Desert Ridge Marketplace is about to expand on its zesty mall flair with the inaugural Summer Mural Program.
This seasonal event began in June and will continue on weekends through September 3.
Artists will be on-site working the last three weekends, and art-loving shoppers can watch the magic happen live and in person.
According to Desert Ridge marketing director Rebecca Smith, the last two weekends, August 25 and 26 and September 1 through 3, offers a fun community tie-in. “Anyone who is interested,” she says, “is welcome to come down and actually help the artists with their murals."
Smith also gives us the scoop on how this whole thing got going. “We have a partnership with the local organization, Arizona Business Committee for the Arts (AZBCA), who is focused on bringing the business and creative communities together, which is something we wanted to do, too, and thought it would be a great way to use some of our available spaces and areas.”
Together, mall staff and AZBCA members worked to identify a group of 12 diverse local artists working in different mediums to transform select spots in the Marketplace’s District section.
Some of the art is displayed in front of and behind glass, while other work is created directly on window surfaces.
“We picked summer," Smith says, “because it’s a time when people are looking for things to do.” She added that the first weekend was “well-received,” and that the mall plans to continue arts-oriented endeavors in the future.
The final weekend will feature live mural painting by Kyllan Maney, whose pattern-laden, intricate paintings have been beautifying public spaces and gallery walls for a number of years. She got involved in the project through a friend.
“I was referred to the project by artist Melody Smith,” she tells us. “She did the first window mural of the series and had asked me a few questions about what type of paint I use on windows. Once she told me more about the project, I had to apply.”
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The Phoenix Children's Hospital component came next. “After I applied, I was contacted to see if I wanted to paint a window mural dedicated to the children at the hospital. My piece is about color and healing light energy for the children. It will be a multicolored radial pattern on metallic gold.” Her interactive element will allow participants to express their thoughts and well wishes for the children.
“I feel extremely honored to be picked for the experience” Maney tells us. “Phoenix Children’s Hospital provides amazing services to the children of our community.”
Upcoming pieces include a 3-D, Pop Art inspired mural by Lucretia Torva, and Wesley Fawcett Creigh's interactive artwork that celebrates the community and the Sonoran Desert.
Desert Ridge Marketplace. 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. Admission to the Summer Mural Project is free. Visit shopdesertridge.com/mural for a complete schedule of events.