DPJ’s Urban Form series looks at the interplay between movement and surroundings through the lens of dancers and architecture in downtown Phoenix.


Dancer Casey Charlton. Photo by Ashley Baker.

“The subtle nature of the unnoticed can be an opportunity to find something exquisite.” – Ashley

It is funny how often I have visited downtown Phoenix, but never noticed these beautiful blue arches, rippling as they emerge from the raised cement on the corner of Washington and 7th Streets. With the sea of beige and gray that covers much of our state, it always makes my heart soar when I enter into downtown and the influx of color floods my palate.

Though I had passed this corner many times and had failed to see this treasure, once it did finally catch my gaze, I was reminded of the little things that make Phoenix special. One of those special qualities is the city’s commitment to art existing everywhere, to infuse color and creativity as part of the everyday landscape, no matter how simple or complex. As dancer Casey Charlton posed beneath this sculpture, she expressed this same notion – that there is simple beauty surrounding us at all times and even in that simplicity, we can often find something truly captivating.