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With a vibrant new cover, created by stencil artist dadsocks, dozens of new businesses, local photography, a walking tour, fun nightlife options and the hidden history of the Westward Ho — the new Downtown Phoenix Map & Directory offers plenty to do and see.
The cover art depicts a bright, burnt-orange sun with a surrealist-style roadrunner in front of it, a silhouette of the Sonoran desert, which seems to be swirling and blending into the roadrunner itself.
Dadsocks’ method involves layering shades of spray paint through dozens and sometimes hundreds of uniquely-cut stencils. In this piece, the roadrunner required 32 uniquely-cut stencils.
“I’ve always loved roadrunners,” said Bill Taggart, aka dadsocks. “It was one of the first animals I saw after moving to Phoenix that wasn’t familiar to me. I am amazed by its beauty, speed, quick adaptation to its surroundings, and like all wildlife here in the Valley, its resilience. It reminds me a lot of the way Downtown Phoenix has flourished in the past decade.”
Dadsocks is originally from New Jersey, and moved to Phoenix in 2010. He said he draws inspiration from pop artists like Andy Warhol and icons from the Byzantine period. From murals to gallery shows — his work can be seen across the Valley. One of his favorite parts about downtown? The food.
“All the amazing restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and cocktail bars — I find our foodie culture is tough to beat,” he said.
The new directory not only illustrates rapid residential growth, a plethora of new bars and restaurants, and higher education expansion — but downtown’s deep appreciation for local businesses, history, and its strong arts and culture community.
“I think it goes without saying that I love the art community in downtown,” said Taggart. “It is by far the most welcoming to the untrained observer, and artists genuinely support each other and are excited for each other’s success.”
The directory is distributed to businesses, restaurants, visitors and conventioneers throughout downtown. To check out dadsocks new cover art, you can download it here. Or to pick up a hard copy of your own, just look for a Downtown Phoenix Ambassador, or stop by the DTPHX Info Center at 1 E. Washington Street, Ste. 230 at CityScape Phoenix.