I don't know about you, but I can't tell you HOW many times I've heard the statement "Phoenix Has No Culture" echoed from the mouth of someone who (99% of the time) isn't from Phoenix. As a native of Bird City, I often found myself taking offence to these types of remarks. It wasn't until I took a trip to L.A. during the summer of 2017 to participate in a group art show that I started to understand the perspective of those complaining about the lack of culture here.
The thing is, Phoenix DOES have culture and is quite beautiful. It' just different. But Iin't the culture everywhere different? I think people move to new cities expecting their new home to be super similar to their old one and when they find it isn't they're let down by unrealistic expectations.
Phoenix is a relatively young city that is wide spread and growing at a rapid rate. It hasn't quite caught up to the speed of L.A. or New York but it's getting there. Being A fulltime working artist in Phoenix, I have the privilege of attending many events and participating in awesome and exciting things happening around the Valley all the time. My life is a little more saturated with the types of events people seeking "culture" are looking to be a part of. It's the nature of my job and the work that I do. That being said, it's a lot easier for me to see the culture because I'm a part of the culture. I have been fully emersed into it.
When I visited L.A. for the group show in 2017 I was slightly overwhelmed with the number of artists at the event and the number of people in attendance at an event that started at 10P on a Sunday night. It really got me thinking about my hometown and what our art scene is like. The Fine Art World is not as dense in Phoenix as it is in L.A. but the fun part admit that is that WE get to change and mold the art culture here into whatever we want.
Visiting L.A. is what inspired me to launch a series of Fine Art & Music Tribute Art Affairs in the valley. Anyone who knows me knows that I have this over flowing love of rap music that pours over into my paintings. So it only made sense with me to blend the two into something that was heavier on the visual side and that was new to the valley.
Thus "Beatz & Brustrokes" was born! Beatz & Brustrokes events are something fresh and dope for the entire valley to enjoy. Our first event "Fake Love: Drake Tribute & Art Affair " is taking place Feburary 17th From 9P-1A at Set2wo downtown. We have 3-4 other tributes planned and a while lot of surprises! Our first event is in collaboration with Armelin.Media who immediately feel in love with my concept and wanted to be apart of this new wave of art events gaining in the valley. Support from people like the Armelin Media team is so important if we want to continue to grow as not only an art community, but a community as a whole. They help provide the resources necessary to make events like these successful and allow artists like myself to continue to make a positive impact within our community.
Myself along with Beatz & Brushstrokes and the Armelin Media team are so excited to contribute to the wonderful, beautiful, buzzing and always growing Phoenix Culture. We'll See You On The 17th!