Lists

25 Favorite Murals in Metro Phoenix

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Don’t Wake the Dreamer
Lauren Lee
Jaycee Park
817 West Fifth Street, Tempe

Not long after the Roosevelt Row building graced by Lauren Lee’s iconic Three Birds mural was torn down in 2015 to make way for new development, the artist was busy working on the first public mural ever commissioned by the City of Tempe. The work, painted in May and June 2015, is 16 feet high and 153 feet wide. It depicts a long-haired woman lying on her side, surrounded by colorful birds and flowers.
 
Untitled
J.B. Snyder and Tato Caraveo
911 North Fourth Street

Amid myriad changes happening in Roosevelt Row, including the development of several multi-level apartment complexes, murals remain a constant presence – even as the specific murals continue to evolve over time. New work painted behind a trio of shipping container galleries includes abstract geometrics from J.B. Snyder coupled with a portrait painted by Tato Caraveo. As regular collaborators, these artists help to keep the Phoenix mural scene fresh.

Centennial
Laura Spalding Best
910 North Second Street


Laura Spalding Best sees lines and shapes where most people see only overhead utility lines or other elements of the urban landscape. Much of her art practice comprises painting these elements on unconventional surfaces, such as silver serving trays and circular lids for paint cans. But head to the APS Garfield Power Substation in Roosevelt Row to see this mural, on the south-facing wall of the local utility company. Then watch for another Best mural coming to a new building breaking ground this fall across the street from Oasis on Grand.
 
Untitled
Tyson Krank
Behind The Lost Leaf
914 North Fifth Street

It’s pretty easy to find works by Tempe artist Tyson Krank in and around Roosevelt Row, because many feature faces filled in with dark-colored patterns and intricate repeating lines. But lately he’s been creating murals with a far lighter feel, including one painted on the east side of Modified Arts – or one of our newer favorites, painted on a west-facing wall inside a courtyard behind The Lost Leaf in Roosevelt Row. More recently, he has a new piece at the Wren House Brewing Company on 24th Street.

Untitled
Amanda Adkins (with Katie Beltran)
The Hive
2216 North 16th Street

One of several murals painted on a west-facing wall at Westwind Studios on 16th Street south of Oak Street, this piece by Amanda Adkins conveys an exuberance and joy it’s hard to capture in other sections along the traffic-laden work-to-home route. Like many of her fine-art pieces, it merges human form with natural elements. Look for another Adkins mural on a west-facing wall for the Black Theatre Troupe’s performing arts center, which she created with assistance from artist Jessica Kerlin.

Phoenix
Colton Brock, Lalo Cota, Angel Diaz, Pablo Luna, and J.B. Snyder
Behind Barrio Café
2814 North 16th Street

Every city may have its own version of this sort of mural, which conjures memories of vintage postcards from popular tourist destinations. But the fact that this one lauds Phoenix, using shapes and colors characteristic of works by the artists who created it, makes it feel like a one-of-a-kind tribute to the city we share – and the diversity of its evolving arts and culture scene. It’s a top choice for locals and tourists looking for unique places to grab a few snapshots.
 
Swift Change
Noelle Martinez
Bentley Projects
215 East Grant Street

Painted beside Douglas Miles’ Let’s Get Free mural, this piece by Noelle Martinez uses pop culture imagery with candy colors to convey themes of youth and power. It marks the next level in the growth of this young artist, who previously exhibited at Willo North gallery and The Hive. Here she’s clearly inspired by pop culture, but feels free to infuse her own sensibilities into the space rather than focusing on the familiar.

Find Your Direction
Isaac Caruso and Lalo Cota
Fastsigns
2517 North Central Avenue

Head to Roosevelt Row, and you'll quickly spot Isaac Caruso's sunflowers on the back of monOrchid, and Cota's collaborative mural on an east-facing wall on Carly's. But to see their work together, you'll have to make your way to the south-facing wall of Fastsigns on Central Avenue and Woodward Drive. It's the site of a giant image blending realistic and cartoon-like characteristics with a bit of old-fashioned home-spun wisdom. 
  
Meet Me in the Middle
Kristin Bauer and Emmett Potter
Halo Piercing and Jewelry
10 West Camelback Road

Both artists have shown their fine art in some of the state's best-known art venues and exhibitions — including the Tucson Biennial, the annual Chaos Theory exhibition at Legend City Studios, and the IN FLUX public art program. But opportunities to see Kristin Bauer and Emmett Potter's mural collaborations are scarce, which makes their vintage-inspired mural featuring a couple keeping their distance but connected by a long telephone wire even more charming. 
 
Bienvenidos a Arizona
Gennaro Garcia and DOSE
2822 East 16th Street

Painted in 2010 by Gennaro Garcia and DOSE on the north-facing wall of Deportes America just south of Thomas Road on 16th Street, this mural features iconic imagery rooted in Mexican culture and tradition. It's one of the first mural projects completed by a group of artists and other creatives who banded together under the name Calle 16 to meet anti-immigration rhetoric with visual representations of pride and cultural heritage. 

Between Innocence and Understanding
Beatrice Moore
1500 Grand Avenue

Created by artist and arts advocate Beatrice Moore on the east-facing wall of her one-time Kooky Krafts Shop, this mural channels not only childlike innocence and whimsy, but also the interdependence of all things — serving as a playful reminder to not only follow one's own heart, but also to work with others on realizing shared community values and goals. 

Untitled
Tyson Krank, Jeff Slim, Tato Caraveo, J.J. Horner
Space 55
636 East Pierce Street

Distinct figures set harmoniously side by side, but partially concealed from a distance, seem to serve as a welcoming committee for those headed downtown — setting the stage for other encounters with Phoenix arts and culture. 
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble