Within the past five years, a group of local artists have set out on a mission to define their neighborhoods through public art. Three Central Phoenix neighborhoods serve as the outdoor art galleries for these large-scale wall murals – 16th Street, Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Row. Here the walls of local strip-malls and once neglected alleys have become the concrete canvases for such artist as Lalo Cota, Joerael Elliot, Rose Johnson, Luster Kaboom and more.
The intent of this public art program is to create murals that are educational, cultural and positive. No negative or hateful murals are allowed! It is also a program to replace damaging graffiti with quality public art.
The many murals along 16 Street are a part of the Calle 16 Project. The stated goal of the Calle 15 Project is “to build community one wall at a time.” The Barrio Café is the epicenter of this project with some 20 murals found in the walls of the nearby alley and stores. This is the perfect place to begin a bike tour as well as for fine, Mexican food dining.
Just a few blocks further south on 16th Street another cluster of murals are found on the walls of
The Hive, a street art gallery with a delicious new coffee shop called the Mud Dauber.
Roosevelt Row is further down 16th Street with a right turn onto Roosevelt. Between 16th Street and 7th Avenue is found the Roosevelt Row Art District. Here award-wining restaurants, galleries and boutiques are found along with the many additional large-scale wall murals.
A route map for your entire 10-mile bike tour can be obtained at the Phoenix Taco website - http://www.phxtaco.com/calle-16-mural-detour-central/ . And, if biking is not your style, you can always get out in the family car and travel to these wonderful outdoor exhibitions of Phoenix artists. April weather is great, the restaurants and coffee shops are plentiful and vibrant part of city living in Phoenix is just waiting for you to discover.