Monday Murals : Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona

Monday Murals : Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona

vintage car at Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved, Cactus CatzMonday Murals : Hotel McCoy

Once upon the time, Hotel McCoy was one of those typical motels you’d find along the freeways out here in the west: a long row of single rooms in a flat long rectangle of a building with a swimming pool at one end and an ice machine on the other.  You’d look for the vacancy sign, stop for the night and be on your way in the morning. It was a bed; not a destination, quickly forgotten on a long journey.

"Tucson Toonland" mural by Alex Jimenez, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved, Cactus Catz
Alex Jimenez mural. The Lobby door is framed by appropriately named whimsical mural “Tucson Toonland” by Alex Jimenez (@abcdelsur) with “lots of help from Micheal Soto Ham Hero • Ben Meza”.

Not any more.  Someone got the brilliant idea that the flat walls would make a great canvas.  In March 2018, the first eight murals went up and now in January 2019 there are more than 40 murals from local artists. It’s like walking into a large outdoor art gallery with murals, poetry and quotes on the wall.  For some of these Tucson artists, it is their first opportunity to paint a mural.  Rooms are named after artists and have their art in the room. You can see one of the rooms in this facebook video. In the lobby, you’ll also see art for sale with 100% going to the artists.  This place is amazing!  I love that they are so supportive of local artists. Plus the cafe/bar features Tucson roasted coffee, Tucson brewed microbeers and Arizona wine so you can sip Tucson while you stroll along the buildings looking at the art. If I didn’t live in Tucson, I’d love to stay there. As it was, I spent an afternoon photographing tons of murals there so this is just a few. You’re going to love them.

Today, there will be a lot of inline links as if I find the artists instagram or other link, I’ll add it into the text.  That way if you want to see more of their work, you can. I’m dividing the photos up over several posts on Monday Mural as the Hotel McCoy (@hotelmccoy) hosts tons of Tucson murals.

mural detail by Jessica Gonzales, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, Cactus CatzJessica Gonzales murals

One of my favorite murals is Jessica Gonzales’ spring goddess which welcomes you on the outer front wall. Her face radiates joy and makes me smile just to see her. I love too how Jessica (@jessicagonzalesart) juxtaposed the reality of the face against the graphic white flowers upon her brow. As an Air Force brat whose dad got stationed in Japan, the flowers reminded me of the mangas I used to look through there. mural by Jessica Gonzales, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, Cactus CatzThe teal face pops against that anime flowers framed against the sun and mountains. I originally popped this photo up on Instagram on January 30th. To the left you can see a close-up detail of her face. To see the full mural, visit Jessica’s facebook page here.

I missed the Jessica’s downtown mural as it was painted over when the building is sold.  Luckily, I had this chance to see her work here.  Outside the rooms, she also painted these wonderful faces.  Hotel McCoy posted a photo of her painting this pic here.

mural by Alyssa Robinson, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved, Cactus CatzFirst-time Muralists

I also wanted to share some of the folks who did their first murals here. Alyssa Robinson wrote on her Instagram, “First outdoor mural. Thank you @hotelmccoy for letting me paint you! This was such a gratifying experience, especially since I’ve never even attempted a galaxy effect with anything besides watercolor and brushes. Today involved latex paint, acrylics, sponges, many trial-and-error star splatters.. and all on a much bigger scale than I’m used to. I feel so accomplished! It’s such a privilege when businesses have faith in your abilities and set you loose to do your thing. Thank you for this opportunity ??”  If you check out her feed, you’ll see she enjoys doing calligraphy and watercolors so this was a big change of pace for her.

Two Tucson murals by local artists, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved, Cactus Catz

On the left, Love Stings is done by spoooqui wrote on her Instagram: “This piece was a major milestone for my creative career.
Extreme gratitude for Khimahni linking me with Miss Nicole at the @hotelmccoy who really SEES me, appreciates my work and all that comes with it. For the creative freedom allowed to me with this piece. For the company & conversation. For a shift taking place in how I view myself as a woman/mom/creator. Zavéa and I put heavy hours in, late nights, long days. This piece tested me. I am very much a reclusive artist but this had me front and center of the hotel (literally). With a small audience much of the time. But honestly I got so lost in it that I barely noticed. I felt free.  Thank you a million times. This is just the beginning. ?
”  Do check the Instagram link as she took several photos of the mural including a close-ups of the heart and the scorpion details.  The texture of the walls played into the painting and she captures that.  Hotel McCoy touting their newest 41st mural caught her in a Dec 9, 2018 photo with her baby girl snuggled against her. Zavéa joined her mom during the painting sessions.

On the right is Travel for All by Ash White of @ModernAquarianSigns.  She also did quite a few quotes peppered on another wall. I love the humor in another one, “We are not alone” and beneath that “we couldn’t be if we tried” quoting Bunmi Laditan.

art installation by Christina Thomas, Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved, Cactus CatzAnd the third first-time muralist, I found: Christina Thomas (@sparkleysomething) created an iridescent forest art installation through the shortcut walkthrough.  It’s a bit hard to photograph as the shiny surface makes the trees look like silhouettes away from the entry point but they aren’t.  They are painted like that first one on the right so that you walk into a glittering forest.  Yep, there is glitter in the paint evoking a faerie woods.  The yellow plexiglass catch the sunlight as it filters through. Christina posted several pics on her process from first sketch, second to her on a ladder and the final results on her blog.  She also shared a short clip of herself on IG sawing through the plexiglass — put on earplugs! Her sister, @koalazz1008, wrote “So proud of my sister for following her dreams, and getting her first mural under her belt… at the newly updated and awesome #hotelmccoy !!!! Congrats Christina!!!

That’s all folks for today

So that’s it for today’s Monday Murals.   I love how Hotel McCoy is so supportive of local artists and has murals from the very well-known Joe Pagac (not shown today) to artists branching out from smaller canvases to their first mural on a wall.  It’s pretty awesome.  Hope you enjoyed todays walk as much as I did.

Related photography blog hops/linkups:

Jo’s Monday Walk

Monday Mural

Colour ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #175


Hotel McCoy
720 W. Silverlake
Tucson, AZ
Alex Jimenez
Jessica Gonzales
Alyssa Robinson
Ash White
Christina Thomas
Also follow me
on Instagram


You can use the Amazon search bar to do any search at Amazon

As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a fee if you click on the above links and buy something. This has no effect on your price. You pay the same price you would normally. Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”


15 Replies to “Monday Murals : Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona”

    1. Thank you! The next installment is probably going to be on your wordless wednesday blog hop. I love that linkup – no words!

      Hope you’re having a great day!

  1. That’s a great idea the hotel has had. Wouldn’t it be great if others adopted it? Our world would be twice as colourful! 🙂 🙂 Many thanks to you for sharing it.

    1. I agree! It would be great if other business owners would understand what a great canvas their plain building would be. It really cheers things up. Thanks a lot for visiting.

    1. I agree that the motel lobby mural is a cool one and the others are gorgeous. It’s a cool place. Thank you for visiting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: