Pleasant Ridge Adds Public Art with Two New Murals

Pleasant Ridge Adds Public Art with Two New Murals

(Lara Mossa, June 22, 2019)

PLEASANT RIDGE, MI – Two local artists have brightened up the public spaces of Pleasant Ridge. The city commissioned Rich Ayers of Hazel Park and Ouizi of Detroit to paint murals in two different parts of town.

Originally from Los Angeles, Ouizi painted a floral scene on the exterior wall of the community center on Ridge Street.  A liquid painter, she completed the 200 square foot mural in May. The city had recently built a new patio and remodeled the event space at the center, which is rented out for parties. The city celebrated its 100th birthday with a party and unveiling of the newly remodeled space.

“We had a large blank wall that seemed like a natural fit for a mural,” City Manager James Breuckman said. “It’s gorgeous. Everybody loves it. We’ve gotten some great feedback on both of them.”

Ouizi, a renown artist, does indoor and outdoor murals all over the country, Breuckman said.

Ayers, 33, painted a scene of the Northern Lights on a wall at Pleasant Ridge Dog Park. Roughly 40 feet wide by 5 feet tall, the mural is in between the Kensington Street alley and I-696. A screen printer at Armadillo Printwear of Berkley, he completed the mural this month.

“A lot of people seemed to be really happy that I added some color to that space,” Ayers said. “They were saying that they thought something should be done with that for a while.”

Bricks had started falling off the façade of the wall in the dog park, and it was too expensive to fix, Breuckman said.

“We thought murals would be a good way to dress up those spaces and add some interest to the dog park,” he added.

Formerly a professional photographer and graffiti artist, Ayers enjoyed working on the project and interacting with people at the scene, he said. Using spray paint, he drew silhouettes of trees and pictures of dogs.

“I’m trying to give back,” Ayers said. “It’s fun to see people get really excited about what you’re doing. Generally, people are really nice when you’re doing this. They come up and talk to you and want to know your story. It’s really fun for me.”

With a graphic design degree from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Ayers said painting is liberating.

“I’m able to create a world that I’m completely immersed in,” he added.

The art projects cost $6,000. Although nothing is specifically planned, the city intends to add more public art to other places, Breuckman said.

More info:

Artist Richard Ayers

Artist Ouizi

Oakland County Times Pleasant Ridge News Page

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