Submitted By: Sandra Butler

Sandra Butler 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.

Sandra’s mural captures a contemporary take on the beautiful ancient petroglyphs that can be found in the Tucson mountain ranges. 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-Sandra Butler's 4 Avenue Mural
Sandra Butler in front of her completed Fourth Avenue Mural
Image provided by Sandra Butler

The “Petroglyph Panel” mural I painted for the 4th Avenue Historic District was the second I painted for the project. Unfortunately, the first one was stolen a few weeks after installation last August. The inspiration for both murals came from the rich history of the region and wanting to honor the people who have lived here for thousands of years.  Using Hohokam petroglyph images, I transformed the imagery to provide a contemporary context. For example, the double spiral image that became the scooter in the mural is an image from Picture Rocks. The line of dancing figures comes from a petroglyph in the South Mountains. History shows the similarities of human beings from a thousand years ago to present times. My favorite proverb is: ”We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”  

The Art of COVID-Sandra Butler's 4 Avenue Mural
Two of Sandra’s painting helpers: Asa and Zander Madden.
Image provided by Sandra Butler


I am a recent transplant to Tucson from Colorado. Although I work alone as an artist, this has been the most “alone” I’ve been with the Covid Pandemic. This time has allowed me to play with different mediums and refocus on process. I’ve also started a new mural on the side of my house. It’s like my therapy wall!

The Art of COVID-Sandra Butler's 4 Avenue Mural
The first mural Sandra painted last year which is now MIA
Image provided by Sandra Butler

To see more of Sandra’s amazing work visit her website at SandraButlerStudio.com, and check out her Instagram @sandra_montana_butler.

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