Call to Artists: Monarch Theatre Is Seeking Muralists or Artists to Revamp Its Exterior

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To most people passing by the Monarch Theatre in downtown Phoenix, the dance club's exterior is like a big, gray, monolithic slab of nothing, save for its smallish sign over the door. To local artists, designers, and muralists, however, it could be their next canvas, and a large and prominent one at that.

Monarch's owners are in search of a local creative to help redesign and spruce up the the two-story club's facade that faces Washington Street with a mural or other large-scale work. The fact that said artist's work would be featured along one of downtown's major thoroughfares (and, thus, be seen by thousands of passersby and the club's clientele) is stressed in a recent Facebook post made by Monarch's staff asking for submissions.

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"[It's] a complete presentation to every patron, every person and anyone walking in downtown that this is Monarch Theatre," they state. "Your work will be shown on Google Images, Google Streetview, and BING maps. You will become part of downtown Phoenix."

A potential mural or art work would cover the lower half of the two-story property's facade, which has sported a gray paint job dating back to its days as hip-hop spot PHX Nightclub.

When Monarch's co-owners Pete Salaz, Edson Madrigal, and Sean Badger (who also run the neighboring Bar Smith) opened the place last April, they kept the gray look.

They briefly had a Lalo Cota-created painting on one side of the exterior of a monarch butterfly emerging from a cocoon, which the artist updated each week for a month to show the creature's evolution from pupae to a fully-formed winged insect, but eventually painted over it.

And now they're interested in something grander for the exterior of the club.

According to the Facebook post seeking submissions, they want ideas and concepts that would relate to the idea of a monarch and how it is "a symbol of royalty, rebirth, style, finesse, creativity and long life."

"A theme could be built into any of those. Whether it is [one] large piece or a mural with several themes," the Monarch staff states.

The Facebook post also gave the following instructions to those artists interested in submitting ideas:

Step 1. Create a general impression of what you want to do.
Step 2. Send that image (it can be watermarked) to mitch@monarchtheatre.com
Step 3. The top 5 submissions will be invited to present their idea to the owners, employees and select patrons of Monarch Theatre.
Step 4. We will do an announcement featuring your design and due date with a full marketing and media announcement. This will be followed by a full unveiling and promotion party featuring you and special guests.

Artists can also resubmit ideas after receiving feedback from the Monarch's staff. Anyone with questions is also asked to e-mail Mitch Palmer, the club's events coordinator. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, December 1.

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