Community makes Safford a little more colorful

Gabriella Short, top, and Liberty Salazar complete some of the fine line work during the Community Mural Event in Safford on Saturday. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The Community Mural Event this past weekend drew a wide array of artists and wannabe artists — from pre-kindergarteners to seniors and everyone in between.

Volunteers could add their touches to nine different murals on the south wall of Austin’s Auto Advantage.

“I think when you’re working on it, it might seem like a lot, but the end result is definitely worth it,” said Safford High Schooler Phoebe Tarnutzer.

The event brought together the community, as well as professional muralists to complete the final murals in Brandt Woods’ Downtown Mural Project. One of those professionals was Colorbrush Co.’s Tiffany DeWitt, of St. George, Utah, who met Woods through an Instagram group for muralists.

Brandt Woods, organizer of the Community Mural Event, looks on while Tiffany DeWitt, of St. George, Utah, works on her original design. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

“He told me about the project and asked if I wanted to design something,” DeWitt said. “I said, ‘Sure, why don’t I just come down and paint it?’ ”

The Safford Downtown Mural Project was proposed by Woods to the Safford Downtown Association in early 2021. The plan was for him to complete 31 murals in 31 days in the fourth quarter of that year.

While it took longer than planned, that extra time allowed Woods to involve more building owners, businesses and community members in the project, including the first Community Mural Event on the west wall of the Copper and Cotton Lifestyle Co. building around this same time last year.

For his work in helping beautify and bring color to the Downtown, Woods was recently presented with the Pride of Safford Award.

Dorothy Hancock, 6, uses a stencil to spray-paint flowers on one of the nine new murals on the south wall of Austin’s Auto Advantage. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central