Eric Cox on The Garfield Galleria

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It's about time Phoenix sees some serious mural love. In the interest of giving credit to their artists and because we're losing track of the times we've said, "Woah, when did that go up?", we bring you Mural City, a series on the murals springing up around town -- their artists, their hosts and their inspirations.

Last week, as artists prepped their studios and inside of the Garfield Galleria for Third Friday and Art Detour, Eric Cox was busy running across the street.

Cox is a local painter who works in a variety of media out of his Garfield Galleria studio, an older stucco building that he says could use a little facelift. He approached the building owner a few months ago with an idea for the southern facing wall, and his mural, Old Man Phoenix, was born.

The piece took him two days to complete; Cox says his painting method was guess-and-check; he'd spray sections of the face, and then dodge traffic to make sure it still looked OK from more than a few feet away.

Cox, who you may know as ArtsyCoxy, moved to Phoenix from Georgia a few years ago. His art's been featured in Center Bistro in Tempe and in Willo North Gallery in Phoenix and in the Garfield Galleria alongside his studio neighbors including Kathy D. Cone, Julio Romano, and Marc Andrew.

Old Man Phoenix is a goodbye piece; Cox is moving his studio, though just to a different neighborhood in Phoenix. But he also says the large-scale work has a message -- the word "embrace", which you can find hidden in the mural, is what he'd like to see a little more of (figuratively) in Phoenix.

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