Valley of the Suns art show blends fashion and fandom
PHOENIX — Fashion meets Phoenix Suns fandom with the “Valley of the Suns” art show inside the Manor in Uptown Phoenix. The popular clothing store is known for featuring the hottest styles but right now it’s spotlighting local creatives.
Manor’s owner, Jeremy Davis, opened the store’s brick-and-mortar location in Uptown Plaza, Phoenix’s first and oldest shopping center, in the Spring of 2016. Davis, an ASU alum, describes Manor as a store that is telling the Arizona story through footwear and apparel.Vionic Sneakers The art show was curated by local artist and sneakerhead Isse Maloi who helped turn the boutique into a Suns-centric art gallery. Maloi and Davis have teamed up in the past to help give artists who don’t usually have a platform to showcase their work the opportunity to do so in the heart of Phoenix.
From a watercolor of Steve Nash’s bloody nose from the 2007 playoffs to a portrait of Chris Paul, the pieces throughout the store are inspired by Suns players past and present with a variety of different mediums featured. All of the pieces currently displayed inside the store are available for purchase directly from the artist with QR codes under the pieces that redirect to the artists’ Instagram pages.
Maloi’s piece is inspired by Suns center, DeAndre Ayton, and his native Bahamas. Maloi says after visiting the islands and seeing several goat herders, he wanted to reimagine a goat herder as a basketball player or NBA fan. You can find more of Maloi’s work on his Instagram page: @numb_dog_millionaire.
The piece created by Cesar “Ize” Alatorre-Mena features Suns star Devin Booker in a pop art style using a stencil and spray paint. The piece is inspired by Phoenix Suns Topps cards from the early 1970s with Ize’s signature polka dots and a playful teardrop coming from Booker’s eye. You can find more of Ize’s art throughout the valley at Lucky’s, Ajo Al’s, and on his Instagram page: @ize_official.
Jerome “Kulorbandit” Fleming moved to Phoenix from the Bay Area to pursue art 30 years ago. Kulorbandit describes his art as “abstract geometric.” The piece he submitted for the Valley of the Suns art show is a digital illustration inspired by Suns forward Cam Johnson titled ‘CAMpri Sun.’ The piece depicts Johnson with lemon-patterned Nikes in his teeth.
The lemon detail is a nod to Johnson making good on his Vasque Shoes Super Bowl bet with teammate and noted L.A. Rams fan, Mikal Bridges, by opening a lemonade stand for fans back in February. You can see more of Kulorbandit’s work on Valley Metro, at The Gallery at CCA located inside Chandler Center for the Arts, and at his Instagram page: @kulorbandit.Davis showing love to local artists and Suns players like Johnson and Ish Wainwright have been showing their support for Manor with their game day outfits throughout the season. Johnson was photographed in Manor’s blue and grey tracksuits along with a pair of Suns shorts Manor released in collaboration with Mitchell & Ness.
From the apparel to the artwork, the pride of place is on full display inside Manor in Phoenix and Davis is grateful for the response to this community collaboration at his store.