POTD: Rez Dog and Friends

Rez Dog and Friends
Shonto, Arizona

The western part of U.S. Highway 160 in or near the Navajo Reservation contains a number of abandoned structures, mostly commercial in nature. No longer serving their original purposes, they all seem to have been repurposed into art canvases and message boards. Much of what appears on these buildings is really just impromtu scrawled messages or crude drawings interspersed with more planned, free-form work by random graffiti artists. But some very large areas of a number the buildings contain what are obviously formally planned works of art (often containing a political message). Included are quite a few large reproductions of black and white photos which I very much enjoyed viewing. It is interesting that while the less formal graffiti seems to be fair game for painting over or defacing with new work, at least so far the larger works have remained untouched. It turns out that the large works are part of The Painted Desert Project whose mission statement states: “The Painted Desert Project connects public artists with communities through mural opportunities on the Navajo Nation.”

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