In Phoenix, artists make the city their canvas

Katie Couric
Global Anchor

By Alexandra Zaslow

There’s never been a better time to be an artist in Phoenix.

“A number of artists have decided to make Phoenix their canvas,” Catrina Kahler, publisher of the Downtown Phoenix Journal, said.

Muralists aren’t just bringing color into the city, but also culture. Anyone who roams the streets is able to get to know the residents in a unique and beautiful way.

“The murals around the restaurant were created out of my love for murals initially,” Silvana Salcido Esparza, chef and owner of Barrio Café, said. “But SB-1070 came to play in 2010.”

SB-1070 was the strictest law against undocumented immigration in the U.S. at the time. Esparza saw this as an opportunity to do something positive. She put a call out to artists in the community in an effort to showcase culture through art.

The first mural to go up was one that sent a message that Arizona is for everyone. Barrio Café is now covered with murals from local artists with different views and experiences.

“This art saved this neighborhood,” Esparza said. “It really did because it changed perceptions.”