#WaterWrites is a series of public art projects highlighting local and global efforts to heal and strengthen our communities but most importantly to raise awareness about water. A public paint party was held on Sunday, April 28 and the finished wall will be unveiled during First Friday at 4pm on May 3rd.
As the May flowers bloom in Phoenix so does a new community mural in Downtown Phoenix. This 2500 square foot mural is one of a series of 12 murals highlighting local and global water struggles sponsored by The Estria Foundation for Public Arts. In partnership with local and statewide environmental organizations a #WaterWrites mural is growing on the south side of the Valley Youth Theater on 1st Street and Fillmore.
The Estria Foundation teamed up with community organizations; Black Mesa Water Coalition, Tonatierra, PUENTE, The Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, The Valley Youth Theater, and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership to host this mural dedicated to local water conditions. Lead by an amazing team of artists, including Jeff Slim, Kim Smith, Xochitl Enriquez, Angel Diaz, Averian Chee, and members of the Cyphers Center for Urban Art, they are using art as a tool to tell the story of the of the Phoenix watershed.
The Phoenix #Water Writes mural depicts the journey that our water and energy take to get to us. The Navajo Reservation has 2 coal power plants that supply energy to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. These power plants also push water uphill to the Central Arizona Project (CAP). Many of these communities where the water and electricity come from have health problems, high unemployment rate no electricity and no running water.
The right side of the mural proclaims, “Water is Life” and proposes alternatives like wind and solar power, drought-resistant crops, and growing heirloom food. The Aztec rain deity, Tlaloc, is painted in the clouds raining clean water down on the earth and plant life.
The Mural is painted on the South side of the Valley Youth Theater and currently faces an empty lot. The Downtown Phoenix Partnership is working to design the space into a public parklet that will be called “The Space Between”. Ideas are being cultivated to install bike racks, planters, benches, and desert plant life in the space.