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Dream plus online campaign equals mural with large ‘pops of color’ in Tucson
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Dream plus online campaign equals mural with large ‘pops of color’ in Tucson

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 an enormous mural at Sixth Street and Stone Avenue.

It worked.

On March 20, Pagac started painting, fully funded by fellow mural lovers.

He asked for $18,000. He got $21,616 from 302 people. Tucson loves its murals.

This one will be on the back of Epic Rides, 534 N. Stone Ave. The mural will be roughly 130 feet wide and 30 feet tall. Pagac plans to complete the project by April 22, the date of his wedding.

He began dreaming up a mural for that building about three years ago, after seeing plans for the Downtown Links project that will connect Barraza-Aviation Parkway to Interstate 10.

“I started trying to paint murals along those walls because nobody was going for them,” Pagac says, pointing to murals he did on the back of Borderlands Brewing Co. and 191 E. Toole Ave.

He pitched multiple ideas to Epic Rides president Todd Sadow, and this is the one that stuck: bikes, bright colors and the desert. Obviously.

A cyclist himself, Pagac has been painting murals in Tucson for about 14 years.

The money raised for this mural pays for paint, primer, a UV coat, the lift and other equipment, Pagac says. He’ll funnel any excess funds toward future murals.

Those who gave $50 or more get their names painted on the finished product.

“I started doing private murals originally but would spend the same amount of time in someone’s house, and only they would get to enjoy it, but with the public, the whole city gets to enjoy it,” Pagac, 36, says. “Nowadays especially, the city landscape in general has gotten gray and beige, so it’s really nice to have pops of color around town and things people can look up from their cellphones for 30 seconds to enjoy.”

Contact reporter Johanna Willett at jwillett@tucson.com or 573-4357. On Twitter: @JohannaWillett


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