If I ever shop my downtown Phoenix mural series around (when it’s done), I won’t include this mural nor any of the other Pabst Blue Ribbon murals currently around Phoenix and Tempe…basically because they’re temporary and on their way out. Thirteen of these murals, all different, showed up in town in mid-May. Several have already been removed and all will be gone by October. This one, which is within a mile of my house, is slated to be removed on August 8. It faces a popular Phoenix blues club, the Rhythm Room.
The murals are part of a 4 year marketing program by Pabst and winners of the contest receive $1,893, symbolic of the year the brand won its blue ribbon, and a year’s supply of the brew. Others of the murals that didn’t win the competition were purchased by Pabst so the artists all received compensation for their work which is certainly a good thing.
Still, the murals don’t have the same “flavor” as the many others around town because they are corporate advertising. Some of the local merchants whose businesses are close to the murals appreciate the artwork but feel “that the corporate sponsorship behind it takes away from the area’s independent spirit.”
One commented, “I’ve seen a lot of other big corporations like Pepsi commission graffiti and installation artists in major cities, and I don’t really agree with it,” he said. “I would prefer not to have giant adverts as a focal point as you enter the arts district.”