In 2010, Danny Mills become the one-man blogging machine behind Phoenix Taco.
The local blog is an extension of LA Taco, an arts/taco blog Mills admired and contacted with hopes of covering the Phoenix arts/taco scene in a similar fashion. With a green light from LA Taco, a camera (and now contributions from local photographer Niba DelCastillo), and tips from the community, Mills began posting a a variety of street art, event fliers, and refers to local arts news stories.
And starting this week, he'll be selling goods created by the community he covers.
"To me, Phoenix is the collective of all these spread out developments--Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale," Mills wrote in 2010. "Instead of growing economically or with more suburban development, we should grow socially and develop a shared perspective of ourselves as Phoenicians. This is where Phoenix Taco comes in."
Mills says he decided to host prints with hopes of making work by local artists more accessible to the public. But the shop's beginnings were a little rocky:
"I was actually surprised by some of the resistance I encountered when asking artists if they had printed works," he writes. "A common view I received is that established or legitimate artists host their works in galleries, which more often than not sell them at a price range far outside the average person's budget. Selling prints in coffee shops or through outlets other than galleries, it was inferred, is an amateurish thing to do."
Mills says he disagrees -- and found a group of artists who are on the same page.
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"While I absolutely think that artists should be able to make a living off their art, galleries belong to an exclusive world that the vast majority of people never venture in to," he writes. "This is one of the reasons for my focus on murals/public art. I hope to support artists and make their work more accessible to the larger community by selling it through my site."
All of the artists featured in the shop, including Yote, Colton Brock, and Isaac Caruso are based in Phoenix and have been featured on Phoenix Taco. Mills says the idea originated as a holiday shopping opportunity, but that he plans on collecting more work from artists, including apparel and more prints, in 2013.
Work currently ranges from $7 to $60 and can be purchased with Paypal through Phoenix Taco.