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  • Nyla Lee at Jobot

    This morning I went to Jobot to meet, in person, a man — Jesse — from the neighborhood who follows the murals in Phoenix... to hear his story, what he likes, and why Phoenix feels like “home.” Super friendly, open, and genuine. I love that everyone in Central Phoenix is so down to earth, friendly and welcoming. It’s like a small town in the big city.

    While we were talking, Jack Cavanaugh — a local freelance writer — approached to introduce himself. He had just written a feature piece about Ashley Macias for the little local arts ‘zine called Java. We talked for a bit, and then he mentioned that Nyla Lee, a talented up-and-comer in the mural community, actually works at Jobot. See, it *is* a small town in the big city! 

    Nyla came out and talked for a little bit. She mentioned Taco Tuesdays at Unexpected Gallery, and invited me to come. Now that I’ve got two invites to Taco Tuesdays, I don’t think I can refuse! About 10-20 artists show up every week to paint in the yard and eat tacos. Maybe I will paint the lettering I drew for Magic Brew. I’ll have to get over my adversity to social crowds!

    Nyla has a few pieces exhibiting at Jobot this month. Above is one of her lovely paintings. A few months ago I found her first large scale mural on McDowell and 40th Streets. 

  • Ashley Macias / Unedited

    Phoenix artist/muralist Ashley Macias was gracious enough to spend the morning with me for the test pilot for the web series. She is fantastic, so generous and positive, enthusiastic and warm.

    This is some unedited footage... I need to change the hierarchy of imagery so that the murals are more prominent. We need to quicken the pace, and I need to practice my technique to be less awkward. We have over an hour of footage, so there are lots of ways to rethink the editing.

    Ashley Macias on Instagram = @ashleymacias_

    Videographer Ash Ponders = @ashponders

  • Phoenix Mural Project at City Hall

    Representatives from the five primary Arts Districts in Phoenix meet at City Hall on the last Wednesday of each month. This month I was invited by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture to present my work on Phoenix Mural Project. 

    I was nervous! I've been talking up the project informally for about 6 months, but this was my first official presentation. 

    Luckily it went very well. Everyone was super excited and supportive. Katrina Cahler, President of ArtLink Phoenix wants to work together on ways we can cross-pollinate, share content, and leverage each other's efforts. 

    Artist Mikey Butzine reps for Unexpected Gallery, where he hosts "Taco Tuesdays" for graffiti artists to hone their skills legally and learn about how to move their work into more professional realms. I haven't had a chance to visit on Taco Tuesday yet, but it's on my agenda! I think it's going to make a great episode for our new web series.

  • Laura Spalding Best — Grand Ave. & Roosevelt

    I met up with Laura on her last day of touch-ups to this beautiful two-wall mural on the new Marisol Federal Credit Union building. She told me they are getting kicked out of the Roosevelt location they've been occupying for the past umpteen years for new development, so they decided to build on their own property in Grand Ave Historic District.

    Moving from left to right, each of the circles depicts the urban landscape and the quality of light at various points throughout a typical Sonoran Desert day. The imagery draws attention to the graphic beauty in banal urban infrastructure — especially light poles, electrical wires, and birds. 

    What sticks with me the most about Laura's work is the extremes of scale between her studio practice and her public art paintings. This huge mural wraps around two sides of this building, and yet the paintings produced in her studio are on very small domestic objects like commemorative plates and baking pans. Some of them are on substrates no bigger than a coin.

  • Sky Black in Flagstaff, Arizona

    Headed up to Flagstaff to avoid the Phoenix heat yesterday. It was glorious seeing so many people outside enjoying the weather for the Labor Day weekend. 

    I stumbled on Sky Black working on this beautiful piece at Birch/Humphrey in downtown. This guy has some serious technical skill. Just around the corner was another piece of his, the detail and color blew my mind! We have to get this dude down to Phoenix to paint ASAP!