How many of you use Instagram to find inspiration? I discovered Kelsey Montague’s art from one of my followers. Since then, I have tracked down all her pieces in the Washington, DC Metro area. I promise to share her spots in a future article along with other pockets of art by local DC artists. Kelsey is global and I look forward to hunting down her artistry in each city.
For now, let’s focus on Kelsey’s brilliant murals in Arizona. I will do my best to provide you the whereabouts, but you will need to do your part with some walking around a mall or up a city street to track down her masterpieces. Don’t worry, their brilliance is hard to miss!
When I toured with @visitphoenix recently, my art-walk was quite the fun scavenger hunt. Details to track down these instawalls to come. But first, while in downtown Phoenix, I toured by pedicab and came across some amazing local talents. If you want to do the same, make sure to book with Billy Oxford, AZPC. You’ll see the best of the city and be prepared to receive friendly waves from passersby.
Second, here’s a sneak peek of a gem Billy will share with you. This is my favorite from downtown Phoenix.
And now back to Kelsey … Along with her use of color and technique, I love Kelsey’s philosophy on murals and art in general. She believes art is not separate from the human experience, and that the human experience should help create art. It’s easy to see her philosophy incorporated into her work.
Look at this beautiful butterfly. You’ll find this beauty at the Tanger Outlets Phoenix in nearby Glendale (where the Arizona Cardinals football team plays). If the Arizona heat has you preferring to drive rather than walk, you’ll find this winged creature near one of the entrances. Happy wall hunting! #WhatLiftsYou
Unfortunately, this mural was in its cocoon stage when I visited. Fortunately, the gorgeousness is very evident. This butterfly is right next to the Apple Store inside the Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Scottsdale Fashion Square Wings is at Chandler Fashion Center. The balloons are so fanciful; I really look like I’m being lifted. Kelsey’s bold use of color is the perfect juxtaposition to the desert landscape.
Yes, blowing bubbles! This whimsical interpretation of the iconic child’s toy is right outside at the San Tan Mall across from Macy’s.
How about this cactus? It’s a saguaro and native to Arizona. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona. You’ll find this needle-less gem at Biltmore Fashion Park.
Given the spectacular desert night sky and the stars on the mural, I’m going with Orion’s Belt. This celestial wonder is at Arrowhead Towne Center in nearby Glendale. Look closely and you’ll find a saguaro cactus.
I never thought about shopping malls as hosting so much public art like these murals. It makes perfect sense, though, doesn’t it, given the Phoenix climate and the influence of Mexican culture in the area.
Not only do I highly recommend touring the murals in Phoenix, I suggest you do so on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Shopping is a popular weekend activity. Also, best to do your mural hunting early in the day or at end of daylight. Bring a good camera, pack a water bottle, and remember that shade is your friend.
I hope I inspired you to seek out more of Kelsey Montague’s work. You might want to see if your city or county hosts a part of her repertoire. I love her interactive art pieces and that I could be part of her beautiful art murals.