FLORENCE — Isaac Caruso has painted murals all over the world, including the Arctic Circle. Now he’s back in his home state, visiting small towns to paint a series of 44 murals that tell a story and will be collected in a children’s book, “Sam and Sara,” next year.

“It’s kind of a classic children’s tale I wanted to tell through muraling,” Caruso said. It’s the story of someone going through the Southwest desert, trying to find their home. “So that’s why it’s kind of apropos that I’m going to all these different places — a series of destinations — to make this book.”

Fans of the story will be encouraged to visit Miami, Superior, Queen Valley, Florence and other towns to find the murals.

The 31-year-old Caruso — who lives in Tucson and is originally from Phoenix — noted, “This is how I can kind of experience the rest of Arizona, through this project.”

Florence’s mural, 22 feet wide and 11 feet tall, went up this week on the south wall of the museum at 715 S. Main St. It includes an image of Poston Butte and a wagon wheel to celebrate the museum’s artifacts.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve got to go to a lot of places and spend a lot more time. It’s given me an opportunity to connect with the public and do something that kind of unifies the state through one artistic endeavor.”

Caruso expressed thanks to the museum staff and visitors and their support. “I really like the town of Florence; you guys have been super hospitable since I came here.”

For more information, visit samandsara.org and https://isaacncaruso.com.

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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