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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tucson etched into history

    The portraits of four Tucsonans are seen on a sample of just one of the many mosaic tiles to adorn the new 4th Avenue underpass as part of the Tucson Portrait Project.
    The portraits of four Tucsonans are seen on a sample of just one of the many mosaic tiles to adorn the new 4th Avenue underpass as part of the Tucson Portrait Project.

    Some UA students became a part of Tucson history when the Tucson Portrait Project visited the UA Mall in the midst of the pregame tailgate on Saturday.

    Gary Patch and Darren Clark started this city-funded project in February, 2008, and aim to have almost 7,000 4″” by 4″” portraits of Tucsonans ready to be “”ganged together on four panels bordering the north and south entrances of the new Fourth Avenue underpass”” by the end of next February, Patch said.

    The two set up their mobile photo booth at “”all different kinds of events so that (the project) represents a good cross section of the city,”” Patch said. These events include swap meets, an opera, El Tour de Tucson, the Art Walk and the upcoming Fourth Avenue street fair, he said.

    Patch and Clark shot nearly 200 portraits on Saturday before they had to close up due to lack of light, Patch said.

    “”The sun is such an important part of Tucson, we’re only using natural lighting to acknowledge how prominent that element is in our culture,”” Clark said.

    “”I had never been to a tailgate before … it was fun to see,”” Patch said. “”The portraits were great, there were a lot of UA tattoos on people’s faces,”” he said.

    “”We’re hoping students continue to participate; they are part of what makes Tucson what it is,”” Clark said. “”To have them on the wall is a reflection of who we are today,”” he said.

    They will be coming back to the UA Mall sometime in January, but have not set an exact date yet, Clark said.

    Patch said the relevance of the project will change with time: “”as people pass away it will become a memorial and eventually will be history.””

    The actual photographs are transferred by “”suspending mineral pigments, photographically, onto glazed tile,”” Patch said.

    “”There is a very distinct cross section of cultures in Tucson,”” Clark said. “”It is much more diverse than other American cities,”” he said.

    If you are scheduling a daytime event with more than 200 Tucsonans gathering there and would like to participate in the project, you can e-mail Patch and Clark at tucsonportraitproject@gmail.com.

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