“An Elevated View” The Irwin Building Murals

Irwin elevated

Painted in a two story staircase, this mural depicts Ann Arbor as it appeared in 2001. The mural highlights the city at the magical moment when the sun turns everything to a golden glow. In order to give the viewer a comfortable place to stand visually, I recreated the walls and stones from the UofM Law Library. The wall of the library breaks open (with the magic of paint) to reveal the city around it. You can see the scale of the painting from the photo of me standing in the corner. The mural wraps around the staircase to create a seamless view of the city from an elevated perspective. One of the most dramatic parts of the mural is actually in the lower level. The staircase descends to an iron bar window. Which is also patterned after windows found in the University of Michigan Law Quad. The following photos show details from the staircase mural.

5-Irwin Building




The Irwin Building contains several murals and works of art that were commissioned by the owner. The second largest mural is of St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. I am only able to show portions of this mural due to the narrow hallway.

St Andrews.jpg


Another work is a hand-painted glass globe of Michigan birds. This was done in a similar fashion to the stained glass windows in the staircase window. The glass globe is in the main room of the “museum” on the second floor of the building.


bird light2.jpg

The Irwin Building is closed to the public. But tours are possible if arranged through the owner Jim Irwin.

Katherine Larson

Katherine Larson is a graphic artist, muralist and classical singer from Dexter, Michigan.