Feb 3, 2022 | Arts Foundation Programs, Arts News, Press Release, Public Art


TUCSON, AZ, February 15, 2022 – The Arts Foundation is pleased to announce the selected artists for the Rillito Flood Control Mural that will be located on the North bank of the Rillito River in Tucson, AZ. 

A Public Art Project Panel (composed of members of the Project Design team, local artists, arts professionals, Public Art and Community Design committee members, local community members, and County Project Manager) selected the artist team, Jessica Gonzales and Rock Martinez, to collaborate on what will be a 4000 square foot mural. “The chance to witness Rock and Jessica’s collaboration, I believe, is an incredible opportunity for Southern Arizona public art. A story of two local artists making the courageous move to collaborate for the first time after many years of friendship and having been fellow finalist competitors for similar project opportunities,” said Woods Fairchild, Arts Foundation Public Art Project Manager. Once completed, the mural will be the largest mural in the Pima County Public Art Collection.  

Three soil retaining walls have been completed on the north bank of the Rillito River near the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club. These walls will serve as a surface for the expansive 4000 square foot mural, which are visible from Rillito Bend Neighborhood and the Chuck Huckelberry Bike Loop. Pima County Public Art Manager says that the site presents an exciting opportunity for the artists. “What is unique about the location of the mural is that it can be viewed from a couple of different vantage points, including from within the bike loop and across the river. There is an opportunity to play with optical illusion, and I’m excited to see how the artists solve that through the creative process.” 

Starting this month, the artists commence the design phase. The first public conversation took place on February 2, where they listened to stories from local residents and the project panelist community representatives about what makes this area unique and to inform their creative interpretation and creative process. “I felt invigorated and inspired after the public meeting! I love public art that tells a story, and to hear all the stories from the community about this location contributes such richness to the design process. It gives us the opportunity to vicariously experience the chronicles and history of the area by infusing them into the work we create, which will give the final result so much dimension,” said Jessica Gonzales. 

Click here to access press images. 

Stay tuned as the artists and the panelists develop concepts and share with the community for broader feedback!

Jessica Gonzalez

Rock Martinez










About Jessica Gonzales

Jessica Gonzales is a Tucson based painter, muralist, designer and Artistic Director whose vision and personal voice can be seen and heard clearly through both her works on canvas and on the walls she paints as a muralist. Raised in Germany within a military base community, her work is distinctively her own. Much of her imagery is filled with lyrical portraits of women, often local, as well as rich color, bold pattern, and contrast, both visual and conceptual.

About Rock Martinez

Rock ‘‘CYFI’’ Martinez is an International Aerosol Artist, with over 20 years experience painting large surfaces, Commercial Buildings and Private spaces. From commissions to relevant public tributes, Rock brings creative solutions to neighborhoods around the United States. Working across cultural boundaries of the challenges communities face today, Rock brightens city streets with his larger than life murals. His skills are known for pushing ideas to extremes and unlocking public art awareness. Rock is based in Minneapolis with studios in the Twin Cities and Tucson, AZ.


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