Aimee Smith, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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The flowers are blooming along the Grand Canal, perfectly complementing the murals painted earlier this year during Phoenix Mural Fest. Take a stroll to enjoy the spring-like symbiosis while it lasts.   @iamundefinedart Palo verde sprouts sanguinely from Tiesha Harrison’s portrait.   @liliana__moraart The wildflowers in front of Liliana Mora’s mural match her painted white background and yellow accents.   @arianaa_belen White oleander provides a frame for Ariana Enriquez’s colorful flora and fauna mural.  ...

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This week we are spotlighting three new murals in Downtown Phoenix.   Photo by Aimee Smith    By El Mac and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus  This multi-story mural is located in the alley south of Monroe Street and First Avenue. El Mac is responsible for the portrait while Thomas “Breeze” Marcus tackled the surrounding detailing. The mural is a nod to the Indigenous history of Phoenix. The girl depicted is a real teenager from the Salt...

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Photo by Aimee Smith    Wake up! Fever Dream Coffee is now open. Downtown’s newest caffeine provider is perched on the porch of Pemberton PHX. The aesthetic is an Instagrammer’s dream, from the cosmic sign to the colorful pastries. The muffins topped with edible flowers are almost too pretty to eat, at least not until you’ve had a photo shoot with them. In addition to standard coffee drinks, Fever Dream’s Magic Coffee menu includes spicy...

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Photo by Aimee Smith    The problem with writing about Pemberton PHX is… where to start? It seems to be expanding daily. And this week, that is not much of an exaggeration. Wednesday was the official opening of Fever Dream Coffee. Photo by Aimee Smith   Saturday will be the grand opening of House of Hee. It will be one of the few indoor offerings at Pemberton PHX and will be located on the second...

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Photo by Aimee Smith   Stoop Kid is a new concept housed in The Churchill in Downtown Phoenix. It offers bagels in the morning and burgers in the afternoon and evening. The menu is short, but you’ll still have a hard time choosing between options like the Money Shot (spicy bacon jam shmear, marinated tomatoes, Tillamook cheddar, soft scramble and a hash cake on an asiago bagel), Egg Thee Scallion (scallion and Parmesan shmear, soft...

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March is Women’s History Month. To kick it off, Heather Freitas has created a new mural at the Roosevelt/Central Avenue light rail station. The mural features, from left to right: Josefina Carrascoso Franco, President of the Mexican Blue Cross, Frida Kahlo, artist, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, a self-portrait of the artist, Heather Freitas, and Rosa Parks, civil rights activist. The mural is part of Valley Metro’s Artsline program. Go by today to check...

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The Central Avenue location of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles is home to two new Black History Matters murals. The murals are part of the Black History Month Mural Project spearheaded by Gizette Knight. One mural depicts baseball legends Willard Brown, Jackie Robinson and Willie Wells. Willard Brown by @creation80 Jackie Robinson by @artthoutiffany Willie Wells by @evolvingthroughart The other hits closer to home, depicting chefs Lucille B. Smith, Leah Chase, and Mrs. White. Mrs. White...

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A new mural has gone up on the side of Barrio Café as part of the Black History Month Mural Project. Organized by Gizette Knight and Reality Dreams, the project includes 28 murals, each depicting three figures from black history, throughout Phoenix during the month of February. Shirley Chisholm by @johnny_the_murales Nina Simone by @artthoutiffany Angela Davis by @creation80 After taking in the mural, take in (or out) the award-winning food at Barrio Café. Barrio Café 2814...

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A plethora of murals are popping up like spring flowers all over Phoenix. One colorful source is the Phoenix Mural Project. Its 2021 Phoenix Mural Fest, presented by SRP, is taking place now through March 6 along the Grand Canal, between 15th Avenue and 7th Street. Several murals have already gone up, including these: By Tom Cooper | @toms.artproject; facebook.com/tomcooperart By Sabina Kennedy | @lefthandedmfg By Lora Barnhiser | @regrain.studio By Rudy Jamie | @rudyelectrikneedle...

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A striking new mural has gone up on the side of Carly’s Bistro on Roosevelt Row in commemoration of Black History Month. The Black History Matters mural depicts, from left to right, Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. It is part of the Black History Month Mural Project organized by Gizette Knight and Reality Dreams. As part of the project, 28 murals, each depicting three figures from black history, are being painted throughout...

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The Rebel Lounge reopened its doors this past weekend, unveiling a collaboration with Reap and Sow Coffee. But they haven’t just installed an espresso machine and called it a day, they’ve been very thoughtful about adapting the space. It boasts a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of open space and different seating areas and it has a brighter feel thanks to the new skylights and trendy décor. Reap and Sow is brought to you by the...

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One of the things I like most about mural hunting is that it takes me off my beaten path and introduces me to neighborhoods and buildings that I might not have noticed otherwise. It gives me license to explore alleyways, to walk around all sides of a building, to wander down unknown streets in search of beauty. Case in point, I was recently searching for El Mac’s Southwest Goddess. I knew it was somewhere on...

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Tucson’s murals loom large, with many spanning several stories and stretching across entire sides of buildings. Here are a few can’t-miss favorites to look for while exploring Downtown Tucson. Joe Pagac This epic mural sprawls across 4,000 square feet at 534 North Stone Avenue. It shows a cowboy and a woman riding bicycles into blue skies. The woman’s dress billows behind her, morphing into a sunset backdrop for a trio of animal buddies, also riding...

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Driving along Grand Avenue in Downtown Phoenix, it becomes obvious that you have entered an arts district. There are numerous galleries, a print shop (yes those still exist, thank you Hazel & Violet) and colorful creations hanging from the trees. Most eye-catching, though, are the murals of all different sizes, styles and colors. Here are just a few of the many murals to take in. The young man in a cowboy hat painted by El Mac...

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Black Lives Matter posters prominently adorn the windows of Hotel Congress in Tucson, side by side with posters promoting mask wearing, an image quintessentially 2020. On the side of Hotel Congress is a mural by Camila Ibarra that perfectly encapsulates the two messages. A masked-up Black woman exudes power, clenched fists of solidarity rising above her. Ibarra is a student at Arizona State University. She has been selling prints and t-shirts of her artwork to...

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