The first of several downtown Safford murals was presented during a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 11:30 am. The mural was painted on the east wall of the Farmer’s Insurance office on Main Street and 6th Avenue.
Safford Downtown Association board member, Danny Smith introduced the project and acknowledged other members of the board, which included Smith, Jennifer McDougal, Jo Hancock, Mikayla Cope, Jacque Attaway, David Bell, Johnny Howard and Hall Herbert (not present).
The mural was designed and painted by Amy Novelli. Michaela Dannenbrink served as the assistant painter with help from the Dannenbrink family. The Dannenbrinks own and operate the Cottage Bakery in Safford.
Novelli has painted murals in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Tucson, Lake Havasu, and other places around the country. Novelli resides in Tucson and also does sculptures, portraits, and has other fine art in galleries.
Novelli, expressed gratitude for the local businesses that assisted with the project:
- Ace Hardware for supplying paint for the project.
- CMI printing provided laminated color copies of the mural for the artists to use as a reference while they painted the mural.
- Farmer’s Insurance for providing the wall.
- The Lion’s Club.
- The Cottage Bakery and the Dannenbrink family who pitched in in a lot of ways.
“The thing I love the best about doing murals in different places is getting to know the towns and the people in them,” Novelli told the group. “So it’s great to get to know all of you and I hope to come back to visit.”
Danny Smith said that the mural program was added to the Safford Downtown Association’s agenda a year ago. The Downtown Association conducted a survey, which indicated that people were in favor of adding art and murals to the Safford downtown area.
The project was spearheaded by Amber Hogle, administrative events liaison for the City of Safford.
“This is supposed to be the first of many murals,” Smith told the group assembled for the ribbon cutting. “If you have an idea for a mural that you want to put up and you have funding for it, please do.” Smith pointed out that there are a lot of blank canvasses downtown.
Smith said that the mural has generated so much interest and excitement that another one was in the works. The next mural is planned for the side of the Souder Miller building on Main Street and 5th Avenue. The mural will be designed and painted by students from Eastern Arizona College’s art department. The mural is planned for the fall.