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Historic buildings and the stories behind them are a reminder of a city’s culture and heritage. From the warmth of the materials like old bricks or wood, to the unique architectural styles, historic buildings have an intrinsic value that adds permanence to a city, and provide the foundation for the stories that give us a sense of place.

And since May is national Historic Preservation Month, we decided to celebrate with seven historic buildings that add to the unique cultural fabric of Downtown Phoenix.

Orpheum Theatre — 203 W. Adams Street

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Built in 1929, Orpheum Theatre is Phoenix’s most architecturally intact and largest remaining theatre. At the time it was built, it was the largest and best theatre of its time. It hosted theatre, plays, movies and vaudeville and was the cultural center of Phoenix at the time. The theatre is the best example of Spanish Baroque architecture in Phoenix. In 1984, the City of Phoenix purchased this historic theater after it fell into disrepair, beginning a 12-year restoration project. Today, the theatre is still used for many cultural events throughout the year, and free tours take place on alternating Tuesdays.

Source: National Register of Historic Places

Westward Ho – 618 N. Central Avenue

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

This iconic building was originally constructed in 1928 as a hotel with Spanish Colonial Revival detailing. It is now subsidized housing for the elderly and mobility impaired. Before its closure in 1980, several famous movies stars and politicians visited the Hotel Westward Ho, including Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor and John F. Kennedy. The ground floor is now home to Arizona State University’s Community Collaborative program which provides free psychosocial and preventative health services and activities for Westward Ho residents.

A.E. England Building — 424 N. Central Avenue

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Part of Phoenix’s original “auto row” — this Spanish Revival building was constructed by prominent local builder Clinton Campbell as the A.E. England Motors, Inc. building in 1926. Three large storefront windows are surrounded by ornate caste concrete and decorative molding along the roof. The large windows  were designed to showcase automobiles from Hudson Motor Car Co. (1909-1954) when the building operated as an auto dealer. Over the years, the building housed various businesses like Electrical Equipment Co., a stationery store and an art gallery. The building was listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register in 2006 and rehabilitated by the City of Phoenix in 2008-2009 as part of the downtown Phoenix Civic Space.

Source: Downtown Voices Coalition

The Silvia House — 628 E. Adams Street

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

This 1900 bungalow is one of the few remaining properties from Block 15 of Phoenix’s original townsite. A Phoenix liquor dealer, A.K.C. Kirchoff, originally built the house on land he purchased from Flora Rosson. It features turn-of-the-century architecture, with neoclassical revival references. In 1906, Kirchoff sold it to Alejandro Silva, a Glendale rancher and warehouse owner. The building, and other parts of the remaining town site, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The home is now occupied by The Rose and Crown English pub.

Source: Heritage Square

Steinegger Lodging House — 27 E. Monroe Street

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Built in 1889, this two-story former hotel has gone by many names including Alamo Hotel, St. Francis Hotel and Golden West Hotel. Though the brick building may not look like much today, it originally possessed a Victorian-style façade, but the front was modified in 1935. It’s owned by CSM, the same real estate developer that renovated the historic Professional Building adjacent to it (now the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown). They haven’t made any official announcements as to what they’ll do with the building. The property is listed in the Phoenix Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: National Register of Historic Places

St. Mary’s Basilica — 231 N. Third Street

(Photo: Fara Illich)

The oldest Catholic Parish in Phoenix was built here in 1881. The Spanish Colonial-style church you see today was built in 1914, complete with golden altars, Roman columns and the largest collection of stained glass windows in the state. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Source: St. Mary’s Basilica

Heard Building — 112 N. Central Avenue

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Located on Central Avenue near Adams Street, the Heard Building was constructed in 1919 and is considered the first “skyscraper” in Arizona. It was owned by Dwight Heard, who also owned the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. Both papers operated in the building, which was also the broadcasting center for KTAR radio. The building’s original Chicago-style façade was remodeled in 1937 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The interior and exterior of the building are currently undergoing renovations to remove the 1937 additions and give it some much-deserved street presence.

Source: National Register of Historic Places

Want to learn more? Visit Arizona Preservation FoundationPreserve Phoenix, or Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition online. See some of the city’s historic gems this Sunday, May 20 at our Downtown Pedal Around social bike ride.

The post Celebrate Historic Preservation Month with these 7 Downtown Gems appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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Photo: Zee Peralta

Nothing goes together quite like fine wine and food, besides adding some great jazz in there too.

On Saturday, May 12 from 1-6 p.m., Urban Wine & Jazz Walk returns, encouraging participants to explore local bars and restaurants, sample fabulous wines, and experience great music along the way.

Live Jazz

Downtown Phoenix Inc. (DPI) created Wine Walk in 2010 to showcase Phoenix’s beautiful, walkable urban center. But for the second year in row, DPI will be supporting live jazz performers in a number of venues, made possible through a partnership with Keven Peart of K.A.Aptivate Music. A number of venues have also programmed their own stages, making for a great mix of live music options.

Check out live, local music at the following locations:

Crescent Ballroom
Carly’s Bistro
DeSoto Central Market
Short Leash Hotdogs
GenuWine Arizona
Monroe’s – the lobby bar at Hilton Garden Inn
The Park Street Food Bar
The Whining Pig

Who’s new

The Downtown Ambassadors are always available for questions and recommendations, but this pedestrian-friendly tour of downtown dining establishments is completely self-guided — meaning people are encouraged to wander, take their time, and explore. With 92 net new restaurants in the last 10 years, there’s a lot to discover.

New to Wine Walk:

Crescent Ballroom
Deli Tavern
Monroe’s – the lobby bar at Hilton Garden Inn
GenuWine Arizona
The Whining Pig
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

New to Downtown:

The Park Street Food Bar – Opened 2017
The Whining Pig – Opened 2017
GenuWine Arizona – Opened 2018
Deli Tavern – Opened 2017
Chico Malo – Opened 2017
Hidden Track Café – Opened 2017
Cornish Pasty Co. – Opened 2017

Unique Finds

From 1-6 p.m., 30 different locations will offer at least three wine samples for $2-3 each, accompanied by a complimentary snack. Between the food, wine and live music — there’s a little something interesting for everyone.

Here are some top wine picks:

Hidden Track Café: Rivani Blanc de Blancs Spumante
A dry sparkling wine from Italy, it has strong lemon and mineral notes with a sweet finish. Try this paired with the dried pineapple and smoked goat cheese crostini.

Noodle Bar: La Pepica Monastrell
Made with 100 percent Monastrell grapes, this is a fresh and fruity Spanish red with just the right amount of spice.

The Strand Urban Italian: White Pear Sangria
The perfect springtime drink, this homemade concoction is sweet, citrusy and super refreshing.

Cornish Pasty Co.: Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rosé
From the Côtes du Rhône region of France, this rosé has strong mineral notes with a nice balance of berries, white pepper and cherries.

Hard Rock Café: Save Me San Francisco Pinot Noir
A super smooth pinot from the Central Coast of California known as “Soul Sister,” it has flavors of ripe cherries and strawberries with just a hint of vanilla.

Squid Ink Sushi Bar: Arizona Stronghold Provisioner White
A local favorite, this is a fruit-forward blend with a smooth, dry finish hailing from Arizona’s Verde Valley.

Short Leash Hot Dogs: Guenoc Sauvignon Blanc / Bacon fries
Who knew wine in a can could be this good? It’s a surprisingly good vessel for light, fresh and fruity wines like this one. Paired with Short Leash’s bacon fries, this duo is a Wine Walk win.

Getting Around

There are a number of public surface lots and garages, including one at CityScape Phoenix, where the first 300 people at Chico Malo will receive a commemorative wine glass. Just remember to plan for a cab, rideshare or designated driver.

There are also light rail park-and-ride locations at Washington and 38th streets to the east, and one at Camelback Road and Central Avenue, just north of downtown. Once here, everything is walkable, bikeable or a short light rail ride away — making it a cinch to get around. Another fun option: try hailing a pedicab, usually $5-$20 depending on the destination.

The post Urban Wine and Jazz Walk 2018 Brings All Our Favorite Things Together appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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(Photo: Fara Illich)

When the University of Arizona Eller College of Management moved its satellite MBA programs from Scottsdale to Downtown Phoenix in 2014, it caught a wave of momentum.

The wave: more than $5.5 billion invested in greater downtown since 2005, not only in the form of higher education institutions, but in areas of transportation, office and retail development, restaurants, arts and culture, and other key amenities.

“We really wanted to go where the people are and where the market is, and that’s increasingly in the Phoenix area,” said Amy Schmitz, the assistant dean of marketing and communications at UofA.

With 158 students currently enrolled across programs, Eller College is a small but growing presence downtown. Since the move from Scottsdale, enrollment is up 32 percent since 2013.

Based out of the 30-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Eller shares a physical footprint with the UofA colleges of medicine, pharmacy, nursing and public health — allowing for collaboration and efficiencies across schools.

Why the Biomedical Campus is good for business

Right now, the college offers two part-time MBA programs for working professionals — an Evening MBA and Executive MBA.

In addition to being closer to the rest of the UofA family, moving the graduate business programs to a biomedical and innovation hub offered key long-term benefits, according to Schmitz.

UofA is one of nine major Biomedical Campus tenants, which includes all three state universities, as well as private partners like the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the International Genomics Consortium.

It is precisely this proximity that makes urban campuses more likely to boost economic activity than their rural, suburban and small-town counterparts, according to a 2017 report by the Brookings Institution.

The data shows that downtown universities produce more patents, corporate partnerships and startups, acting as both economic anchors for the cities where they’re located, and the region.

For this reason, the entire University of Arizona is looking increase its strategic partnership with Phoenix, and downtown in particular. So being part of the Biomedical Campus, and more broadly, being within Arizona’s business and government center — definitely aligns with that mission.

“It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and the fifth largest, so it only makes sense for the premier business school in the state to be in such a vibrant location and to serve that population,” Schmitz said.

Downtown as ‘hub for higher education’

Eller College of Management is home to more than 7,000 undergraduate, graduate and PhD students and will continue to maintain a strong home base in Tucson, where it also has several centers of excellence and research labs.

But expanding to the Downtown Phoenix market, and particularly the Biomedical Campus, opened doors of opportunity for the school, as well as other downtown stakeholders.

According to David Krietor, president and CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc., having a graduate business school added to the list of higher education options provides a major benefit to those working downtown, especially mid-career executives.

“Downtown is becoming a hub for higher education,” he said. “It would be hard to go anywhere else and find Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University — all within walking distance.”

To have the collective student population and faculty part of the downtown fabric “is a big plus” for the community, according to Krietor.

“It’s something that might have been a dream 15 years ago, but now we’re looking at the reality of those universities significantly contributing to the vibrancy of downtown, and at the same time, downtown is helping those universities better-connect many of their students,” he said.

More transit and amenity options for students

Connectivity, and particularly public transit, played a major role in Eller’s relocation downtown, according to Schmitz.

The college initially launched its part-time MBA programs in north Scottsdale back in 2006, where it was housed in a traditional suburban office park.

Downtown’s central location in the Valley, as well as a growing list of restaurants, things to do, residential options, light rail and other conveniences certainly helped attract the school.

“We also wanted to better serve our students, and while we had great success in Scottsdale, we felt that with the shifts taking place in Phoenix, the downtown location made more sense for us to really serve our students,” she said.

Following suit, Arizona State University recently announced plans in December to move the Thunderbird School of Global Management, previously located in Glendale, to the Downtown Phoenix campus. A new, state-of-the-art building is slated for the vacant site adjacent to the Beus Center for Law and Society, north of Polk Street between First and Second streets.

The post University of Arizona Eller MBA Programs On the Rise in Downtown Phoenix appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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The tacos de asada with the flavorful vegetarian tacos at Céntrico. (Photo: Taylor Bishop)

Spring has sprung and Downtown Phoenix is bustling with people looking to work and play in the city. Whether you’re here for a Diamondbacks game or just need a bite to eat, tacos are always the way to go.

I had the difficult task of picking out a few of my favorites and having to taco-bout what makes them special. From months old to classic DTPHX restaurants, there is always something exciting and new to try in our city.

CÉNTRICO / 202 N. CENTRAL AVENUE

Céntrico certainly belongs on this list as a new member of the DTPHX restaurant scene. Serving up flavorful tacos, chilaquiles and other Mexican favorites, Céntrico brings Pete Salaz’ bar knowledge and Edson Madrigal’s Oaxacan family recipes to Downtown Phoenix.

The tacos de asada are a fan favorite boasting grilled skirt steak, nopal (cactus), homemade salsa chipotle and guacamole taquero. I couldn’t resist adding Oaxaca cheese and just a few bites of my friend’s vegan tacos.

You can find Céntrico on the ground floor of Hotel San Carlos on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street.

GALLO BLANCO / 928 E. PIERCE ST.

What’s taco Tuesday without a taco feast? Gallo Blanco is popular for its colorful cocktails, homemade tortillas and of course, tacos. The La Parillada serves up a choice of two meats in a sizzling skillet with six tortillas to accompany.

I’m not a taco expert, but I have eaten quite a few tacos in my years, and these stole the show with their simple, yet delicious flavors. Pictured above is the del mar taco in the front, al pastor in the back and the vegetable taco.

A visit to Gallo Blanco isn’t complete without trying their elote callejero and finishing with the churros served with caramel, chocolate and condensed milk.

Gallo Blanco is located in a historic building on the northwest corner of Tenth and Pierce streets in the Garfield neighborhood. The restaurants offers a variety of menu items for desayuno (breakfast), lunch and dinner with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 to close.

M’OLE (US BANK TOWER) / 101 N. FIRST AVENUE

Street corn, tacos and fried plantains — need I say more? Okay, I must add that you can get all three of these for just $10 at M’Ole.

The mix and match lunch menu allows patrons to choose from a menu of tacos, sides and desserts. The taco options are chicken, beef and veggie, which are perfectly paired with the pre-cut street corn and fried plantains topped with dulce de leche and ice cream.

 M’Ole is currently open for breakfast and lunch in the US Bank Tower on Monroe Street and First Avenue.

WILLIE’S TACO JOINT / 333 E. JEFFERSON ST.

Willie’s Taco Joint is a gameday go-to if you’ve got the munchies or just want a cool drink while you people watch. The vibrant restaurant opened in early 2017 next door to the sports bar Coach’s Corner, which are under the same owner.

The specialty tacos at Willie’s range from green chili pork to fresh grilled mahi-mahi with the option to add beans and rice for $2 more. If you’re looking to grab a few drinks before the game, Willie’s offers a Coronita bucket for just $12.50 and a variety of colorful margaritas.

You can find Willie’s on Third and Jefferson streets between Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.

CHICO MALO /50 W. JEFFERSON ST.

There’s always an excuse to celebrate, especially when Chico Malo has been in Downtown Phoenix for nearly a year now.

Over the past nearly 365 days we’ve enjoyed their refreshing cocktails and margaritas, made from scratch tacos and general “bad boy” aesthetic.

Choose from seven unique tacos on the lunch menu and mix and match three tacos for a reasonable $10. Although I’m still making my way through the menu, the al pastor is a favorite so far (pictured above with the diablo shrimp tacos).

Chico Malo is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

EL CENTRO COCINA / 130 E. WASHINGTON ST.

The Downtown Phoenix lunch scene just got spicier. El Centro Cocina is bringing the heat and meat to Washington Street with their classic street tacos and occasional Sonoran hot dogs.

The asada, pollo asada and pork belly are a treat, especially while enjoying the last few weeks of perfect weather on El Centro’s patio. Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, El Centro offers lunch goers something new to look forward to during that nine to five grind.

TACO CHELO / 501 E. ROOSEVELT ST.
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Design by Alex Leiphart / alexand.company

The explosion of growth and development happening across Downtown Phoenix illustrates a larger trend nationally, and one that’s been playing out since the Great Recession.

Jobs are moving to urban areas.

During the first quarter of 2018 alone, Solera HealthFreshly, FinScientific Technologies Corporation and Quicken Loans added more than 1,500 employees downtown.

“We’re attracting a highly educated, highly qualified workforce, and that’s what the tech and healthcare fields want,” said Dan Klocke, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

Companies are leaving the suburbs for adaptively-reused warehouses, or walkable office towers surrounded by fun events and amenities. Part of that amenity package — 90 net new bars and restaurants since 2008.

Access to transit, cool new restaurants and places to shop help capture a millennial workforce, which in turn, attracts new companies and new residential.

The biggest retail venture: a 55,000-square-foot Fry’s grocery store slated to open in 2019. This coincides with 2,206 residential units currently under construction downtown, and another 3,908 units in predevelopment.

The other linchpin driving job growth: talent.

In the slow economic climb back since the recession, downtown has grown into a center for innovation, biomedical collaboration and higher education. Currently, 12,000 students attend classes on the Arizona State University Downtown Campus, with 15,000 students projected by 2020.

The pool of highly-trained young people is growing, and that demographic wants to live and work in a place with fun things to do.

“The new kind of company wants to be in an environment that exists beyond the 9-to-5, they want to be energized by their location,” said Sara Scoville-Weaver, business development manager at Downtown Phoenix Inc. “CEOs have tried to create mini-cities in the suburbs around big office parks, but we already have the city right here.”

Click here to view the complete infographic.

The post New Infographic Shows How Much Downtown Phoenix Has Changed in 10 Years appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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(Photo: Lauren Potter)

It’s no secret: the Downtown Phoenix dining scene is thriving. In the past year alone, more than a dozen bars and restaurants have opened. With more than 170-plus dining options, downtown is not only the place to get the best breakfast, pizza and burger in Arizona — it’s also home to some pretty stellar soups.

So if you’re looking for a savory spoonful of goodness, look no further.

Noodle Bar / 114 W. Adams Street

Curry ramen with stewed vegetables and braised beef rib from Noodle Bar in Downtown Phoenix. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

As the name suggests, Noodle Bar specializes in noodle dishes with a focus on Japanese and Italian cuisine. The Japanese half of the menu is concise with five stellar ramen dishes all made with artisan noodles and rich house-butchered broths. Our top choice is the curry ramen. You don’t often see this style of curry on menus around town — and with its colossal braised beef rib and perfectly stewed veggies, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Pro tip: It doesn’t come with egg, but you can add it for an additional cost.

Vegan House / 20 W. Adams Street

Vegan vegetable and vermicelli noodle soup with soy chicken and a side of summer rolls. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

Not into meat? No problem. Vegan House is home to several veg-friendly soup options that are both delicious and healthy. One of our top picks the vegetable and vermicelli noodle soup. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables like carrots, cabbage and zucchini as well as vegan “chicken” and thin rice noodles. Other soup options include a vegan “seafood” hot pot, seaweed with tofu, and Thai coconut.

Deli Tavern /120 N. Central Avenue

The patio at Downtown Deli Tavern overlooks Central Avenue south of Monroe Street. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

Soup with a view? Yes, please. Deli Tavern is known for its carbo-licious comfort food — think French fried chicken, burgers, fried PB&J, etc. — but when we get a hankering for a home-style soup, we head here. Turkey noodle with a rich broth and rustic chunks of carrots is the only option on the menu, but it’s solid. And no matter what we’re eating (or drinking) we always feel so urban when seated on the patio.

Cornish Pasty Co. / 7 W. Monroe Street

Mushroom, walnut and spinach soup from Cornish Pasty Co. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

Not only is Cornish Pasty Co. a great place for a pint, it’s also a great place for soup. Five made-from-scratch soups are on the menu including four vegetarian options, one vegan and one for the meat eaters. Our favorite is the mushroom, walnut and spinach — it’s hearty, but not overly rich and creamy. What makes also makes Cornish Pasty a great option for soup is that whether you order a cup or a bowl, it’s served with house-made bread and butter.

Tom Yum Thai / 110 N. Central Avenue

Tom yum soup with seafood and a side of green mango salad with shrimp. (Photo: Lauren Potter)

Feel a cold coming on? There’s a soup for that. If there’s any dish that’ll cure what ails you, it’s the hot and sour soup from Tom Yum Thai. Yes, chicken noodle is known for it’s healing properties, but so is spice and this soup can be as mild or as spicy as you like. With Thai herbs, chili paste, mushrooms, tomatoes and your choice of protein (we chose seafood), this soup will leave your belly happy.

Canyon Café (Arizona Center) / 455 N. Third Street

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

With its flavorful New Mexican cuisine and scenic view of the Arizona Center grotto, Canyon Cafe is a Downtown Phoenix staple. And if you’re looking for a rich, creamy soup with just the right amount of spice, they’ve got you covered. The poblano chicken chowder is deliciously addictive and will definitely leave you feeling full. Pro tip: They also make a mean “limit two” margarita.

Céntrico / 202 N. Central Avenue

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Céntrico is one of the latest additions to the Downtown Phoenix dining scene. While its staples are Mexican favorites like street tacos and chilaquiles (plus a burger and some salads, too) — it’s also home to an amazing bowl of chicken tortilla soup. This baby is the real deal, made-from-scratch kind of soup with a perfectly balanced broth. There’s tons of tender chicken, tiny diced veggies and house-made tortilla strips topped with cotija and avocado. Seriously. What’s not to love? Find Céntrico on the ground floor of Hotel San Carlos on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street. Follow Céntrico on Instagram for updates and details.

The post 7 Best Spots for Soup in Downtown Phoenix appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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(Photo: Courtesy of Nevercrew)

With it’s bright turquoise and coral accents, lifelike bears, and small robots at the bottom, the 75-foot surrealist mural on the south side of the Heard Building — “El Oso Plateado and the Machine” — catches the eye like nothing else in Downtown Phoenix.

Over the course of ten days in February, Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni — two Swiss street artists known as Nevercrew — transformed the walls of the the Heard Building, a historic mid-rise on Central Avenue between Adams and Monroe streets. The bears represent one-third of a three part series, with other pieces in the lobby and north-side alley.

Just like the building, the murals harken back to downtown’s past.

Built between 1919 and 1920 by newspaper publisher Dwight Heard, the building formerly housed the “Arizona Republican” (now the “Arizona Republic”), the “Phoenix Gazette” as well as KTAR radio — serving as downtown’s media and communications hub until the 1940s, when the offices relocated.

“This was the main part from where we started to build our idea,” said Christian Rebecchi, one-half of Nevercrew. “Communication can be put into a visible shape in a way for other people to get the message. And in another way to remember the past, to understand the past, and to understand also ourselves as humans.”

Making of the Nevercrew Bear Mural in Downtown Phoenix - YouTube

The largest mural depicts the Mexican Grizzly, also known as “oso plateado” — the “silver bear” in Spanish, which is where the mural series gets its name. Before becoming extinct in the 1960s due to hunting, this type of grizzly inhabited the mountainous pine forests of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico.

As the most prominent subject within the series, this image serves as a reminder of our history, things that no longer exist in the here-and-now, but are still present in our collective consciousness and culture, and can therefore inform the future.

Hints of the future can be found in some of the elements like the robots, which appear to be emitting a sort of holographic field around the bears, the metallic glaze over part of the bears’ bodies, giving them a bionic quality, and the way many of the objects seem to defy gravity.

Using figurative images from the natural world juxtaposed with machinery or technology creates a surrealist, almost dreamlike quality, which is a common theme in other Nevercrew works around the world. This marks only the second mural project in the United States for the duo, with the first in southern California.

Working together for 22 years, Nevercrew met as teenagers growing up in Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of southern Switzerland. They got their start in the hip hop and graffiti scenes of the late ‘90s, and were formally trained at Brera Fine Arts Academy, a prestigious university in Milan. Since 1996, they’ve completed dozens of small and large-scale murals in the UK, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, Egypt, Germany and numerous other countries around the world.

“El Oso Plateado and the Machine” was commissioned by Eric Schultz of Montana Avenue Capital Partners, which owns the Heard Building (and is in midst of remodeling the interior), and curated by Anne-Laure Lemaitre of FatCap, an agency that specializes in business and art matchmaking.

The post The Story Behind the Nevercrew Bear Mural in Downtown Phoenix (VIDEO) appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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(Photo: Courtesy of Valley Metro)

You can’t spell heart without art and Art Detour 30 is just that — the heart of downtown’s thriving arts and culture scene. As Phoenix’s original art walk, we guess you could say Art Detour gave our arts scene its beat when it started 30 years ago.

And this year, for its 30th anniversary — the event has been completely re-imagined, and expanded from three to six days of creative arts programming.

Once a “choose your own adventure” weekend of gallery openings and art exhibits, Art Detour 30 is different. This year, it’s district driven — with each day of the weekend-long celebration focusing on a particular district within the greater Downtown Phoenix. And this year, we’re pretty thrilled to share that the Downtown Core will stand out with creative arts events including a fashion show, and — held in our very own DTPHX headquarters — the Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show.

While the Art Detour format has changed, some things have stayed the same, like the amazing Art d’Core Gala kick-off event. So be sure to check out our round up of daily happenings to get the most out of Art Detour 30.

Find daily program schedules for participating galleries, studios, retail and dining at ArtDetour.com.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 | ART D’CORE GALA

(Photo: Courtesy of Artlink Phoenix)

Kick-off Art Detour’s 30th year inside an exquisite historic warehouse located in the heart of Phoenix’s urban-chic Warehouse District. You’ll be surrounded by original brick walls, exposed beams and sparkly bistro lights — not to mention the who’s who of Phoenix’s art and culture scene.

Come as you are or wear creative cocktail attire encouraged. Spoiler alert: You’ll get a serious case of FOMO if you miss out on this one.

Get tickets before they’re gone: $20 single, $30 pair.

When: Thursday, March 15 from 6-9 p.m.
Where: Warehouse215 at Bentley Projects 215 E. Grant Street

FRIDAY, MARCH 16 | ROOSEVELT ROW

(Photo: Courtesy of Roosevelt Row CDC)

Nationally known for its arts and cultural events, award-winning restaurants, galleries, boutiques and live music, Roosevelt Row is where First Friday all began. Trolleys will connect with the Valley Metro light rail station at Central/Roosevelt and circulate through the district from 6 to 10 p.m.

Friday Night After Party

After you’ve experienced the festivities happening along Roosevelt Row, stroll on over to FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel for an after party with DJ vibes provided by Rani G.

When: Friday, March 16 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Where: FOUND:RE Phoenix, 1100 N. Central Avenue

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 | GRAND AVENUE – DAY

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Spend the afternoon on Historic Grand Avenue — a quirky part of town known for its eclectic mix of art studios and galleries, vintage architecture and interesting adaptive reuse projects. Artist-decorated planters, green bike lanes, art installations, colorful murals, free on-street parking, and small businesses highlight this unique area situated on the western edge of downtown.

Trolleys will connect with the Valley Metro light rail station at Central/Roosevelt and Central/Van Buren, then circulate through the district from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 | DOWNTOWN CORE – NIGHT

(Photo: Hector Primero)

Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show

We’re lending our walls (and floors) to a group of super talented local artists and designers to celebrate bikes during Art Detour weekend. In addition to original works for sale by amazingly talented local artists, we’ll be unveiling the winning prototypes of the Pedal to the Metal: PHX Bike Rack Project. Functional, yet stylish — these bike racks are a little out of the box, and works of art in their own right. The inspiration behind both the racks and the art show grew from (and were inspired by) downtown’s growing bicycle culture. Beer, wine and snacks will be provided.

When: Saturday, March 17 from 5-7 p.m.
Where: Downtown Phoenix Inc., 1 E. Washington St., Ste. 230

On Central Fashion + Art Weekend

Get ready for some traffic-stopping art (literally). Come see the works of Phoenix’s most talented fashion designers, artists and trendsetters in a high-energy event held in the middle of Central Avenue (it’ll be closed to traffic, of course).

When: Saturday, March 17 from 1-10 p.m.
Where: CityScape Phoenix, 1 E. Washington St.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18 | WAREHOUSE DISTRICT DAY

(Photo: Courtesy of Bentley Gallery)

Experience the Downtown Phoenix neighborhood that Thrillist recently said is about to become “crazy popular.” The intersection of history, creativity and innovation, the Phoenix Warehouse District provides an inspiring glimpse of Downtown Phoenix’s past and future. With an eclectic collection of office spaces, restaurants, galleries, museums and one-of-a-kind venues for music and events, its urban realness draws creative ventures and tech start-ups alike.

Trolleys will connect with the Valley Metro light rail stations at Third Street/Washington and Third Street/Jefferson, then circulate through the district from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Artist Studio Tour

Get behind the scenes of an artist’s creative process and take a guided tour of working artists’ studios. The tour departs at 2 p.m. on Sunday from Bentley Gallery, where parking for the tour is also available.

Participating venues/artists include The Hive, Halldor Hjalmarson, Rick Naimark, Amber Lillie, Marilyn Szabo, Helmut Hammen, Stacey Gordon and more.

When: Sunday, March 18 from 2-5 p.m.
Where: Bentley Gallery, 215 E. Grant St.

MONDAY, MARCH 19 | SYMPOSIUM

Creative City Symposium Day 1
The Intersection of Art + Architecture

A talk by Alexandra Lange, Architecture Critic for Curbed.com, and author of Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), a primer on how to read and write architecture criticism.  In partnership with Modern Phoenix Week, Phoenix Urban Design Week, AIA PHX Metro, and in collaboration with the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Tickets $10.

When: Monday, March 19 from 4- 8 p.m.
Where: Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 | SYMPOSIUM

Creative City Symposium Day 2
Artists + Collectors Night

For the closing day of Art Detour 30, sit back and listen to a panel discussion on curators, collectors, arts professionals and contemporary trends of art collecting. Moderated by Joshua Rose, Editor of American Art Collector. Tickets $10.

When: Tuesday, March 20 from 4-8 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.

The post You Can’t Spell Heart Without Art: Celebrate 30 Years of Art Detour March 15-20 appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Downtown Phoenix is getting ready to roll out new artist-designed bike racks, and the design prototypes will be unveiled during Art Detour 30.

In December of last year, 28 local artists submitted their portfolios to the Pedal to the Metal: PHX Bike Rack Project, an urban arts initiative spearheaded by Downtown Phoenix Inc., Artlink, the City of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department and Office of Arts and Culture. From that initial call to artists, four local artists were selected to submit concepts to the project, which will net 50 new bike racks for downtown and the central city. From those four presented concepts, two designers were selected by a panel of experts to move on to the project’s fabrication stage.

The bike rack project and its winning artists will be celebrated Saturday, March 17 during the Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show. Part of the Downtown Core’s Art Detour 30 programming, the show will give the public its first opportunity to see prototypes of the new bike rack designs, and talk to the artists responsible. It will also feature a showcase of local bike culture-inspired art curated in partnership with Megaphone PHX, and remain installed throughout the month of March. Original works will be available for purchase.

Winning artists:

Jennyfer Stratman

Jennyfer Stratman grew up in Phoenix and is a graduate of Arizona State University. She entered academia as a ceramicist and with each passing semester, the scale of her creations grew, and the material limitations of working with clay ultimately led her to the university foundry. This opened a door into another world of creative possibilities, profoundly changing her artistic direction. She began replacing fired clay with larger-scale bronze, steel and mixed media sculptures. Today, she is a full-time sculptor, with studios in Phoenix and Melbourne. Stratman is represented by galleries in the United States, England and Australia, and her sculptures are held in public and private collections across the globe.

Allen Wang

Allen Wang is currently attending Arizona State University and is an avid bicyclist. He was drawn to the project as someone who uses bike racks a lot as a bicycle commuter, and feels like they’re either one of two things: hard to use or ugly to look at. As an industrial design student, he wanted to create something that was both beautiful and functional. Gaining inspiration from the mountain ranges surrounding Phoenix and the unique, austere beauty of the desert landscape, he set out to create something that will look great in the urban environment, without tangling handle bars, wheels, brake cables or seats.

The post Local Artists Selected For Downtown Bike Rack Project appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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We’re pedaling art.

During the 30th anniversary of Art Detour, Phoenix’s original art walk festival, we’ll be hosting a bike-themed exhibition. In addition to original works for sale by amazingly talented local artists, we’ll be unveiling the winning prototypes of the Pedal to the Metal: PHX Bike Rack Project. Functional, yet stylish — these bike racks are a little out of the box, and works of art in their own right. The inspiration behind both the racks and the art show grew from (and were inspired by) downtown’s growing bicycle culture. Beer, wine and snacks will be provided.

Join us for the celebration.

What: Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show

When: Saturday, March 17 from 5-7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Phoenix Inc. –  1 E. Washington St., Ste. 230

Why: Pedal to the Metal: PHX Bike Rack Project is an urban arts initiative from Downtown Phoenix Inc. in partnership with Artlink Phoenix, the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department and City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

The post You’re invited: Pedal to the Metal Bike Art Show appeared first on Downtown Phoenix Inc..

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