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Mural paints picture of hope
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Mural paints picture of hope

A mural addressing the stigma of mental illness and hope for healing after the Jan. 8 shootings will be unveiled Saturday.

The "Changing Hearts and Minds" mural, directed by Tucson artist David Tineo, was co-created by clients and staffers of CODAC Behavioral Health Services, The Haven treatment center and residents of the midtown Hedrick Acres neighborhood.

The 8-panel mural will be placed at Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, 2848 N. Mountain Ave., and will be dedicated by the neighborhood during the ceremony.

Over the course of 10 weeks the group, with direction from Tineo, developed the concept for the project, created a design and painted the mural, which measures 12' wide by 8' tall when fully assembled.

There are many symbols throughout the paintings that represent the power of community, the possibility of restoration and hope of life ahead, CODAC's markting director, Kristine Welter, said in a press release.

The project, partly funded by a Kresge Foundation grant administered by the Tucson Pima Arts Council, was run by CODAC.

CODAC wanted to team up with the local neighborhood association of Hedrick Acres, so that together they could break the barriers of stigma that exist in the mind and hearts of many people with mental illness and addictions, many of whom reside in Hedrick Acres.

Through coalition building, dialogue, education and bonding activities, this collaborative project uses art as a vehicle and seeks to bring out the best of both groups and to heal a community from years of misunderstanding, according to the CODAC website.

CODAC, a local non-profit started in 1970, provides the tools, support and services to individuals, families and communities who are afflicted with the harmful effects of mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders and trauma, according to the company's website.

The organization now has nearly 300 staff members and 10 locations across Tucson.

Another local treatment center, The Haven, a residential rehabilitation location for women with substance abuse problems, provided photographic and video documentation of the project.

Tineo, who organized and directed the creation of the mural, has worked with many neighborhoods and community groups in the past and has tackled concepts of race, culture, class and privilege in his other artworks.

Tineo is strongly influenced by the Mexican mural movement of the early 20th Century, with a strong message of social change and justice for Mexican-Americans. He is a recipient of numerous arts awards.

His best-known artwork is "Nuestras Raices Humanas," (Our Roots), painted in collaboration with Antonio Pazos in 1992.

Since his first public work in 1976, he has executed over 80 murals ad shared authorship of an additional 120 murals with members of neighborhood associations, school children and youth programs.

Tineo grew up in Tucson's Barrio Anita and lived much of his life at his current home in Menlo Park. He has filled Tucson with colorful murals celebrating his Hispanic heritage and continues to paint to this day, despite the partial loss of his central vision due to macular degeneration.

Tineo hopes to by celebrating art, culture and history he can inspire recognition and respect amongst the neighborhoods he works with.

The team that created the mural assembled just days after the mass shooting on the northwest side of Tucson in January to start planning for the project.

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