avenue in the Dunbar Spring Neighborhood. Follow it and you’ll feel part of the procession again.
Location: Along Ninth Avenue, south of University Boulevard.
Hot Tip: Johnson also created the All Souls Procession in the 90s.
This mural is a dino's delight
You may have spotted this dinosaur display while cruising down Speedway on your way towards the freeway. This prehistoric mural, which takes up an entire building, is located on the corner of Main Avenue and Helen Street. It's got everything a Jurassic Park fan would love — from a painting of a dinosaur skeleton, erupting volcano to a very fierce looking T-Rex.
Location: 1202 N. Main Ave.
Hot tip: This area is humming during the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. Take photo with the mural and then go look at real fossils.
Phoenix Mars Mission mural
This 1,200-square-foot creation was at one point Tucson's biggest mural, according to the Tucson Citizen. The mural was painted in 2006 by a group of by University of Arizona art students for a class led by UA professor, Alfred Quiroz, as a way to highlight the UA's contributions to the Phoenix Mars Mission.
Located: Michael J. Drake Building, 1415 N. 6th Ave.
Hot tip: There is another mural on the west side of the building that was also painted by UA art students. It was created during the fall semester of 2014 to commemorate the UA's involvement in the OSIRIS-REx Mission. Watch a timeline of the mural getting painted.
Farmer John's mural
The Farmer John's meat processing plant has long closed up shop in Tucson, but you can still enjoy their painted mural of happy cows grazing in the Arizona sun. The mural was commissioned by the Clougherty family, who owns Farmer John, and could be considered a nod to an elaborate pig mural you can find at their original facility in California.
The building is now home to the haunted house attraction, The Slaughterhouse.
Location: The Slaughterhouse, 1102 W. Grant Road
Hot tip: The Slaughterhouse has a year-round escape room called Xscape House. Solve a puzzle with friends and check out the giant cow mural while you're there.
We couldn't find a signature on the mural but after a few minutes of searching, we found out Irish artist Fin Dac painted this. Dac travels around the world and paints women of East Asian cultures with an intention to rewire stereotypes surrounding women in that culture.
Location: 178 E. Broadway Blvd. On Broadway Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, painted on the west-facing wall of the old Lewis Hotel.
Hot tip: Fin Dac empowers these women by encircling their eyes.
Bill Walton riding a jackalope
The 45-foot wide by 75-foot high mural combines the mythical jackalope with one of Tucson's favorite basketball dads, Bill Walton. It's another one of the eight murals done as part of the Tucson Mural Arts Program.
Location: East wall of the Rialto Theatre at 318 E. Congress St.
Hot tip: Muralist Ignacio Garcia had no idea who Bill Walton was before painting the mural, someone actually suggested putting Walton's face on the person riding the jackalope. It makes you think, "Has Bill Walton seen this mural?"
Blue quail and oranges
This is a 50-foot wide by 50-foot high mural is located in an alley by 47 Scott/Scott & Co.
Phoenix-based artist Isaac Caruso painted the mural in six days, which he says was the fastest he ever worked. Isaac Caruso actually slept in the air on the lift so that he could work as late as possible. It features a blue quail and ripe oranges, which makes him think of Tucson.
This too is one of the eight murals done as part of the Tucson Mural Arts Program.
Location: 9 N. Scott Ave.
Hot tip: You can't really take a selfie with this mural but you can use the vibrant blue as a hip background.
Frida and Diego
The “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Menlo Park” mural lives south of the Mercado San Agustin on the wall of a residential home and features a dancing Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in an afterlife celebration. The mural was completed by Rock Martinez in November 2016 for the All Souls Procession.
Location: South of Menlo Park
Fun fact: This mural was was inspired by Diego Rivera's "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda" mural located in Mexico City.
Cesar Chavez mural
Continuing south from downtown, you'll see this sweeping mural of what looks like indigenous deities perched next to the Aztec mother goddess Tonan. They're actually historical figures like Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi and Chicano activist Cesar Chavez. The scene was painted by by muralist Melchor Ramirez in honor of Chavez.
Location: 760 S. Stone Ave.
Unity Amid Diversity
This one is catty-corner from the Cesar Chavez mural, on the side of the Primavera Foundation building. Whenever it was made, it's definitely '90s in spirit. The real question is, where's that pink guy going???
Location: 702 S. Sixth Ave.
Hot tip: That's supposed to be the earth. Not Saturn ...
Mission Manor mural
This mural was painted by Mission Manor Elementary School students during the 1990-1991 school year.
Location: Mission Manor Elementary School, 600 W. Santa Rosa Street
Hot tip: If you look closely at the pillars you can see the names of all of the teachers who taught at Mission Manor that year. Kind of wild, right?
La Pilita mural
Tucked back into a side street near the El Tiradito wishing shrine, this mural is one of Barrio Viejo's greatest gems. It was originally painted in the '80s by students under the supervision of muralist Martin Moreno, but was touched up by the artist in 2011. It depicts a Latino family at Gates Pass, with the Aztec feathered serpent deity Quetzalcoatl looking on.
Location: 420 S. Main Ave.
Hot tip: The mural is painted on the side of the now-closed La Pilita Museum, so there's a nice courtyard and places to sit.
Parque de San Cosme mural
Just down Simpson Street from the La Pilita mural is this tour de fource by local muralist Luis Gustavo Mena. It's a sprawling mural with depictions of various athletes, celebrities and even Jesus. Don't miss the message, written in Spanish on the bottom right about "La Vida de nuestros Barrios Viejos." Hint: it's about music.
Location: On Simpson Street just west of Main Avenue
Hot tip: Don't go by the Google location, which says it's on Cushing. It's actually on Simpson.
You can find this one on the south side, at Desert Suds CarWash on South 12th Avenue. It's painted by Rock "Cyfi" Martinez, the muralist behind the Agave Goddess on 6th Street. (For this, he had the help of Fernando Leon.) If you look closely, you can see a UFO.
Location: Desert Suds CarWash at 4610 S. 12th Ave.
Hot tip: $3 express washes, people!
Tasteful Kitchen mural
You can spot this Mother Earth mural as you're driving out of downtown on Stone Avenue. It's painted on a building that's home to the The Tasteful Kitchen, a restaurant that specializes in vegetarian and vegan food.
Location: The Tasteful Kitchen, 722 N. Stone Ave.
Hot tip: A few years ago, our food writer Andi Berlin ate a vegan taco here.