PARDON THE PLYWOOD: Behind Buffalo Exchange planned arts district location is a new mural by Joe Pagac
FIELD NOTES: During the Sunday sticker stalk that had me find that new mural by Tarek Benaoum, I also saw this wall painted by Joe Pagac of Tucson, Arizona. It's behind the new location for Buffalo Exchange, who commissioned the piece. “They called me up and said they were opening a new store up in the arts district and wanted it to have some flavor,” Pagac said. He did work for Arizona based retailer before and he was shown ten possible directions for this new piece. “It basically steered me in the colorful, whimsical and playful direction, with a buffalo or three thrown in, of course,” said the artist.
The mural of bison against a desert landscape, two lifted by balloons, is a contrast against the surrounding graffiti and street art. “The actual concept and design was left totally up to me, which is one of the best things a client can do when working with an artist. Just give them some loose parameters and let them create,” said Pagac, who avoided the day’s sun when while painting the mural between July 31 and August 7. “Granted, it was also way too hot at night to be out painting, but it had to get done.”
Pagac has a BFA in Visual Communication and Illustration from the University of Arizona in 2005. Buffalo Exchange is a regional arts advocate through their Buffalo Exchange Arts Award that “encourages creativity and innovation in the arts in Southern Arizona.”
Above: Krystal Ramirez “I Want to See More Brown Bodies” from 2017 will be reassembled at UNLV’s Barrick Museum of Art in Spring 2018.