Submitted By: Jenna Jarrold

Jenna Jarrold was one of twelve incredible muralists chosen to participate in the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition’s mural project; co-sponsored by Chasse Building Team. The twelve temporary mural panels can be found on the corner of 4th and 6th Avenue in Tucson, AZ. These murals are helping to spread so much beauty and joy to our city during these challenging times. If you are in Tucson, we highly recommend checking them out in person.

Jenna’s mural captures the beautiful biodiversity of Tucson coupled with images of space. Through her work, she hopes to encourage others to vote. Below, she kindly shared more about her process for creating a piece like this, and how the pandemic has affected her life.

The Art of Covid- Jenna Jarrold's 4th Ave Mural
Photo provided courtesy of Jenna Jarrold

How did you come up with the inspiration for your mural?

My art, in general, is inspired by my curiosity of space, nature, and the human mind – all those things that are so unknown and where there is so much left to discover.  For this particular piece, I wanted to include my signature astronaut that shows up in much of my work.  Also, this piece honors the love I have for the desert.  While not being a Tucson native, I have lived here for many years, but am still so curious about this unique landscape.   

What is the process for creating a mural like this?

I typically do things on a much smaller scale, with pen and ink.  This was my second time doing a mural of this size. I think it is like most things – the more you do it, the more you learn what to change, shift, do differently, etc.  After I prime the canvas, I just sort of jump right in with a pencil and start outlining the image I want to paint.  I don’t have a studio, so for a couple of weeks my garage was taken over by the project.  I spent many late nights on my hands and knees working away (I must be getting older, because I was certainly a bit sore).  It probably would have taken me another week to get it exactly how I wanted it, but at some point I had to accept that it was going to be imperfect, and be OK with that.  Getting it out there into the community was the most important thing!

What message do you hope to share with others through your mural?

I rarely have a strict message I am trying to convey in my art.  I think that is the beauty of art, it is up for interpretation by whoever chooses to view it.  That said, it was (and still is) hard to ignore all that is going on in the world.  With so much being out of our control right now, I wanted the mural, in part, to remind people where we all still have power to make a difference – we can vote, and we can wear a mask.  

Please describe for us how the pandemic has affected you personally, professionally, etc.

The pandemic has been stressful in various ways, but I know so many people are being far more affected than I have been.  As a mental health therapist, I am reminded each day of the immense struggle that so many are going through – financially, physically, emotionally.  While it has been difficult to not only navigate this current state of the world personally, but also help my clients navigate it, I also feel immense gratitude for what I have and for the ability to help others in a tangible way.

To see more of Jenna’s amazing work, check out her Instagram at @drawn.by.jenna

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