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A Virtual Tour of Flagstaff, Arizona, Public Art

I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.

A public sculpture in downtown Flagstaff

A public sculpture in downtown Flagstaff

Flagstaff Is A Small City With A Big Appreciation For Public Art

My husband and I always enjoy a good art gallery, and we rarely miss a Flagstaff First Friday Art Walk, when local galleries and other businesses that display artwork stay open late. But we thought we'd focus for a change on art we often walk or drive right by -- the outdoor, public art around town. So we decided one Sunday morning to go for a long walk, taking pictures of the art we'd find along the way.

And we found a lot! Some works we knew were there, while others were unexpected discoveries as we'd round a corner and say, "Hey, there's one!" Like an alleyway mural in the Southside neighborhood and an abstract metal sculpture tucked away in a courtyard on the Northern Arizona University campus. And I know there are pieces we've yet to find, which I'll add when we do.

So if you'd like to take a virtual tour of the open-air artwork around the city of Flagstaff -- some by world-renowned artists, others by those who are just locally-known, some by volunteers and some by anonymous artists, come along with me here.

And put your artistic thinking caps on while you're at it, because I'll want your input on several pieces along the way....

The photo above is one of several PAWS sculptures from the Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth, this one located in Heritage Square, Downtown Flagstaff

Flagstaff Public Art

Flagstaff Public Art

The Lyle Motley Mural At Absolute Bikes

Voted "Best Public Art" by Flagstaff Live in theEditor's Choice Awards

This is one of my favorites, created in 2007 by mountain-biking artist, Lyle Motley, who also painted a mural for Absolute Bikes' Salida, Colorado store in 1999.

It took Lyle two months to complete the Flagstaff mural. We love the details, like the bandaids on the biker's knee and elbow. A closer look along the mural will reveal additional fun details.

The Whole Mural....

Flagstaff Public Art

Flagstaff Public Art

A Time Lapse Video - The mural's creation

This is cool! The video was taken over the two months it took Lyle Motley to paint the mural.

Flagstaff Public Art

Flagstaff Public Art

Joe Sorren Murals

Artist Joe Sorren, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Time and Rolling Stone magazines, grew up in Arizona and started painting in 1991. In 1993, he earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Northern Arizona University.

One of his best-known public art pieces is the 40-foot by 30-foot mural at Heritage Square in Flagstaff, which was completed in September, 2000, after nine months of work. Painted on the curved wall of a parking garage, the mural serves as a backdrop for the Pesto Brothers Restaurant patio.

Titled, "The Veridic Gardens of Effie Leroux," the mural depicts a magical, surreal pond and picnic scene. Effie Leroux "was an early 20th century philanthropist, who created veridic gardens - peaceful places for people to experience with all five senses the possibility of a fuller life." (Quote from SeekingCenter.com ... no longer active)

Several other Joe Sorren murals enliven building walls around downtown Flagstaff, including the Noah's ark painting on the Midgely Building and Flagstaff scenes on the Old Town Shoppes (shown below).

To see more of Joe Sorren's work, visit his website at JoeSorren.com

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Joe Sorren's Mural in Heritage Square, titled, "The Veridic Gardens of Effie Leroux"

Joe Sorren's Mural in Heritage Square, titled, "The Veridic Gardens of Effie Leroux"

Joe Sorren's Mural in Heritage Square, titled, "The Veridic Gardens of Effie Leroux"

Sorren's painting of Noah and his ark on the Midgely Building

Sorren's painting of Noah and his ark on the Midgely Building

Sorren's painting of Noah and his ark on the Midgely Building

Joe Sorren painted this (fading) series of murals above the Old Town Shoppes, formerly JC Penney.

Joe Sorren painted this (fading) series of murals above the Old Town Shoppes, formerly JC Penney.

Joe Sorren painted this (fading) series of murals above the Old Town Shoppes, formerly JC Penney.

Centennial Mural at the Flagstaff Visitor Center

Centennial Mural at the Flagstaff Visitor Center

The Centennial Walk Mural at the Flagstaff Visitor Center

Painted by Navajo artist Redwing Ted Nez in 2010, the 60-foot long Centennial Mural depicts 100 years of Flagstaff history. The mural commemorates the State of Arizona Centennial on February 14, 2012. You can see this impressive piece of public art at the Visitor Center and Amtrak Station along Old Route 66 in downtown Flagstaff.

Read an article about the Centennial Walk Mural and the artist from the Arizona Daily Sun.

A close-up of the Flagstaff Centennial Walk Mural

A close-up of the Flagstaff Centennial Walk Mural

A close-up of the Flagstaff Centennial Walk Mural

Flagstaff Public Art

Flagstaff Public Art

Louis Buchetto Mural On McNabb Jewelers

Fun, colorful and optimistic

Artist Louis Buchetto at one time had his father-daughter gallery and studio a few doors away from this mural, which was donated by the artist and his friends. When completed in 2004, a public party was held and people from all over painted more than 150 flowers along the bottom of the wall.

"When You See Only The Dark Know The Light Will Soon Return"

"When You See Only The Dark Know The Light Will Soon Return"

"When You See Only The Dark Know The Light Will Soon Return"