Murals Celebrate Mesa's Asian District's Cultures, Commerce and Community

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Three new murals are going up in the Asian District, Mesa, AZ - a one-mile stretch on Dobson Road in West Mesa, roughly between Main Street and Broadway Road. Artists are creating works featuring iconic symbols, animals and flowers tied to many Asian cultures.

The Asian District Community Mural Project aims to celebrate the diversity of cultures, community and commerce that make up Mesa's unique hub comprised of more than 70 restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops and other business services. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the art by taking photos with the murals, learning more about the symbols and their meaning to the culture, and sharing their experiences.

"Mesa's Asian District is not only a destination for those who live here but a great attraction for our entire region," said Mesa Mayor John Giles. "The addition of these murals will be another great way to discover and explore everything the Asian District has to offer."

A colorful collage featuring a dragon, tiger and other cultural symbols - stretching 100 feet wide - can be found at UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, 150 S. Dobson. The owners repainted their building fa?ade to blend in with the mural art so that the art is much more noticeable from the street view.

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"We loved the idea of bringing murals to the Asian District," said Ron Davis, president of UNITS. "It's a positive for the area as it continues to thrive and grow. We're glad to be a part of this project and can't wait for our community to enjoy the art like we are."
Artist Sandra Bosscher sought to create a message of unity for the community. "It's a celebration of diversity through bright colors and movement!"

Across the street, at 111 S. Dobson, a collection of birds and flowers representing the most populous Asian countries will be featured on 15 square columns. In addition, a stunning wall mural will be painted on the north side of the building by Mesa artist Ariana Enriquez. The third mural at AZ International Marketplace, 1920 W. Broadway, will feature a panda family by muralist Francisco Garcia.

The first murals added to Mesa's Asian District - a collection of 13 playful murals featuring the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and a mural of Mekong Plaza by Mesa artist Kadhima Tung - can be seen at Mekong Plaza, 66 S. Dobson.

These murals are part of a larger branding and signage campaign to create awareness of businesses in the area. Street signage along Dobson was updated with the Asian District logo, and several businesses proudly display on their storefronts logoed window clings designed to represent the district's culture, commerce, and community. In addition, several branded banners and utility box wraps recently were installed.

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"The activity and support the Asian District has received has been promising," said Councilmember Francisco Heredia. "This has been a joint effort between the city, businesses, stakeholders, and community leaders. We need and want to continue these efforts to further elevate this diverse and exciting part of Mesa."

In January, the City of Mesa Office of Economic Development put out a call for experienced artists with the ability to capture the vibrancy of a community and produce large murals. More than 30 artists submitted portfolios, and 11 artists were selected to be on the District's Artist Roster.

The artists on the roster are: Sandra Bosscher, Ariana Enriquez, Francisco Garcia, Kai Ekbundit, Steve Kosar/Caroline Woods, Maria Madrid Reed, Lucretia Torva, Kadhima Tung, Juyi Youk and Shela Yu. The roster artists will be considered as additional mural opportunities arise in the Asian District.

Learn more about the artists on the roster and the district on the City's Asian District webpage: www.selectmesa.com/asiandistrict.

Filed Under: Government, City

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