Arizona artist spotlight: Mary Shindell

Published: 12/29/2023
Updated: 01/02/2024

Meet Phoenix-based artist Mary Shindell featured in our Public Art of Greater Phoenix Exhibit

What do you love most about being an artist in Greater Phoenix?

I love being an artist in Phoenix because the metropolitan area has so much activity involving the creation and enhancement of public spaces. There is an energy that surrounds new projects and it includes the fact that there is an expanding appreciation for artwork that creates visually interesting places for residents.

What role do you think arts and culture plays in our community as a whole?

Arts and culture play an increasingly important role in our community as they are becoming more integrated into the places we use every day. Original visual art by local and national artists can be seen in light rail stations, parks and many public and private buildings around the valley.

What advice do you have for artists wanting to get involved in the local art scene?

I always tell artists to look around at what is happening in various areas of metro Phoenix. Look at the museums and art centers but also look at what artists are doing for themselves in small galleries which are scattered in different parts of the valley. Try to get your work seen by exhibiting it whenever and wherever you can.

What famous artist, deceased or living, would you most want to have dinner with, and what local restaurant would you take them to?

Louise Nevelson, I would take her to F&B restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. It is near her piece, Windows to the West, at the Civic Center. We could have wonderful food and talk about the transition from studio art to public art. We could explore the way public art comes out of our studio experiences with materials like wood and paper and how it evolves into large scale public artworks of metal and concrete.

When you’re in a creative slump, where do you turn to for artistic inspiration?

I am surrounded by the Sonoran Desert and since I am most creative when I am working, I start drawing something I am interested in, like plants or terrain that I pull from the desert. Usually that will lead me to an idea and a format that will push me forward.

Contact Mary:

Email | Website

Acrylic Painting
7,500 sq. ft.

Riverview Park and the Rio Salado Multi-use Pathway
Mesa, AZ 85201





Walk in the Park
Tile Mosaic
8,500 sq. ft.

1801 East Palomino Drive
Tempe, Arizona





Mesquite Bosque
4′ x 64′

Bell Road and 94th St.
Scottsdale, AZ

Entrance to Bell94 Sports Park.





4′ x 32′

Las Palmaritas and 19th Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona




Visit Public Art of Greater Phoenix to see 30+ original art pieces by 20+ Arizona artists

Editor’s Note: This blog has been lightly edited for length and clarity.