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Three Public Art Projects to Watch for in the Downtown Core

by Lauren Potter
Arts & Culture Lauren Potter August 2, 2019

The Downtown Phoenix skyline is changing every day, and so are its streets and sidewalks, which are becoming canvases for public art.

Earlier this year, we wrote about our organization’s initiative to bring more art to Downtown Core, and with the help of our partners Artlink Inc., we’ve got more cool art projects up our sleeve.
Here are three that you can look forward to (one is already complete):

“Clyde” mural – Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel

Clyde will cover part of the Renaissance Hotel’s west-facing wall with his unique color palette and photo-realistic portraits. Examples of his other murals can be seen throughout the Valley.  (First photo: Lauren Potter; Second photo: Clyde; Third photo: Arizona Street Art )

Already known for its murals, Renaissance Hotel is slated to become a canvas once again when Tempe artist Clyde paints a mural on its west-facing wall.

Spanning 144 feet long, the wall on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Adams Street will soon feature cool blues, greens and purple tones in Clydes’ signature photo-realistic style. His first mural in the Downtown Core, Clyde said that being chosen as a finalist for the project felt wild. “(It) really took a lot of convincing myself that I read the congratulations email correctly,” he said.

Clyde begins work on the Renaissance mural in October, so be sure to follow him on Instagram (@clyde_graffitiart) to watch for updates. Fun fact: Clyde was one of the artists featured in this year’s Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show.

El Mac and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus mural – 111 W. Monroe Building

Thomas “Breeze” Marcus’ Phoenix mural is iconic in #dtphx. El Mac’s mural at Mesa Center for the Arts stands two stories tall. (First photo: PHX Tours; Second photo: El Mac; Third photo: Lauren Potter )

Talk about a powerful duo: Internationally-renowned muralist El Mac and local art heavyweight Thomas “Breeze” Marcus were selected to collaborate on a mural at 111 W. Monroe building.

The mural is slated to run east-west along the alley, wrapping around the corner of the southern brick wall where Zpizza used to be, so a small section of it can be seen from Central Avenue. Although a specific start date is yet to be determined, it will likely begin later this fall.

Expect to see Breeze’s iconic Tohono O’odham basket-inspired line work and graffiti style, and El Mac’s recognizable photorealism portraiture and detailed line work.

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Giving Meters – Four locations in Downtown Phoenix
Public art that encourages sustainable giving is a beautiful thing. And now, pedestrians in Downtown Phoenix can help be the change by giving change, thanks to a new pilot program championed by Councilwoman Deborah Stark.

The Giving Meter program tapped into the talents of four local artists — Lydia Quinones, Chelsi Rossi, Terri Petersen and Paige Poppe — who each painted a re-purposed parking meter. The meters are located in four high-pedestrian areas in the Downtown Core, and are equipped to accept card and coin donations for the City’s PHX C.A.R.E.S program. Funds raised will go directly to purchase essential supplies for the program, which assists the homeless community.

Meter locations by artist:
Lydia Quinones: SW corner of First Avenue and Jefferson Street
Terri Petersen: NE corner of Third and Van Buren streets at the Arizona Center
Paige Poppe: Outside City Hall to the east of the Washington Street entrance
Chelsi Rossi: Mobile, currently located outside Downtown Phoenix Inc. offices on the second level of CityScape Phoenix (1 E. Washington Street, Ste. 230)