| Art |

Save Rose Johnson's Bike Locker Mural at Tempe City Hall

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Just got a heads-up from Eric Iwersen, Senior Planner for the City of Tempe, that the city's talking about preserving one of artist Rose Johnson's murals that graces a bicycle locker at Tempe City Hall. The locker mural was executed by Johnson in 1997.

Iwersen, whose job involves integrating public art with capital projects along bike paths, parks and streets, recalls that Johnson, who passed away on June 1, was the first artist he worked with when he started working for Tempe and that "[s]he was really supportive and generous and the imagery that she provided for us remains very popular in the community. I loved working with her. Rose did a lot of work in Tempe," he writes, "and it seems appropriate now to preserve one of her remaining public pieces."

But we know how painfully slow the wheels of government turn (actually, it's more like a torture rack), especially in these fiscally challenged times. So slather on some supportive axle grease by contacting Liz Lagman, who's in charge of the effort to preserve Rose Johnson's Tempe City Hall's bicycle locker mural. She can be reached at elizabeth_lagman@tempe.gov; tell her that you insist that Tempe preserve the mural as a part of Arizona art history.

Because once it's gone, it's gone and, like Jazz Zen at the Sub Stop, which was painted over for some ungodly reason, it can't be resurrected. Okay, maybe if you fly in an army of expert Italian art restorers to painstakingly scrape off all that beige, which would be obscenely expensive, it could be done. But I bet there's no money in the Tempe town hall till for obscenely expensive, expert Italian art restorers to rescue Rose Johnson's bike locker mural if it ever gets painted over.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.