This past Friday the second annual “Homegrown Art Show” took place highlighting the creative minds of artists from the southside of Phoenix.

The art show took place at The Sagrado Galleria located at 6437 S. Central Ave. where artists of different disciplines showcased their work to their community in a space that is rarely afforded. This is what motivated the organizer of the event, Briana Erran, a 20-year-old artist from South Phoenix.

Erran grew up not too far away at her grandma’s house right off of Central Avenue. “I was raised surrounded by the southside and love that no matter where I go there’s some type of story and piece of history surrounding it.” This environment shaped her art, rooting it in the murals, lowriders and the fashion of the people she saw.

Briana Erran, a 20-year-old artist from South Phoenix. (Photos by Raphael Romero Ruiz)

When it came to show her community her creations, there was no place to do so, she said. “There hasn’t been a real strong outlet for our creatives and I wanted to be the foundation for that to begin,” said Erran and thus, the Homegrown Art Show was birthed.

Attendees were able to enjoy live music and graffiti as well as local food and art vendors. The art ranged from photography to canvas paintings to anime-inspired clothing painted on with acrylic.

For many creatives, this is their first opportunity to introduce to people their work to their friends, peers and their neighbors. Others have already created a digital space for themselves and use this event as a way to connect with their fans in person. This juxtaposition creates a dynamic environment where people can interact and learn from each other.

Erran wanted to create a safe-space for creatives to come together in one place to socialize and network.  “My biggest goal from the shows I throw are the connections made from everyone interacting with each other,” Erran said.

One of those creatives is Cesar Hernandez, a 20-year-old photographer also from South Phoenix. Born in Mexico, but raised on the southside since he moved here at the age of seven, he says that he has embraced every aspect of the city and considers it home.

Hernandez was able to share with his community his work, something he says helps him grow as a creative. “To be able to display your art around people with similar backgrounds as yourself and for it to be appreciated makes me feel overjoyed and only inspires me to keep pursuing the art form,” Hernandez said. The opportunity allows him to be proud of his work as he said as he is the number one critic of his art.

He said that events like these shed a different perspective on the community. “South Phoenix can sometimes be seen as a place to stay away from, especially from people who don’t know it well,” Hernandez said, “In reality, it’s just like any community. It has a rich culture, great sense of family values, and people of all backgrounds and pursuits.”

The art show also offers a space for local businesses to come in and leave a footprint in the community. La Purisima Bakery was in attendance selling pumpkin spice conchas and other pan dulces, paralleling the Latinx culture represented in the art.

Armando Arellano, is the son of La Purisima’s owners and is continuing his families work, bringing it into the digital age. ”[The art show] helps small businesses to promote themselves and get introduced to a new audience,” he said. Arellano said that these community events are essential for the growth of young artists, and do the job of giving a much needed platform for exposure.

Erran plans on continuing organizing the event. “I want to help spread the word about how South Phoenix is a place filled with the arts and that we should be known and highlighted for our gifted community.”