Paint PHX Mural and Street Art Festival: A Field Guide to the 2016 Event
A collaborative mural at the new Cobra Arcade Bar in downtown Phoenix by El Mac NG UTI and David Choe.
Courtesy of Paint Phx
Launched in 2014, Paint PHX is a weekend-long mural and paint festival that has become a beloved annual affair. In the past iterations, up to 300 artists came from around the world to paint murals in Phoenix during this grassroots event. Now in its third year, Paint PHX's celebration of street art is even bigger, adding more satellite events and curated projects to the growing list, which includes a film screening at FilmBar, the second annual Block Party, and several pop-up art shows, along with live music, food, drinks, and kids' activities. For a complete guide to the weekend's events, read on.
Dates and Times: The Paint PHX 2016 festivities begin Thursday, March 3, and continue through Saturday, March 5. The event kicks off with art gallery shows at monOrchid, 214 East Roosevelt Street, and Monarch Theater, 122 East Washington Street, on Thursday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. Then, Friday night, beginning at 8:30 p.m., is the opening of the official group art show at Sound & Color creative art space, 1504 Grand Avenue. Next, visit the Paint PHX kickoff party at ThirdSpace, 1028 Grand Avenue, which runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Saturday, the main event is the Block Party from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m at the intersection of Fifth and Roosevelt streets. Finally, the Paint PHX after-party begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening at Ringside Pub & Grub, 2030 West Camelback Road.
This is a paint and mural festival, but no, you can't just pick out a wall and start painting. These artists work with local businesses to get permission to paint on them.
An artist at work during last year's Paint PHX event in downtown Phoenix.
Locations: The majority of the action will occur in downtown Phoenix along Grand Avenue in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The Block Party will be at the intersection of Fifth and Roosevelt streets, with live mural painting in the Fifth and Sixth street alleyways.
Admission: Paint PHX is free and open to the public, with the exception of a few events. You must be 21 years or older to attend the "Elementz" pop-art show on Thursday night at Monarch Theater. The event also costs $10 to attend, but you'll be happy to learn that a percentage of all money raised will help fund a 75-foot wall in downtown Phoenix and will be the start of a new campaign called #WALLSNEEDCOLOR. There's also a $5 cover for the Paint PHX after party on Saturday night.
New work by Keith Knight on display at The Real Nitty Gritty at monOrchid in conjunction with Paint PHX.
Courtesy of monOrchid
Special Guests: Paint PHX will feature artists, musicians, and DJs from around the country. The Block Party will feature live music from Lucky Devil Brass Band, The Drunken Immortals, The Stakes, DJ Just Chris, DJentrification, Melo, Tranzo, Provisions, and more. Participating artists include Vyal One, CZR PZR, Lalo Cota, Dytch66, Griffin One, Steiner, Mes, Dwayno Insano, Douglas Miles, and Adrian Dominic.
Art Gallery Shows: On Thursday, monOrchid presents the group exhibition "The Real Nitty Gritty," a continuation of the Nitty Gritty graf shows which first began in the same Evans Churchill Neighborhood in 1997. Some of the artists will be in attendance, along with live music and vendors.
Also on Thursday night, Monarch Theater presents "Elementz: Uniting Urban Culture," a pop-up group art show and live art competition held by Lucinda Yrene. "Elementz" explores and challenges gentrification within the context of Phoenix.
On Friday, the new Sound & Color creative art space hosts the Paint PHX official group gallery show, "Mixed Palette," featuring new mural work from Valley artists and a handful of visiting artists from cities like LA and Chicago.
FilmBar will screen "The Deepest Depths of the Burrow," a documentary on famed street artist Nychos, an Austrian urban art and graffiti illustrator who has been a part of the international art scene for more than 10 years.
Rabbit Eye Movement
New This Year: FilmBar, located at 815 North Second Street, gets into the mix this year by screening The Deepest Depths of the Burrow, a street art documentary based on famed Austrian graffiti artist and illustrator Nychos. Produced by 1xRUN and Rabbit Eye Movement and directed by Christian Fischer, the film features an insider’s look at Nychos’ world of art. The movie will screen twice — once on Friday night and once on Saturday night, both at 9:45 p.m.
Weather: The forecast promises warm weather in the upper 80s with partial cloud cover during the daytime all weekend. Remember to find shade when outdoors and stay hydrated.
A 2014 mural collaboration by Breeze M., Hator and Vyal.
Courtesy Paint PHX
Food and Drink
The block party will include vendors, food, and drinks for those 21 and over. There are also plenty of local bars and restaurants within walking distance along Roosevelt Row.
The light rail is always a great option, since you won’t have to worry about parking. Single-ride fares are $2 and an all-day pass is $4. Street parking prices vary, depending on where in downtown you want to park.
Bring: Comfortable shoes, water, sunscreen, sunglasses or a hat, extra cash, a cell phone for snapping Instagram-worthy pics.
Don't Bring: Anything you might not want to get paint stains on.
122 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.