Things to do in Mesa #craftychica #mesaarizona

For the love of Mesa!


Things to do in Mesa #craftychica #mesaarizona


For the love of Mesa – you gotta check this out! VisitMesa invited me to explore the city for a day while a camera crew followed me around on my adventure. And what an adventure it was! I’ve lived in Phoenix my whole life and while my grandmother was born and raised in Mesa, I’ve never really explored the area. So yes, I felt very excited to join in the fun!

This series is called For the Love of Mesa and it features different personalities form across the state to share the highlights of the city. Mine was called “culture seeker” and I learned so much about the area and all the artfulness it offers.
Mesa is about 20 miles east of Phoenix is the third largest Arizona city after Phoenix and Tucson. It dates back to the arrival of the Hohokam people – 2,000 years! These days it is a city bustling with art venues, a thriving shopping and dining scene and so much more! 
Here are some of the places I visited! 

Mesa Arts Center

Mesa Arts Center mural by El Mac. #craftychica
Two-story mural by famed street art El Mac for Mesa Arts Center.
If you love contemporary art, check out MAC. This $95 million facility is gorgeous and offers events, classes, museum shows, concerts, festivals and mas. While I visited, I saw the show by the brilliant printmaker, Harold Lohner.
Mesa Arts Center, Harold Lohner show. #craftychica
I also visited the studio and met artist Troy Moody, where he demonstrated a variety of glass fusing techniques. I didn’t want to leave! You can visit MAC for a variety of reasons, but you can also sign up to take classes from artists like Troy, as well as ceramics, painting and more.
Mesa Arts Center glass studio #craftychica

Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea, and Gallery

Jarrod’s is such a fun place to hang out. It’s spacious with lots of quaint areas to feel comfy and cozy. Of course there is a delightful drink menu, but you’ll also find a large selection of handmade art, jewelry, and wearables. The venue also hosts music performances and I noticed game boards for playtime. They practice social distancing, and the staff is happily masked up. And yes – you can meet Jarrod, he is there to welcome you!

Atomic Age Modern

My parents used to have an oil painting like this in our living room. When I entered AMA and my jaw dropped. All things vintage modern and I was there for it! I was supposed to be shooting footage but I shopped! Next thing I knew, I stood at the counter ringing up a vintage Mexican purse and wood carved Mexican bookends. EVERYTHING is one-of-a-kind, so if you see it and like it, buy because chances are it’ll be gone soon and there’s little chance to find another. That was my thinking anyway. So I had no regrets about making my purchases. 

Buckhorn Vintage

And um, dang. I shopped a lot here too. I scored some retro Catholic figurines that I plan to makeover in my studio. You can also find all kinds of old school threads, killer handbags and heels, and lots of framed art. Perfect for upping the vibe on your collage wall!

Moon Dust Farms

Moon Dust Farms is cool because it’s a bunch of smaller stores under one roof. You can find custom built furniture along with small. wood items that are great for crafts. As you stroll through, you’ll find vendors selling Arizona-themed T-shirts and other southwest style home decor items.

So that was the shopping portion of my day, we also took time to wander around downtown to take in all the artful statues. 

Mesa is also known for statement murals painted by local artists. Did I mention the colorful neon signs that light up the area at night?

Those were just some of the sights I took in. Seriously, if you visit Arizona, you have to take out a day for downtown Mesa. Everything is close together so you can cover a lot of territory (and steps!) in an afternoon. From fine art to coffee to shopping and eating, you’ll love. Right now in Phoenix (Feb) the weather is gorgeous.

Thank you to Visit Mesa for inviting me to be a part of this series, it means so much. Check out their web site to see even more details about the area. My Nana Jauregui would be super impressed at how far her city has come. She would have LOVED all of these spots and I kept thinking of her all day.

For the love of Mesa, make it a good one!

Love & light,

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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