Keene was chosen from among 18 local artists who applied for the $10,000 commission to paint the mural, which is 8’ tall x 24’ wide. “Ken had the ability to capture the landscape in a visually stunning and complex way that will make a huge impact on customers that enter the store” said Bo Wachendorf, Art Project Manager for Fry’s Food Stores. The mural is a celebration of the Sonoran Desert and the natural beauty of the state tree, the Palo Verde.
“Fry’s has become a leader in bolstering community connections between private development and the arts through mural commissions like this one,” said Carrie Brown, Deputy Director of the Office of Arts and Culture, which helped to coordinate the process Fry’s used to select the artist.
Kenneth Keene has painted murals around the Valley of the Sun for 35 years. He is a graduate of Arizona State University and former art teacher in Glendale and Peoria, AZ. A professional artist, Keene’s major endeavor has been to create murals that enhance interior spaces while magnifying a specific or unique quality of the location. He enjoys representing the beauty of nature and content that celebrates all life. “I believe that my success as an artist is dependent on the viewer’s ability to take something away that is completely their own,” said Keene.
About Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture was established in 1985 to champion and sustain the City’s arts and culture community to make Phoenix a great place to live, work, and visit. The Office is advised by the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission, made up of a diverse group of citizen volunteers with a particular area of focus on policymaking and financial recommendations for public art and grant investments for the City. For more information on the Office of Arts and Culture, visit phoenix.gov/arts. F