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Ann Arbor Spark

July 23, 2019

“Challenge Everything. Change Anything.” Mural Celebrates Art and Creativity in Ann Arbor

A rendering of the “Challenge Everything. Create Anything.” mural by Mary Thiefels, commissioned by Destination Ann Arbor.

ANN ARBOR, MI (July 23, 2019) – Destination Ann Arbor and Wickfield Properties have teamed up with renowned local artist Mary Thiefels to create a mural that celebrates human creativity, ingenuity and curiosity in a playful and illustrative way. Work on the “Challenge Everything. Create Anything.” mural, which will reflect Ann Arbor’s vibrant energy and strong community feel, began this week on the 10- story tall wall of Courthouse Square at 100 South 4th Avenue and is targeted for completion in mid- August. 

“There are four goals we aim to accomplish with this one-of-a-kind mural,” said Mary Kerr, President & CEO of Destination Ann Arbor. “We want to celebrate our local arts community, inspire our residents, make something beautiful in our community, and motivate travelers to visit the Ann Arbor area. We believe we can utilize our local artists like no destination has done before, creating vibrant works of art that capture the unique attitude and voice of Ann Arbor – and give something back.” 

Originally from Ann Arbor, Thiefels founded the award-winning company “Tree Town Murals,” with a mission to create opportunities for transformative art installations. Mary, who also serves on the City of Ann Arbor Public Arts Commission, is working on this project with her husband, Danijel Matanic, who has created large scale murals internationally in Serbia. Together, they have painted murals for the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, McKinley, Corner Health Clinic in Ypsilanti, and more. “Being able to creatively contribute to the fabric of my hometown with Danijel and help continue to grow Ann Arbor’s public art presence is a dream come true,” said Thiefels. 

Artist Mary Thiefels with husband, Danijel.

“Challenge Everything. Create Anything.” is Wickfield Properties’ second mural in Ann Arbor. “We believe art has great purpose and we are excited to partner with Destination Ann Arbor to bring color to this location, which we see as the gateway to the city,” said Brad Hayosh, President/CEO of Wickfield Properties. “We chose Mary for this project as she understands both art and what makes Ann Arbor special; we can’t wait to see the finished product.” 

In addition to commissioning more artwork from local artists in the months and years ahead, Destination Ann Arbor will be creating a mini-documentary series as a part of a larger initiative highlighting local artists and what inspires them about living and working in Ann Arbor and across communities in Washtenaw County. 

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Destination Ann Arbor is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of Washtenaw County through promotion of the area as a destination for day and overnight visitors. www.AnnArbor.org