Artist Matt Aldridge works on a mural at House of Shamrocks, one of three murals going up around the same time in Hazel Park’s John R corridor.

Artist Matt Aldridge works on a mural at House of Shamrocks, one of three murals going up around the same time in Hazel Park’s John R corridor.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Outdoor murals breathe new life into Hazel Park’s John R corridor

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published September 2, 2020

 “Love and Peace,” by Detroit artist Sheefy McFly, adorns the wall of marijuana shop Skymint.

“Love and Peace,” by Detroit artist Sheefy McFly, adorns the wall of marijuana shop Skymint.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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HAZEL PARK — The flourishing art scene in Hazel Park continues to turn heads with the latest addition of three outdoor murals adorning local businesses.

The murals, which at press time were in varying levels of completion ranging from “done” to “work in progress,” can be found at House of Shamrocks, an Irish pub located at 23420 John R Road; Skymint, a medical and recreational marijuana shop located at 20940 John R Road; and Matt & Mo’s Italian Beef at Doug’s Delight Ice Cream Shop, located at 24110 John R Road.

The mural at Matt & Mo’s was painted by Sierra Kobel, a graduate of Hazel Park High School who also works at the business. Matt & Mo’s specializes in Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches while Doug’s Delight offers specialty ice cream options.

“We’re a mom-and-pop shop that enjoys making people happy through our food,” said co-owner Mo Marzullo, via email. “Our life and most of our food is connected to sports. Most importantly the Chicago Cubs, as well as the Detroit Tigers.”

The murals span two walls on the outside of the building: one on the side facing John R Road, right next to the pickup window, and the other on the side facing Annabelle Street, next to the window where customers place their orders. One mural depicts the left foul line at Comerica Park as a tribute to the Detroit Tigers, while the other depicts the right field foul line at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

“The idea is to have people enjoy taking a picture and tagging us (on social media) in front of the murals with our food and ice cream,” Marzullo said. “The Comerica Park mural will attract pictures with Guernsey Farms Dairy Grand Slam Ice Cream and National Coney Chili Dogs. The Wrigley Field picture will attract many, many pictures with our homemade Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich and Chicago hot dogs.”

Marzullo noted that the murals are privately funded by the company, and that the artist is being compensated for her work.  

“We talk sports all day long with so many of our regulars and new customers,” Marzullo said. “This will be a very fun and positive way to connect and bring people together in our community.”

Over at Skymint, Detroit street artist Sheefy McFly has painted a mural on the front side of the building that depicts a man with brass knuckles and a gold necklace that together spell out the phrase “Love and Peace,” which is also the name of the work.

Laurie Gregory, Skymint’s chief brand and product officer, said in an email that the mural aligns with the company’s core philosophy of changing lives for the better.

“It was important for us that the mural speak to the power cannabis has to inspire change in the hearts, the minds and the bodies of people everywhere,” Gregory said.

She said that McFly is “one of the few streets artists who have successfully crossed over to the international art scene,” and that his portfolio is a “powerful example of how something once deemed ‘counter-cultural’ can become a fully recognized, critically embraced, and popularly celebrated movement.”

Skymint privately funded the project.

The mural at House of Shamrocks, meanwhile, looks to include two hands holding a heart under a crown. It’s being painted by artist Matt Aldridge, and the mural embodies the concepts of love, loyalty and friendship. It’s located on the north side of the building, on the patio wall.

Amy Aubry, a member of the Hazel Park City Council, also serves as treasurer of the Hazel Park Arts Council, which oversees the development of the city’s art scene. She said the outdoor murals are a promising addition to the community, with the potential for more to come.

“Art provides a connection to the community. It can strike emotion and thought. It brings people together. It can be an economic stimulator by bringing people to our community, or it can simply bring a smile to someone’s face. Art is powerful,” Aubry said. “By embracing public art in Hazel Park, including murals, we’re not just impacting the aesthetic of the community and embracing the positive economic impacts, we’re giving people an opportunity to express themselves or to be inspired.

“That’s what these murals do,” she said. “For me, Matt & Mo’s invokes nostalgia. Skymint invokes a moment of calm — thinking about love and peace and taking a moment to be grateful. And the House of Shamrocks reminds me of the Irish roots in my family. It’s different for everyone, and I’m excited for these new murals, and anxious for more.”

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