By Ava Hiniker
Photo by Ryan David Bengford
Muralist Taylor Victoria made her mark on 32nd Street after recently crafting a mural for the Black Rock Bouldering Gym. Located just south of Shea Boulevard, the gym contains a plethora of sizable workout spaces and rock climbing walls that contribute to the building’s large size. Each wall is blessed with a substantial scale that begs for attention as a gifted artist’s canvas. With paintbrush in hand and mind set on a goal, Victoria got to work.
“Murals are a great way to display who you are in a visually appealing way,” says Victoria. “When executed intentionally, it can serve as excellent marketing for your business, too! The art often draws a lot of attention and may even become a destination site. In other words, ‘If you paint it, they will come!’”
The mural took an astonishing 60 hours to paint, in addition to the time spent designing and planning. Standing 22-feet tall and 51-feet wide on the northern wall of the gym, the monumental masterpiece takes inspiration from a classic Arizona landscape. Victoria uses bright teal skies to contrast the earthy orange tones, making up the painted desert rocks. She inserts an occasional Saguaro cactus to tie the scene together in the eyes of every native Arizonian. The mural also features bold white writing that simply reads “Climb On,” serving both as a loveable nod to the home of the piece and a supportive mantra that promotes perseverance and determination. Altogether, the eye-catching mural can transport its audience into the colorful, serene landscape it depicts and works as a perfect spot for any social media worthy selfie. Thanks to Victoria, the community now has an extra dash of bright flair and incredible scenery.
“We felt we had a unique opportunity to add some color to a fairly ‘blank slate’ of a wall, and Taylor’s incredibly positive attitude and beautiful approach to her artwork made it an easy decision to partner with her on a mural for the North 32nd community,” says Chris Dodge, owner and founder of Black Rock Bouldering Gym. “So many of our neighbors frequently pass our facility on their daily commute, we wanted something that complemented the naturally beautiful backdrop of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve while motivating and inspiring our community to ‘Climb On’ when things get tough. At the very least, we hope it helps people smile as they pass by.”
This is hardly Victoria’s first mural as she began her art career when she was just 19. “I had a strong connection to art ever since I was a child,” she says. “My art journey is something that continually brings me joy. I never thought it would be something I could make a full-time career out of and I feel very fortunate to be living out my passion each and every day.”
Victoria uses this passion presently to design all kinds of portraits, shirt decals and henna tattoos. However, murals have proven to be the most unique in what they can achieve for local businesses like Black Rock Bouldering Gym. Though some murals are initially designed as ways to support local businesses, all of Victoria’s art pieces can do so much more by adding an extra dash of beauty to spaces and communities across the Valley.
Currently, she has eight new murals lined up for residential clients, schools, and local businesses. To see her journey as she continues to produce breathtaking artwork, follow her Instagram @Taylor.Victoria.Art or her Facebook page at Facebook.com/Art.Taylor.Victoria. You can also see her work at TaylorVictoriaArt.com.
To learn more about Black Rock Bouldering Gym, visit blackrockbouldering.com. Follow the gym on Facebook @BlackRockBouldering, where you can see a video of the mural’s creation.