Creatives Gather For 'The Love Crowd' To Benefit Families of Murdered Artists

Lynn Trimble
Part of the memorial for David Bessent and Zachary Walter in front of Jobot Coffee and Bar in Roosevelt Row.
Local creatives will be celebrating two of their own tonight during a benefit show happening at The Lost Leaf in Roosevelt Row. The event comes a week after David Bessent, 41, and Zachary Walter, 24, were
shot around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, October 5, near Third Avenue and Roosevelt Street.

Both men were walking home from Jobot, the cafe and community hub where they worked, that morning. Walter died at the scene, and Bessent died days later at a local hospital. A memorial made with photos, candles, and chalk art continues to grow outside Jobot, where Bessent used to hold Monday drawing nights.

"Both David and Zac were amazing people," says James B. Hunt, whose creative moniker is NXOEED. He's a staple of the metro Phoenix arts scene best known for hiding works of art around downtown Phoenix with a finders-keepers approach. "I'll be hiding three prints and one painting in the vicinity of The Lost Leaf tonight," he says.

In the aftermath of the murders, there's been an outpouring of grief within the local community, where both men touched a lot of lives. For many years, starting when Jobot was located on Fifth Street, Bessent had Monday drawing nights. He'd sit outside, and draw with whoever wanted to join him, Hunt recalls.

"As kids who drew with David begin to develop their own identities as artists, we will hear his name as an influence," Hunt says.

The Lost Leaf event starts at 7 p.m. tonight. The line-up will include DJ Scapegoat, Aaron Johnson, The Human Torch, and Deep Freq. The gathering will raise money for the Walter and Bessent families in a couple of ways, according to the following Facebook post from Tuesday, October 9:

"All money that would normally go to paying the artists for the night will be donated to the families of the Jobot Coffee & Bar employees that were taken from the community by violence last week. On top of that, anyone that wishes to make a donation at the bar can do so, and The Lost Leaf will match the donations."

"This is a horrible thing that's happened," Hunt says, but tonight, it's all about showing the love.

The Love Crowd. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday, October 12, at The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street; 602-258-0014; Free. Visit the Facebook event page.