[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — For First Fridays on Roosevelt Row, getting noticed is practically a mantra. Artists and advertisers take the idea to new heights. Depending on the month, models wearing portable LCD screens advertising products mingle with the crowd. Vehicles touting an energy drink drive loops around the festivities. Groups of people in matching outfits hand out fliers and samples.
In November, promoter Charlie Levy, of Arizona’s Stateside Presents, tried a new tactic to garner attention: Levy hired Tucson-artist Joe Pagac to paint a mural on the western side of Eye Lounge, 419 E. Roosevelt St. “What he’s doing is original artwork,” said Levy, who’s been staging concerts in the Phoenix area for 15 years, from bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to electronica/experimental/folk rock artist Dosh. “A billboard costs multiple thousands of dollars. Joe’s charging me a very friendly rate. And he’s helping to add to the (First Friday) scene,” Levy said.
The monthly First Friday art walk showcases more than 100 venues in downtown Phoenix. It’s packed with artists and vendors selling their canvases, jewelry, incense and CDs, in addition to musical performances, fire-breathers, break-dancers, grass-roots political activists, food stands, and people of all ages and sizes taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. [Note: Read the full article at Artist creates downtown Phoenix First Friday mural, over and over again.]