Once dubbed Americas ugliest road by Life Magazine, Speedway Boulevard has come a long way since receiving that nickname in the 1970s.

Now the local group Alley Cat Murals hopes to further beautify one of Tucsons most traveled roads by painting six murals along the infamous boulevard.

“Its always been a dream of mine to kind of reignite whatever mural project had happened that didnt necessarily get finished,” said Allison Miller, the founder of Alley Cat Murals.

Since creating the group ten years ago, Miller has spent much of her time restoring murals like the ‘Greeting from Tucson’ mural on East First Street, where she grew up.

“This wall was heavily graffitied, and I saw it impact the use of this park,” she said. “And once it was painted, it was really adorable to see people start using the park.”

Now, with the help of six other local artists, theyll paint six unique murals along Speedway.

Miller said when choosing the artists, “it was important that they were Tucson-centric.”

One of those artists is graphic designer Jodie Lewers Chertudi. After learning about the project on Instagram and knowing what art can mean to others, she hopped on board without hesitation.

“Tucson is already starting to get a name for itself for being a mural town,” Chertudo said. “And I would love to continue that and keep bringing beauty and make it awesome.”

Miller says her biggest motivation behind these projects is to give a platform to other local artists who dont always get the recognition she feels they deserve.

“I think my biggest motivation around public art is to make it accessible for people,” Miller explained. “Not necessarily in a gallery or museum but in an alleyway or a place where anybody whos interested might be able to participate.”

Miller says they do hope to begin painting the murals sometime in the spring of 2024. All six will be located between Park and Campbell Avenues, a frequently traveled stretch of road leading to the heart of the city.

At some point, volunteers who would like to contribute will have their chance to also create their unique art on the murals.

Right now, Miller says they’re raising money for each artist’s contribution to the project. Their goal is to raise $18,000, organized in $3,000 increments for each of the six artists and their contributions.



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