Week 3

Hi! So this past week I have been doing some more research on the history and I got to interview another artist which I’ll tell you guys about next week (he is part of a crew called Scarce Elementz). One part of the history that I’ll tell you guys about is from “A Historical Overview of Mural” by the Community Rejuvenation Project. The modern graffiti movement was largely identified with the emerging hip-hop culture in New York because some of the pioneers of the movement, such as Phase 2, were also b-boys or hip-hop dancers. Another reason is that these artists such as Phase 2 would make the flyers for DJs associated with the hip-hop culture. Therefore, graffiti became one of the 4 core elements of hip-hop culture as it expanded to a global movement. Because graffiti is mostly illegal and in the 70’s was not largely socially accepted, it was counterculture by definition. Police would beat people who had spray paint, regardless of whether or not they were doing something illegal. The people who were arrested and found themselves in court would often face large fines or even prison sentences. The subway graffiti died down because of these legal efforts, forcing graffiti artists to turn to other pursuits such as murals. Some of these artists include the now famous Keith Haring, who initially created iconic chalk murals in the subway stations but later rose to fame and his art was displayed in galleries around the world.

Thanks for reading this week’s blog 🙂 Next week I’ll talk about some muralist’s I’ve interviewed and what I’m doing for my internship (there is also an event coming up that Murals of Phoenix is hosting so come on out! ).

Week 1 & 2

Hi guys! These past 2 weeks I have been doing some independent research on the history of murals and did some work for Murals of Phoenix. Some of the work I did included taking pictures of some of the new murals in Downtown Phoenix. Last Friday there was an event with a muralist named Isaac Caruso who had people come out and paint whatever was around them that interested them on wooden panels. These people didn’t have to be artists or have any artistic talent it was just normal people painting whatever they wanted. Towards the end of the event I got to interview Isaac and like most other muralists he started at a young age with graffiti but later realized that murals was the happy medium between fine art and graffiti and decided to make a career out of it. He started making serious murals in 2012 when he made a mural to commemorate the ASU project that harvested sunflower seeds for biofuel. He thought the sunflowers added something special to Phoenix so when they were gone he wanted a reminder of what it was like.

I’ve also spent some time reading about controversial murals which is what part of my project is looking at. I will write a blog soon that focuses on this!


Hi! My name is Mayka Galarza and I am currently an intern at Murals of Phoenix. At my school BASIS Phoenix you have the option to work on a Senior Research Project during the 3rd trimester and I have chosen to research muralists in the Phoenix area.

Over the course of this project, I will be interviewing different muralists while they create their murals, take photos of the murals and eventually make my own mural for BASIS Phoenix! I will also be researching the creation process of murals in Arizona and looking at their role in history.

Hope you enjoy my blog!