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Local Artists Support Local Businesses In Ann Arbor With Annual Holiday Window Art

Danijel Matanic

They call themselves "The Brush Monkeys," and, every year for the past 15 years, they have created art in downtown Ann Arbor business windows hoping to boost local shopping efforts.  Despite the pandemic and more shopping online due to health concerns, the Brush Monkeys still created their annual window displays this year.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to one of them, also the co-founder of TreeTown Murals, Mary Thiefels, about this year's effort.

Mary Thiefels
Credit Novemberista's Crew / treetownmurals.com
Mary Thiefels, artist and founder of Treetown Murals

Public art has been a mainstay in Ann Arbor during the pandemic, including during this holiday season. Thanks to a group of local artists who call themselves “The Brush Monkeys”holiday window art was created this year around downtown Ann Arbor despite the pandemic. 

Credit Danijel Matanic
Reindeer art by the Brush Monkeys.
Credit The Brush Monkeys
Art by the Brush Monkeys at the Blue LLama Jazz Club.

Mary Thiefels is one of the Brush Monkeys and is also co-founder of TreeTown Murals.  She said outside art has meant they can continue to share creativity around Ann Arbor.

Credit The Brush Monkeys
Lobster art by the Brush Monkeys.
Credit The Brush Monkeys
Lobster art by the Brush Monkeys.

She said they partnered with Ann Arbor businesses to bring visibility to their downtown storefronts especially during the pandemic when people are shopping more online.

Credit The Brush Monkeys
Snowman art by the Brush Monkeys.


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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 lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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