5th Street Paint Supply opens, caters to Phoenix art community

Downtown Phoenix’s newest paint supply store, 5th Street Paint Supply, hosted its grand opening on Roosevelt Row to aid the area’s artists and muralists Sunday.

The store’s introduction corresponds with downtown Phoenix’s growing mural community. Large, colorful murals are proudly painted on historic bungalows, small businesses and even sidewalks around Fifth and Roosevelt streets. For many, the art adds life, color and culture to a bland urban desert landscape.

Local artist JB Snyder purchased a piece of prime real estate just across from Fifth Street’s Lost Leaf, a bar and art gallery, nearly a year ago. The last two months served as the home stretch for the store’s much-anticipated opening.

5th Street Art Supply sits on a hotbed of community activity in the core of Roosevelt Row’s creative district, home to several of First Friday’s most popular bars, galleries and shops.

The store’s owners hope its convenient location will encourage the community to continue creating murals and large-scale art.

5th Street Paint Supply co-owner Zachary Dean Glover said Phoenix’s demand for street-style art extends to curators and business owners.

Since Tempe’s Wet Paint Artist Supply closed in 2012 and Just Blaze City Arts relocated several miles north of Roosevelt Row, the area’s artists haven’t had a store nearby to buy supplies. 5th Street Paint Supply gives artists living closer to the city’s center an opportunity to buy street art materials in bulk for a cheaper price.

Snyder said 5th Street Paint Supply aims to offer a more accessible store to Roosevelt Row residents without a car.

“I’ve lived down here for almost a decade, and I’ve had to go travel to get everything that whole time. ... I always wished there was somewhere to get (paint), but there never has been, so we figured we’d take it upon ourselves and give everyone a place to get their stuff at,” Snyder said.

The store will sell Germany-based company Montana Cans spray paint, a brand Snyder has used for much of his career. It will also supply Krink ink and marker products and apparel from Phoenix-based streetwear brands Soldierleisure and The Heavy Pedal.

Additionally, the store aims to give price breaks to artists buying in bulk.

“The idea is to cater to people who need large or small (canvases), not as a typical paint or art supply store but as something that’s kind of keeping art happening,” Glover said.

Artist Tato Caraveo said he hopes the shop’s location will encourage businesses to commission more artists, a quickly spreading trend in downtown Phoenix.

“It attracts the eye to the business because it’s something to look at other than a blank wall," Caraveo said. "It’s a little more colorful, and the city could use more color."

The store’s relationship with the nearby mural community, combined with its close location, will ensure artists have ease of access to the materials they need, and may help brighten city walls.

“We have a lot of support, a lot of people working to cultivate a good arts scene here,” Glover said.

Reach the reporter at aovnicek@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @aovnicek

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