Phoenix is undergoing a beautification process. That's what Kate Saunders, Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center's volunteer coordinator, calls it.
"There's more commissioned art work, more bright colors and simple figures," Saunders says regarding the current state of Phoenix's ever-changing mural scene. That constant change inspired Saunders to plan and lead a mural tour on Sunday, May 26.
It's the second walking mural tour the Hostel has put on -- the first was in conjunction with Art Detour 25 earlier this year -- and it comprises 12 stops along a one-mile path starting in the Garfield Neighborhood at the hostel and ending at the Water Writes mural (pictured above) on the south wall of Valley Youth Theatre. Featured art ranges from massive wall-coverings to smaller stencil pieces.
Saunders says that at each stop on the two-hour tour she (and in a few cases the artists who created the murals) will discuss the work with a particular focus on its political point of view. Water Writes and a new mural at 1Spot will be prominently featured.
Water Writes is part of the Estria Foundation's international mural project that's seen art focused on the right to clean water go up in 10 cities. Phoenix's mural was created earlier this month in collaboration with the Black Mesa Water Coalition and features work from 16 artists including Angel Diaz, Jeff Slim, Lalo Cota, and Remy.
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The mural at Big Brain Award-winning 1Spot Gallery is from New Mexico-based artist Jaque Fragua. It's a part of the gallery's current Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for more native public art in Phoenix.
Saunders says that public art is a way for people to learn about political issues they might not have heard about otherwise -- like water rights. By putting up work in a public place, artists can beautify and stimulate. And when murals are looked at in the context of their neighborhoods and political climate, viewers can experience a dialogue between artists and communities.
Be a part of the conversation when the $10 tour begins at the hostel at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring cameras.