35 Must-See Murals in Metro Phoenix
Murals painted throughout the Valley through the years remind viewers of the role creativity plays in making and sustaining thriving communities. Taken together, metro Phoenix murals provide a glimpse into the array of styles, themes, and imagery you’ll find on the local arts scene. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these are 35 of the Valley’s many murals you should explore.
3812 South Central Avenue
Lucinda Hinojos (a.k.a. La Morena) painted this mural in south Phoenix to call attention to policies surrounding immigrants brought to America as young children, whose plight is tied to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policies. The mural includes a bright pink wall of butterflies anchored by a girl releasing a dove she finds trapped in a cage.
2517 North Central Avenue
A Los Angeles-based artist with Arizona roots, MDMN was one of several artists who participated in Paint PHX 2016, when he created this 100-foot piece reflecting his sci-fi, futuristic-yet-retro vibe. It’s located on the north-facing wall at Fast Signs, on Central Avenue south of Thomas Road. Look for his work at several other spots around town, including a multi-artist collaboration at Carly’s Bistro.
1612 North 16th Street
Several artists who work together under the name Graffaholeks Crew painted a giant portrait of a woman wearing rose-colored sunglasses, flanked by bold designs. It’s located on the south side of the Mia’s Flowers at the intersection of 16th Street and McDowell Road.
Between Innocence and Understanding
By Beatrice Moore
1500 Grand Avenue
Created by artist and historic preservation advocate Beatrice Moore on the east-facing wall of her former Kooky Krafts Shop, this mural channels not only childlike innocence and whimsy, but also the interdependence of all things. It serves as a playful reminder to not only follow one’s own heart, but also to work with others to realize shared community values and goals.
By Chip Thomas, Jenn X. Chen, Karlito Miller Espinosa, Thea Gahr, and local artists
1023 Grand Avenue
While the progressive advocacy group Netroots Nation was in town during July 2015, several artists worked with Tucson’s Colibri Center for Human Rights to create a migrant-theme mural. Chip Thomas (a.k.a. Jetsonorama) of the Navajo Nation, Jenn X. Chen of New York, Karlito Miller Espinosa (a.k.a. Mata Ruda) of New Jersey, and Thea Gahr of Mexico City and Oregon worked for several days on a mural depicting a central figure holding a photograph. It references those who’ve died while trying to cross the desert while migrating to the United States. Several local artists — including Lalo Cota, Jeff Slim, and Eduardo Pym – also worked on the mural.
By Laura Spalding Best
1515 West Roosevelt Street
Best created this mural at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Street in 2017. The piece comprises eight circular or semicircular vignettes connected by images of utility lines. The vignettes capture iconic Phoenix imagery such as the Arizona State Fairgrounds, Westward Ho, and South Mountain. They range in size from eight to 12 feet in diameter.
Nuestra Gente (Our People)
By El Mac, Mando Rascón, and Pablo Luna
1309 East Van Buren Street
One of many El Mac murals in the Valley, this piece was painted in early 2015. The central portion of the mural features the profile of a woman’s face, painted with a range of silver and grey hues complimented by pale blues — plus a rosy blush color along a portion of her face. She’s formed and surrounded by the wavy lines and concentric circles prominent in El Mac’s work. It’s flanked by his collaborators’ work — elaborate interwoven lines, and skull-infused images including a serpent, mariachi musician, and lowrider.
By Joerael Elliott (with Jesse Perry)
815 North Second Street
Texas-born Joerael Elliott lived in Phoenix before moving on to Los Angeles and Santa Fe. And while he was in town, Elliott painted several murals, including this one at indie movie theater FilmBar. He’s also exhibited work at art venues including monOrchid and the Icehouse, and created several murals on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona for the Painted Desert Project. During Paint PHX in 2015, he painted one of his characteristically complex figurative works on north- and east-facing walls at FilmBar – leaving a small space for Phoenix artist Jesse Perry to paint.
Don’t Wake the Dreamer
By Lauren Lee
817 West Fifth Street, Tempe
Shortly after Lauren Lee’s mural depicting three birds was lost to demolition in Roosevelt Row, the artist was busy working on the first public mural ever commissioned by the city of Tempe. Painted in May and June 2015, the mural’s 16 feet high and 153 feet wide. It depicts a long-haired woman lying on her side, surrounded by colorful birds and flowers. Lee has another impressive large-scale mural located at the SOHO apartments in Scottsdale.
1350 West Roosevelt Street
Artist Maggie Keane payed tribute to Prince by painting this mural in the Grand Avenue arts district in 2019. The mural features several portraits of the artist, including a central image with giant automotive mirrors that serve as sunglasses lens. Keane has painted murals of several additional musicians around town, including David Bowie.
Source:/ via Phoenix New Times