A little over a year ago, I was in Phoenix, Arizona for Imaging USA, the largest annual pro photographer expo and convention in the country (if you’re a photographer, check it out. It’s cool.)

It was in-between leaving my South Carolina home and moving to my Hawaii home, so it was a season of huge transition, both personally and with my business. It was a brilliant week of learning, dreaming, and being inspired — by both the convention and the city. It was my first time in Phoenix, but Arizona has been my favorite landlocked state ever since I drove/car-camped through it on my east-coast-to-west-coast roadtrippin’ adventure a few years ago when I moved to California.

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I love the colors.
I love the ruggedness.
I love the Painted Desert.
I love the starkness.
I love the contrast, and variety, and culture, and I really, really love the Canyons.

After my Imaging week, I also love Phoenix (and not just because they have police car Smart cars and the best vegan restaurant I’ve ever discovered, Green New American Vegetarian.)

When I visit a new city, one of my favorite things to do is to explore the local art scene. I typically spend a lot of time scoping out the art galleries, of course, but getting out and exploring the more hidden art scene of a city is my absolute favorite — the stories and nightmares and dreams and hopes spilled out across city walls in vivid, bold, sometimes garish detail that are so often ignored and passed by without so much as a thought.  Street art.Phoenix Street Art-3

My hostel in Phoenix (Phoenix Hostel) happened to be right in the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District, an eclectic blend of funky culture, gritty urbanism, off-beat boutiques and cafes, and raw talent poured out along the walls and back alleyways, like pages from a journal brought to life.

I spent hours wandering these streets and they were, in my opinion, the best art gallery in Phoenix. I don’t know who the artists are, but I hope they know that their creations are seen and appreciated. And if YOU find yourself lucky enough to be in Phoenix, be sure to visit Roosevelt Row, and Green!

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