25 Favorite Murals in Metro Phoenix

It’s been nearly two years since we shared 40 of our favorite murals – all located in a trio of Valley mural hotspots including Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, and Calle 16.

Since then, all sorts of street art has come and gone – and more murals have started popping up in cities other than Phoenix, such as Mesa and Tempe. So we’re taking another look at the pieces that demonstrate the diversity of mural art happening here in the Valley. Most are by local artists, but some are by artists working in other states or countries. 

Drumroll, please.

You Can Fly Higher
Joseph “Sentrock” Perez
811 North 13th Avenue

Never mind Beyoncé’s admonition to “put a ring on it.” Artist Joseph “Sentrock” Perez, who moved from Phoenix to Chicago after getting the New Times Big Brain Award in 2011, is all about putting a bird on it. He’s returned several times to show works at galleries including Willo North and Palabra. In March, he co-curated “A Better View” with Laura Dragon at {9} The Gallery, and made time to paint this mural just across the street.

Tribute to Margaret Kilgallen
Carrie Marill
Combine Studios
821 North Third Street

Phoenix artist Carrie Marill, represented by Lisa Sette Gallery in midtown Phoenix, painted this homage to Margaret Kilgallen, a late-20th-century artist in San Francisco. It was in the Bay Area that Kilgallen's painting and printmaking was heavily influenced by folk art. Marill and her artist husband, Matthew Moore, own the Combine Studios building, home to an ASU international residency program. You’ll find her spiral of bright colors on a south-facing well there, and her mural made with silhouette-style images of tools at the nearby Growhouse in Roosevelt Row.
Roy Sproul
Revolver Records
918 North Second Street 

Love, peace, and music collide in Roy Sproul’s grayscale mural located on a west-facing wall at Revolver Records. The work depicts music-related technology, including giant headsets and a gramophone. Sproul’s other local work includes a large-scale scene with characters from various theatrical productions, which takes up the entire north-facing wall at the offices for Valley Youth Theatre.

The Painted Desert
Rebecca Green
The Lodge Art Studio
1231 Grand Avenue

Michigan-born artist Rebecca Green lived and worked for a time in Phoenix, sharing studio space at The Lodge — where she first painted a storybook-theme mural depicting a young girl reading a book surrounded by animals. New Times named that work the best mural of 2013. After Green moved from Phoenix to Denver, she returned to cover the first mural with a second one, which features animals from different habitats joined together in painting their desert surroundings.
Dissolving Demarcation
Joerael Elliott (with Jesse Perry)
815 North Second Street

Texas-born Joerael Elliott, who lived in Phoenix before moving on to Los Angeles and Sante Fe, has painted several murals here over the years – at locations including dance and yoga studios, as well as the indie movie theater FilmBar. He’s also exhibited works at various art venues, including monOrchid and the Icehouse, and created several murals on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona for the Painted Desert Project. During the annual Paint PHX street art event in 2015, he painted one of his characteristically complex figurative works on north- and east-facing walls at FilmBar – leaving a small space for local artist Jesse Perry to paint.
Rangoli Sunrise
Kyllan Maney
The Dhaba
1872 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe

Local artist Kyllan Maney, who often designs community murals for Mesa Arts Center festivals, is best known for works featuring maps, birds, or abstract, symmetrical designs that look like elaborate mandalas. She’s shown works at local art venues including Chartreuse and the GreenHaus (the latter moved to Portland last year), and collaborated with Lauren Lee on a Frida Kahlo-inspired mural at Mesa Urban Garden. In December 2015, she painted this mural at The Dhaba in Tempe as part of the Apache Boulevard Revitalization Project meant to enhance the appeal of a main thoroughfare.

Southwest Goddess
El Mac
Laird Building
317 West McDowell Road

Although he was born in and now lives in Los Angeles, internationally renowned artist El Mac grew up in Phoenix, where his early experiences with arts and culture included visits to the Phoenix Art Museum. He’s painted several murals in the Valley, typically with artists who surround his figures with their own characteristic line work. Recent additions to the local scene include his La Medusa painted with Los Angeles artist David Choe at Cobra Arcade Bar, and his Desert Rose painted with Mando Rascon at Mesa Arts Center. But we’re still partial to his early works, including Southwest Goddess and his untitled collaboration with Augustine Kofie painted at what’s now Flowers Beer & Wine. 

Cara To
2501 North 16th Street

Belgian-born artist and illustrator Cara To (a.k.a. Caratoes), who lives and works in Hong Kong, painted a new mural with a vintage-doll-meets-surreal-mermaid motif on the west-facing wall of a building on 16th Street at Sheridan Street (between Thomas Road and Oak Street), where it stands with other works created as part of the 2015 Paint PHX mural event.  

2828 North Central Avenue

From 2011 to 2013, American-born and Berlin-based artists Karl Addison and James Bullough worked as an artist collaborative called JBAK – creating mostly large-scale portraits like this joint effort in Phoenix, which is 53 feet high by 23 feet wide. Painted in April 2013, the work depicts Addison’s grandmother Maxine and a fifth-generation Arizona native named Chris Neito. Addison’s solo works in Phoenix include Long Silent Scream, located on an east-facing wall behind Giant Coffee, and portraits of John Waddell and Frank Henry located at Kitchen Sink Studios.
Colibri Mural
Chip Thomas, Jenn X. Chen, Karlito Miller Espinosa, Thea Gahr, and local artists
1023 Grand Avenue

While the progressive advocacy group Netroots Nation was in town during July 2015 for its annual conference, several artists worked with Tucson-based Colibri Center for Human Rights to create a migrant-theme mural. Chip Thomas ( a.k.a. Jetsonorama) of the Navajo nation, Jenn X. Chen of New York, Karlito Miller Espinosa (a.k.a. Mata Ruda) of New Jersey, and Thea Gahr of Mexico City and Oregon worked for several days on a mural depicting a central figure holding a photograph. It references those who’ve died while trying to cross the desert while migrating from South America to the United States. Several local artists — including Lalo Cota, Jeff Slim, and Eduardo Pym – also worked on the mural.

Let’s Get Free
Douglas Miles
Bentley Projects
215 East Grant Street

On a long wall that runs behind Bentley Projects, where Bentley Calverley operates both gallery and special-event spaces, there’s a mural by Douglas Miles, a painter who hails from the San Carlos Apache reservation just east of Globe. Created with help from Douglas Miles, Jr., Monica Wapaha, and Danielle Mercado, the mural is based on Native American and Apache culture. Prominent figures include Geronimo and Our Lady of Apache (inspired the the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe prevalent in Latino culture). Miles has other murals around town, at locations including monOrchid and Barrio Café.

Ashley Macias and Yai Cecream
630 East Pierce Street

Before Palabra moved to its beautiful new space in Roosevelt Row, artists Ashley Macias and Yai Cecream painted a west-facing wall black, then added drawings featuring their characteristic styles done with only white paint – making a simple visual statement that highlights the differences in their work. Look carefully when you’re out and about find more works by these artists – including a large Cecream-decorated planter in Roosevelt Row and a new Macias mural located at The Coronado.

I Beam, You Beam
Jeff Slim
Community Thrift Store
1414 East Van Buren Street 

Phoenix artist Jeff Slim, who got the New Times 2015 Big Brain Award for visual arts, has collaborated with various artists for murals behind Barrio Café on Calle 16, Space 55, and Valley Youth Theatre. But he’s also painted this mural, located on Van Buren Street near 14th Street, which depicts a child facing an elder — each bordered by flowers, phases of the moon, and various symbols drawn from Native culture.