We are taking you on a tour of the wife and mother’s most influential recreations of historical figures.
ROYAL OAK, MI — Michigan muralist Desiree Kelly enjoys creating art that bridges the gap between generations.
As a local artist, she’s known for painting iconic politicians, entertainers, and thought leaders with punchy, vibrant colors that catch the eyes of passersby.
“It gets everybody involved in these historical figures,” Kelly told The ‘Gander. “Not just people who were alive at the time, but people who are young and into really cool art but [they] also get that historical element.”
She has showcased influential people of today, like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and brought back to life figures from Aretha Franklin to Abe Lincoln to JFK around Michigan.
We’ve put together a tour of some of her most influential pieces on display.
1. Abe Lincoln
VFW Hall – 214 E. 14th Street, Royal Oak
“I think the Abe Lincoln is always the starter, how you dive into my work,” the muralist and mom said.
“[My art uses] these political public figures [and] adds a different personality to connect them to the community. I add a lot of playful elements, like colorful glasses and sort of graffiti backgrounds to tie in the two.”
2. John F. Kennedy
VFW Hall – 214 E. 14th St., Royal Oak
“[He] has the kaleidoscope glasses that I do. They bring something new and today to something from the past,” said the native of Detroit’s Eastside.
3. Aretha Franklin
Zeff’s Coney Island, Eastern Market – 2469 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
4. Directors David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock & Spike Lee
Alger Theater – 16451 E Warren Ave., Detroit
“I’ve partnered with Alger Theater to sell limited edition prints (25 of each) of the murals, which you can ONLY buy on their website at www.algertheater.org. 100% of the proceeds benefit the theater,” Kelly said on her Instagram page.
5. Spain Elementary-Middle School
“That’s the perfect spirit to have in this space.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Check out Ellen’s reveal of the space below.
All photos courtesy of Desiree Kelly.