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Thought-Provokers: Tempe

Phoenix has always had an artistic soul. The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community. Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive. Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Tempe that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Paulina Rios and Olivia Woods

I’m a first generation Chicanx born and raised in California up until 2014 when I packed up a suitcase and bought a one-way ticket to Arizona. I have never looked back or regretted that decision. I’ve dabbled in many different forms of art from pottery to painting to trying to start a band… Read more>>

Christopher Jacobson

I create art and write music to deal with depression, adhd and bipolar disorder. Creating things helps me feel like I belong and a lot of my life I’ve always felt lost. I adore animals, I’m a marijuana activist, a compact disc enthusiast and I adore my fiancé Mikayla who is definitely going to save the world. Read more>>

Amberley Johnson

I was an extremely shy kid growing up and always kept to myself. I basically resided in a world I created in my head, so it was always easier to express myself and those daydreams through art than any other medium. Read more>>

Harper Madi

I’ve been modeling since 2013. A photographer asked me to shoot with him one day, I said yes and that was kind of how it all began. He sent the photos to a few different places for contests & other things, then before I knew it AXE contacted me and asked me to be a model for them. Read more>>

Kendra Sollars

One of my biggest influences in my art is my experience as a competitive and professional synchronized swimmer for 15+ years. I started in the sport at age 8 and and continued through college as a varsity athlete at the Ohio State University, winning both individual and overall national championships. Read more>>

Mario G.

My interest in art mainly stemmed from my parents. All throughout my childhood sewing and all different forms of arts and craft fascinated my mother, while my father was, and still is, heavily involved in the custom car culture, as well as the artwork that is tied into it – Read more>>

Madison Pennisi

I think I got a lot of my creative freedom from living there and exploring the woods Calvin and Hobbes style. I was also a ‘dinosaur kid’…I have specific childhood memories of waking up at the butt crack of dawn to draw velociraptors on my mom’s printer paper. Read more>>

Kevin Cummings

On of my earliest memories is picking up a Nintendo 64 controller. My family was living in Mexico at the time, so I’d never really even seen a game console up until that point. I remember being so blown away by it that I made the decision right then and there that I was going to make video games. Read more>>

Autumn Matney

I guess you could say I became a true artist the first time I drew all over my parents’ new furniture and walls with a permanent marker. I think I was only about three years old, but even at that young age, I had a compulsion to make marks on things. Read more>>

Nick Reynoso

As a child I always enjoyed art, but I never took it very seriously. My family moved when I was entering high school, which caused me to lose any inspiration to produce anything artistic. Read more>>

Astrud Aurelia

I have been a performer for most of my life now with a background in theatre, music, dance, and performance art. I was exposed to many different styles of art from a young age, and I always felt the need to indulge in as many different genres and media as I possibly could- Read more>>

Tony Obr

I think any creative impulse I have has its roots in my insatiable curiosity. I always have had (and still have to this day) a desire to know about everything around me. I can remember as a child wanting to discover what made the world tick, and I think I did this often times, by reverse engineering what others had made. Read more>>

Tireek Cody

I knew that whatever I did it would be something creative in nature, so I worked hard every day to be the best at whatever I do. Now I’m currently a film student at ASU and 1/3 of the rap group “Room 4” that’s currently making waves in the AZ underground. Read more>>

Julie Akerly

The thing is. the idea of moving felt good, but the idea of “dance” felt bad. I was a tom-boy, I didn’t like hanging out with other girls gossiping and talking about boys, I didn’t like sparkles or being on stage, or wearing cowboy boots and pom-poms as a crowd of men hoot and holler at a football game. Read more>>


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