Valley of the Sun – and Street Art!

Another weekend has come and gone – and shockingly enough, I was out of town for another event…

But as I always try to tell my staff and those I care about, you always have to find time for yourself – and on this 48 hour trip in and out of Phoenix I did just that!

Flying into Sky-harbor International Airport (a trip that is almost a monthly occurrence these days) I saw the typical landmarks you’d come to expect from the valley: Camelback Mountain, Desert, Chase Field (or the Bank One Ballpark as I remember it), more Desert, the airport and some really cool street art!

So after my not so Disney Magical Express commute to the Rental Car Terminal I decided to take 30 minutes for “me” and explore the creative sights in Phoenix you might not hear about on the travel channel (if you haven’t been on the DME in Orlando I apologize that reference was lost on you).

The thing I love most about Street Art, is that you don’t have to understand it to enjoy it (this rule also applies liquid nitrogen made ice cream and air travel). So I drove my rental car through and around downtown Phoenix and saw so many amazing pieces that I wanted to capture and share!

I do not know the artists names or backstory, but their work deserves attention and if anything – I hope this post finds its way to them so they know they got two thumbs up from this peanut gallery.

This mural really stood out to me! I love the Mayan (is that even culturally correct?) structure, colors and lose relationship to outer space. Something tells me if I look at this mural long enough it will give me a clue to when the world is suppose to end, or provide proof that the aliens build these structure and the pyramids.

And I don’t quite get this piece but the colors and construction of the face through the curves is beautiful. And I really like the landscape to the left of the silhouette because I think I can match the artist to another piece I captured just a few minutes later farther south. I really like these figures caught in mid-intimate dance. Without flesh and muscles to showcase their expression it’s hard to tell if they are passionately tied to each other or if they are just background dancers of a bigger production and just going through the steps – I assumed it was the former and looked away as to not interrupt their “moment” – plus, i’m a millennial and you knew a deep-in-thought selfie was inevitable…

I call this next peice “Cher the Wall” since this beautiful profile shares the wall with a whimsical hummingbird. “If I could turn back time” I’d like to be there when the artist created this and ask who this woman is and what inspired the piece. I really dig the tie to the vines and wonder if she is suppose to represent mother nature (for some reason I always envisioned her as a blonde – go figure).

And based on the sign, I think this area is called Roosevelt Row – but I’m no Trip Advisor or as geographically inclined as Google Maps.

(Warning, this is about the get as deep as my intellect will take me – don’t worry, its a hole you can easily step out of)

At first I saw this piece and thought that the person was crying because of the mess they had made… But after making my way close to the artwork, I picked up on the color of their hair and the deeply embedded colors pushed into their fingernails and the smallest wrinkles on each hand. Thats when my perspective changes – then I realized it wasn’t a sad picture of someone being upset – but instead, a artist who was reflecting on the work they created. The color fading from the hair represented how much the artists put in to their work… so much that there was nothing left to give but the faint color left behind. And all of the colors and marks on their hands showed the hard work and grit put into creating the master piece. I could be 100% off, but this piece really spoke to me and the work that I do. Some times you cant appreciate what you are doing because you are so deeply engulfed in the process, that you need to take a step back and see the bigger picture, what you created and the impact you may have had.

And in a giant contrast to my deep analysis above –  I just really dug the funky southwest flair of this cactus and its landscape within the text.

This piece is sideways… and thats okay. Because I don’t think there is a wrong way to look at it. And I’m pretty sure this wall was done by the same artist as one of the earlier photos I shared in this post. I loved how a walking tour of “Roosevelt Row” could be tied together by street art.

There was artist expression everywhere I could see and I loved the variety and style.


This design was a recurring theme – really helped to tie the area together!

Even in the smallest places you can find unique pieces and surprises.

I really liked this view – almost as if you were driving out west in downtown Phoenix and watching the sun go down. A view I remember vividly being born and raised in the Valley of the Sun.

I call this piece ” Millenial Catnip” because brightly colored flower and abstract designs screams “take a selfie in front of me” – so I did . And in the words of Demi Lovato, “Sorry not sorry…” (Yup, I went there).

Don’t get this one either… And that’s okay. I call this “The Product of Recreational Drugs and Paint.”

Now this piece is unique and not just because the dude looked like PeeWee Herman or because there were flying pigs… Or maybe, its exactly because PeeWee finally found love (pointing to the heart shape up out) when pigs fly.

And this last mural is one I actually saw part of before, but didn’t realize the piece stretched longer down the street. I had taken my photo before with these birds flying behind me – but love that now I knew where they came from.

If anyone else likes street art or has any cool pictures or pieces around Phoenix, please let me know – I’d love to see more of what Phoenix has to offer!

I have so much respect for these pieces and tip my hat to the artists. You are amazing and I would love to see more of what you (the artists) have done!

Thanks for reading and please let me know your thoughts and reactions to these pieces!

Local Artists & Coffee in Bogata, Columbia