Arts and Culture

Murals in Tempe, Arizona

Discover Tempe, Arizona’s amazing murals with a self-guided tour.

We seek out art for different reasons, to inspire us, to make us laugh, to give us a new perspective, or just to help us appreciate the beauty that exists all around us. Tempe is a city that showcases the arts, from live theatre to concerts to museum exhibitions. It’s also a place where art shows up in unexpected places.  Check out the City of Tempe’s public art collection and you’ll be amazed at the creativity all around the city. 

Discover murals all over the city and get to know the talented Arizona local artists behind each masterpiece. You will find murals around every corner in Tempe, often tucked away in neighborhoods, so a bike or car ride is the best way to see all of them. 

“Get Together Tempe” by Morgan Delaney (@____morganic

Where to find: Northeast corner of McClintock and University Drives

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We love getting together in Tempe and we especially love getting together in front of this amazing mural. This piece of art is located on the west wall of Social Hall, a local favorite for cocktails and American and Southwestern fare.   

We chatted with the Social Hall team to discuss how the mural came about. “The mural was designed for us by AWE Collective, a marketing company based in Tempe. We presented the design to Morgan [Delaney], as she was also local and worked at Four Peaks in Tempe, and she agreed to take on the project. The whole thing took about two weeks to complete. It involved me on a 25-foot scissor lift on my tip-toes taping off for the painters, which I will never forget,” says Mike Kenney, Owner/Operator of Social Hall. “The purpose for the mural was to turn a big ugly wall into something nice to look at. A lot of people told us we needed a sign out front so that people would know we existed, because we are really hidden from the street,” Kenney continues. “The problem I had with that was, okay let’s say we put up a Social Hall sign, well we still have an ugly wall. I don’t want to go to a place called Social Hall with a big blank wall out front. So instead, we felt that turning it into a big piece of artwork would be more appreciated by the community and could still serve the purpose of letting people know we exist.” Well Mike, we LOVE it and can’t tell you enough how much we’re obsessed with it.  

Before heading to happy hour, brunch or a fun night out, catch yourself setting up your Insta-moment at “Get Together Tempe”.  

“The Tempest Mural” by Erik Rennick 

Where to find: The Tempest Hotel on University Drive between Dorsey Lane and McClintock Drive. 

The Tempest Hotel Tempe at ASU underwent renovations and brand change in 2019 and with that, they wanted to introduce a cool feature at their hotel, a mural! Local artist Erik Rennick partnered with the owners of The Tempest in the concept and wanted to do something that was “so Arizona” and a welcome piece as guests enter the lobby. We love catching all the little details you can find in the mural piece (like native Arizona animals and the iconic Hole in the Rock trail).

“Meet Me at Daley Park” by Jake Early (@jakeearly

Where to find: On College Avenue between Broadway Road and Apache Boulevard

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Painted in 2018, Jake Early’s tribute to Tempe, “Meet Me at Daley Park,” showcases the city’s history at 400 feet. When Early was designing this mural, he connected with the neighborhood adjacent to the park, which inspired the name of the mural. He really wanted to “create a digital history [timeline] of this neighborhood, at that time of the mural to roughly 100 years ago.” A notable part of the mural is the Arizona flag bookended by Pecan trees which would have been in the area. “Roughly 100 years ago, Arizona had just come into statehood, so my placement of the Arizona flag is a nod to that,” says Early. He chuckles as he describes the history and how then “students were riding bikes and listening to music on wired earbuds, and now they’re listening on [Airpods].” Because the piece is so big and features many vignettes, the photo opportunities are endless! He painted this mural in 12 weeks after a couple of delays, including breaking his arm just nine days into the project!  Fun fact: it was the City of Tempe’s second public mural commission.  

“AMERICA. AMERICAN. AMERICANS.” by Jake Early (@jakeearly

Where to find: Mill Avenue between 13th Street and Broadway across from Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital

Jake Early crossed paths with the couple who owns the home owning the wall where the mural is located. They weren’t a fan of the previous mural and wanted something more to their liking. When they reached out to Early to create their mural, they allowed his creative freedom, but requested that he made it “provocative.” Jake challenged himself with concepts and his idea hit to him with the release of a photo from the White House. Early said, ”it was a photo of a group of 40 men in suits and woman sitting with her feet up on the couch… in the Oval Office.” He thought to himself, “my friends and family don’t look like this.” So, he wanted to create a mural that spoke. This mural was completed in just four days! (INSANE – those portraits are amazing!) You’ll see three diverse individuals: his bi-racial nephew, his friend who is a Native American woman born in Arizona and his Indian American friend who was born in Los Angeles. He loves this mural and hopes you’ll continue to capture photos of it and tag him on Instagram @jakeearly

Jake Early just unveiled his latest mural at Broadmor Elementary School that he’d love for you to check out as well!

“Woman in a Dream” by Clyde Thompson (@clyde_graffitiartist

Where to find: Mill Avenue and 9th Street on the back side of University Inn & Suites 

Clyde Thompson has become known for producing large scale murals featuring dreamy women and using shades of teal blue. This piece is the first of his “Woman in a Dream” series. We chatted with Clyde and got the scoop on this beautiful piece. “That was my first 2 story mural. It had caused a little trouble since it was done without permission. However, the owner of the University Inn liked it enough to keep it, and also hired me to paint a mural for one of his restaurants, which is how I began doing commissioned murals and pursuing art as a career.” He said, “Woman in a Dream” was “painted in one day, which is why it may come off as unfinished.” We think it’s incredible. Clyde mentioned he does do a lot of commissioned work, which you can see on his website. He also has several pieces located at the Danelle Plaza on Mill Avenue and Southern Avenue.  

“Don’t Wake the Dreamer” by Lauren Lee (@mslaurenlee

Where to find: Hardy Drive and 5th Street next to Jaycee Park

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The artist of this piece, Lauren Lee, is sought out by businesses owners and city entities alike for incredible mural pieces of various sizes. “Don’t Wake the Dreamer” is a 153-foot-long mural where you’ll find a sweet trend of beautiful birds and whimsical pink blooms amongst a beautiful Dreamer. What’s lovely about this is how many ways you can capture it. You can capture its beauty with a panoramic photo or frame your shot by the pink blooms, the Dreamer or the birds. The choice is yours.  We recommend taking Hardy north from University Drive to see it on your right-hand side. Fun fact: this piece was the City of Tempe’s first public mural commission. 

“You Are Amazing” by Jayarr (@jayarr.art

Where to find: Beck Avenue south of University Drive at the corner of Beck Avenue and Laird Street.  

This vibrant mural has one important message: “You Are Amazing.” Jayarr is most known for putting this message on colorful triangles found in several locations all over the valley, such as Daily Jam, a Valley Metro train, and the ground floor of ōLiv Tempe Apartments. What a lovely message to see all over the city!  

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Tag us in your photos @TempeTourism or use #OurTempe.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about these pieces and get an opportunity to see them and discover others along the way. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos @TempeTourism or use #OurTempe and #TempeMurals. 

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Written Rachel Semik

Lover of all things social media and staying in the know, you'll find Content Strategist/ASU Alumni, Rachel out devouring ice cream sandwiches and tasting her way through Tempe's margarita scene.

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