Getting Lost in Phoenix’s Street Art

One of the reasons I love Phoenix so much is because it’s filled with art.

I remember my first time visiting back in 2016, my cousin Nicole took me downtown for First Friday (a free art walk event). That’s when I fell in the love with this city.

The streets were packed with fun loving people, there were musicians performing on every corner, and so many murals that I went into to full tourist-mode & started snapping away. None of my pictures came out good… it was nighttime, all I had was my iPhone 4, and I was little shakey from all the excitement and margaritas (my cousin took me to Taco Guild for happy hour before, need I say more?) So I promised myself to come back the next morning to explore all of the beautiful art, with a clear mind & better camera.

This one might be my all-time favorite

I took the train down to Roosevelt Row, which is known as the creative artsy district of downtown Phoenix, and I began joyfully wandering from there. I decided to not try and retrace my steps from the night before, but instead be open to where my feet & curiosity took me.

Some would people call street art graffiti, but I call it a masterpiece.

The murals are everywhere, on storefronts, restaurant walls, abandoned buildings, galleries & more. They bring so much vibrancy and creative spirit to Phoenix. If it wasn’t for the gorgeous artwork it would look like any other mediocre city to me. 

“Art Saves Lives” truest statement ever

There are hundreds of murals, and I get serious FOMO thinking about all the amazing ones I have yet to see. From styles that range from surrealist, to political, there’s so many to explore. With the help of Murals of Phoenix, local artist have been able to use Phoenix as their canvas, tell their stories & share their talents with the community. 

If you’re not feeling adventurous & prefer a guided tour, I’d recommend…

El Barrio Street Art Tour. You’ll learn all about the street art scene, the history of Mexican muralism, & meet local artists at “The Hive”, a neighborhood gallery.

Feeling inspired to plan a trip to the desert? Which mural’s your favorite?

Shout-out to the stranger that took this for me during my 2nd trip in 2018. Thank you!

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