The Village Kitchen is located in a little shopping center off Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have probably gotten more comments on this mural than on any other. It is one of my earliest commissions. There are actually two murals at the restaurant, but most people only seem to see the Main Street wall when they come in.
If you look at the mural for any length of time, you’ll start to notice that it is not an accurate depiction of Main Street. This was done intentionally. The owner wanted to include members of her family in the mural, and their associated restaurants. It wasn’t possible to show all the restaurants, so I removed some streets and added a van with one of the restaurant’s names on it so everyone would be included. Even the owner’s daughter is there in her white convertible.
Every mural has its challenges. This one had the large “Village Kitchen” neon sign in the middle of it. I struggled for a long time trying to decide how I could do justice to Main Street in this space without removing the logo. By illustrating the street as if the viewer was standing in the middle, it gave me the perfect perspective to show all the buildings without having the logo cut any of them off. I also decided to paint the street with reflections of the neon sign painted into it…as if it had just rained. This brought warmth and charm to the mural and blended it into its environment. Here’s a detail of the right hand side of the mural.
The second mural shows the West Park band shell with several people enjoying a summer concert. I had a lot of fun with this mural painting in patrons of the restaurant and the owner and her sister walking their two dogs. I’m even in there walking my dog. I hope to get over to the restaurant to get photos of the second mural. But if I don’t, and you want to see the murals in person, be sure to go have breakfast there some day. They serve great food.