A new mural decorates the entrance of the Ringwald Theatre. The art was completed by Brian Lacey, also known as detroit_baklava.

A new mural decorates the entrance of the Ringwald Theatre. The art was completed by Brian Lacey, also known as detroit_baklava.

Photo provided by Brandy Joe Plambeck


Ringwald Theatre adds new mural to front of building space

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 11, 2022

 Lacey brings his vision to life while completing his mural at the theater,  which is located inside Affirmations  in downtown Ferndale.

Lacey brings his vision to life while completing his mural at the theater, which is located inside Affirmations in downtown Ferndale.

Photo provided by Brandy Joe Plambeck

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FERNDALE — A new mural inside Affirmations representing the Ringwald Theatre has been completed.

Last year, the Ringwald Theatre officially moved into the local LGBTQ community center, Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, after it left its previous Woodward Avenue space.

The main entrance of the theater faces a parking lot by Withington Street, and to add its own touch, the Ringwald commissioned a mural in the large window space near the door. The money used to commission the art came from a $2,000 grant awarded by the Ferndale Community Foundation.

The aim for the mural is to create foot traffic and bring attention to the Ringwald inside its new home of Affirmations. Ringwald Theatre co-owner Brandy Joe Plambeck called the design “abstract” that integrated with the rainbow Pride colors, which he said also helps describe how the theater represents itself.

“We’re definitely known as somewhat of a gay theater company, but we also do a little bit of everything,” he said. “We’re definitely unique and unusual, and I find the mural to really encapsulate sort of our vibe in that way. It represents Pride, but it represents so much more. It’s abstract and different and unique.”

The concept for the mural was created by Detroit artist Brian Lacey, also known as “detroit_baklava.” Lacey had worked on a mural for Affirmations a couple of years prior, and when the Ringwald moved in, it had to be covered with the theater’s curtain.

“I did draw inspiration from my original mural that is in Affirmations’ space to keep with consistency, but I drew more inspiration from the Ringwald Theatre’s color palette, as well as some complementary colors to just sort of set it off,” he said.

Lacey said the theme of his mural was an abstracted idea of diversity coming together. He finished the mural over several days at the end of April.

“I’m super happy with the finished product,” he said. “I think it set off the facade of Affirmations.”

When the Ringwald moved into Affirmations at the end of 2021, Plambeck said that time was about getting into the theater’s new space and getting grounded. Since the beginning of 2022, he saw this time as more about being seen and people learning the Ringwald’s new location. He called the mural a big part of that idea.

“That back (parking lot) area is really so widely used, and I think that people will just be able to look in and be like, ‘Oh, what’s that?’” he said. “It will catch their eye and make them curious about what’s going on there, which, once again, may sound a little cheesy, but that’s sort of what we’re about. We want people to raise curiosity and interest in people and be a little unusual. And I think that the mural is that in the best of ways. So it helps us to be seen better. It puts us on the map a little bit more. It sort of puts our flag in the ground a little bit more, like here’s where we are and notice us and be curious about what’s going on here.”

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