For the artists and the enthusiasts looking to come together in a major way, Art Detour 26 laid out the welcome mat and left the door wide open. With over 100 spaces, including working artist studios, unique art spaces, galleries, cultural venues, restaurants and retailers opening their doors for the weekend, the events 26 year anniversary was a 2-day artistic treat for the community. Stretching along downtown Phoenix and setting up in two different locations, I made my way towards Grand and 10th Ave where it was my first time in the area and checking out the scene. (Plus I also had a tip that some local muralists were setting up shop near there and I definitely wanted to see what was happening.)
“Art Detour is one of the most important events in Phoenix’s calendar”
– City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
But before I started my local “Detour”, I made a quick stop to see Local Artist/ Comedian Jesse Perry at Practical Art putting the beginning marks on what looks to be another dope piece of work. It’s never a surprise on what this guy is up to, just know its going to be something good. Then off I was to Grand Ave.
Starting off at the The Groove on Grand showcasing Noelle Martinez and her style of illustration, I ventured into almost every studio and gallery out there. Surrounded by open doors with nothing but creativity seeping through them to the street, I was immersed into an environment bred for the art junkies like me. Every corner was filled with great pieces of work and the artists standing right there to tell you about it. I had the opportunity to talk to one artist in particular in Justin Jacobson and the conversation was inspiring. He was telling me about his work and the details that go into each piece, and I’m hoping I run into more of his artwork sooner than later.
And just as I was about to finish my ride through Grand Avenue, I spotted more muralists hidden behind their high walls and random corners finishing up pieces for The Detour and the corresponding Paint PHX exhibit right around the block from where I was. And believe me, when you watch these guys work in action, it’s always an experience on its own. The time it takes to put a piece of artwork up like that is even more difficult when you have to do it over the course of 4-5 days, which is what a lot of these muralists had to do, and I appreciate that…
So minus the fact that I can easily say there was noticeable absence of a more lively and collective crowd walking around and checking out The Detour, the environment was definitely set for artistic exploit for the creative seekers. The worn out crowd from the previous nights First Friday will have to catch up, but it’ll be worth it. And if you didn’t catch it this year, make sure to be on the look out for next years.