Brush Monkeys paint wintery scenes around Ann Arbor

Find out who paints the festive scenes around downtown

Painted by the Brush Monekys, blue llamas decorate the Blue LLama Jazz Club in downtown Ann Arbor.
Painted by the Brush Monekys, blue llamas decorate the Blue LLama Jazz Club in downtown Ann Arbor. (Sarah M. Parlette)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Over the course of the past months, wintery scenes have popped up across the windows of downtown Ann Arbor businesses.

Painted in high-quality acrylics, the snowy scenes and cozy critters add a whimsical touch to Tree Town.

But these window paintings don’t come out of thin air. They’re painted by the Brush Monkeys, a collective of professional Washtenaw County-based artists.

The uniqueness paintings and illustrations come from the myriad of styles each Brush Monkeys artist brings to the group-- from illustrative to decorative -- and scenes are painted in collaboration with business owners.

Currently organized by Mary Thiefels of Tree Town Murals, the artists meet up throughout November and December to paint their creations and commissions around the city.

“And we just have a blast! We meet at Avalon typically every morning. We have coffee and I’ll dictate the schedule and put artist teams together that complement each other,” said Thiefels.

She said that the collective has three kits that they take with them as they paint. “And, if we have a good crew -- like six to eight artists -- we’ll be able to paint three to five, sometimes six, businesses in one day.”


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