Award: Research & Development Grant

Discipline: Visual Arts

Project Collaborator(s):

City/Town: Tucson

Year: 2019

Artist Website:

I want young and old and new and up and coming to be able to be proud and share their culture and art with those who are visiting South Tucson….I think that South Tucson needs a lot of love and I think that art and public art is the pathway to showing that love.

Excerpt from Mel Dominguez’s R&D Grant application

In 2018, Mel Dominguez opened Galeria Mitotera, an art gallery and community art space in South Tucson. According to Dominguez, the gallery’s name translates roughly to “a busy body, the reporter…someone who knows the latest gossip.” The name is in part a self-deprecating acknowledgement of the artist’s reputation, but one might also interpret it as a reflection of Dominguez’s perspective on their role in the community: the collector of stories, the documentarian, the truth teller.

As a printmaker, sculptor, and muralist Dominguez has spent the past 11 years documenting the life and culture of her South Tucson community. Along the way they have taught workshops, serving as a mentor and resource for community members, helping others find their voice and tell their own stories through art. With their Research & Development Grant, Dominguez hopes to show these students that even a mentor has learning to do.

Dominguez will focus on strengthening their skills as a printmaker, sculptor, and welder while experimenting with new processes of block printing, etching, and silk screening. These skills and techniques will allow the artist to better reproduce their work and realize more ambitious visions for public art installations built from both new and recycled materials. More importantly, however, Dominguez hopes to become an even more valuable resource to their community.

Work Samples

Mel “Melo” Dominguez is an artist, muralist from Los Angeles who has lived in Tucson since 2007. Mel’s community outreach began as a Getty Intern at Self Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles. Mel’s artwork is a direct expression of Chicanx culture, political issues, social issues and environmental issues. Mel enjoys using creativity and activism to create a difference throughout the Tucson community.

Photo by

Julius Scholsburg