Art & Soul: The Visual Arts - Ann Arbor Artist Gary Horton Brightens The Community With His Art

Jun 10, 2021

Gary Horton standing in front of his No Thai mural.
Credit Gary Horton / Horton Paint Co.

Gary Horton, originally from Ann Arbor, moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1996 to study fine art and design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This is where he developed his unique style and range. 

He talks with Lisa Barry and Omari Rush about his work from murals to beverage cans that can be seen both inside and outside around Washtenaw County and around the state.

While being classically trained in oil painting, Gary Horton would spend late nights in train yards and rooftops learning the forbidden art of graffiti. Today, you can see the influence of these two styles in the community. 

UFO Mural
Credit Gary Horton / Horton Paint Co.


Gary created a mural outside The Circ Bar in Ann Arbor he calls "Not Afraid To Dance." It was inspired by his pandemic experience and is an expression of some of the emotions as a result of the 2020 global health crisis. His art can also be seen on the wall outside the recently former pop-up restaurant "Side Biscuit" in Ann Arbor.

Side Biscuit Buffalo Mural
Credit Gary Horton / Horton Paint Co.


He is currently working on a proposal for Erickson Elementary School to involve students in the creation of a mural and even did art for a Michigan cider maker's can.

Y Town Mural
Credit Gary Horton / Horton Paint Co.


His murals and oversized paintings can be seen across Michigan and beyond. He specializes in bright, colorful, and imaginative designs that help bring joy and wonder to an area that may otherwise be seen as ordinary.

You can check out more of Gary's work at the Horton Party Company website. It can also be seen on Horton Party Company's Facebook and Instagram pages.


**Special thanks to Paul Keller for providing the Art & Soul theme music.**

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at