Julius Badoni's American Indian Mural at ASU

Categories: Visual Art

It's about time Phoenix sees some serious mural love. In the interest of giving credit to their artists and because we're losing track of the times we've said, "Woah, when did that go up?", we bring you Mural City, a series on the murals springing up around town -- their artists, their hosts, and their inspirations.

Badoni mural collage.jpg
Photos by Lauren Saria, murals by Julius Badoni
See also: Angel Diaz's Quetzalcoatl Twins on 16th Street

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But compared to the meaning packed into the series of murals Julius Badoni painted inside a building on the Arizona State University campus, a thousand words is nothing.

Spanning four panels inside American Indian Student Support Services at ASU Tempe, the murals use vivid colors and symbolism to voice the artist's interpretation of the political struggles of American Indians. Badoni, who spends the majority of his time working with activism groups, has been working on the mural for the last two years -- and still has more work to finish.

Get more photos of the murals after the jump.

Badoni 200 px.jpg
Lauren Saria
Artist Julius Badoni
Badoni grew up on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona and says he's always been interested in art, although he struggles with identifying himself as an artist. He worried in the past that his art would hinder his ability to continue his work as an activist.

"I never really planned on being an artist.," Badoni says. "I play the unifier. I use my artistic personality to be glue [for the community]."

To date, Badoni has completed four panels and has plans for two more. Each panel represents a period of American Indian history, from pre-contact to modern days, and progress in chronological order. A repeating layout ties together all four pieces; the upper third of the panels contain scared landmarks while the lower two-thirds contain a patchwork of historical figures and symbols of the political struggles.

panel 1 collage.jpg
Photos by Lauren Saria, mural by Julius Badoni
The first panel depicts pre-contact American Indian life. Badoni says silhouetted animals represent various creation stories against the backdrop of snowy Mt. Shasta. He modeled portraits of famous American Indians from black-and-white photos. Prominent figures include Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, and Geronimo while the child in the center of the panel characterizes a friend's niece.

Location Info


Arizona State University

University Drive and Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: General

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