J. Maizlish Mole is an artist, songwriter and musician.

Me First, Hastings MI (2023)

Painter’s Alley (in progress) and Me First
2023. Hastings, MI. Grafitti wall and 1850 sq. ft. mural.
Commissioned by the Thornapple Arts Council.

Day one, 1 October 2023

Rev understood the assignment. Day one, 1 Oct 2023.

Ground rules, day 1, 1 October 2023

Ground rules, 1 October 2023.

Pink progress, 13 July 2023

Pink progress, 13 July 2023.

Lettering in-fill, 18 July 2023

Lettering in-fill, 18 July 2023.

In progress side view, 25 July 2023

In-progress, side view, 25 July 2023.

Detail: Drip Detail: Me

In progress, 23 July 2023

All content © 2024 J. Maizlish Mole. Website by Moneymouth.
This site is always under construction.

Painter’s Alley is a public graffiti wall established in downtown Hastings MI in the Fall of 2023. Situated in an alley just north of the intersection of Church and State Streets, it is intended as a free and legal graffiti space for local and regional writers and street artists. The project was initiated by building owner Mark Hewitt of Miller Real Estate, coordinated and prepared for public use by myself, and supported and facilitated by the Thornapple Arts Council under the direction of Megan Lavell. It was officially opened for business on 1 October 2023.

The first phase of the project involved the painting of the 1850 sq. ft. mural overhead. The mural was painted over five weeks between 21 June and 27 July, 2023. Due to a delay in the planning and construction of a second wall and painting surface, required for the security of the adjoining property, the mural was completed 9 weeks in advance of the announcement and opening of the graffiti wall. In the interim, the resulting public reaction was a mixture of appreciation, curiosity and pronounced anxiety verging on hysteria, drawing attention from both the local press and regional ABC Affiliate WZZM-13.

The ‘big reveal’, which was to be a literally blank wall, was preempted by overnight contributions from three separate artists in the 36 hours between the completion of site work on Saturday evening and our planned announcement on Monday morning. By Tuesday, there was graffiti from one end to the other.

Since its opening in October 2023, the alley has seen more or less constant use and almost no trouble. It has engendered an emergence of dozens of artists and regular contributors from the surrounding community, as well as attracting the work of visiting artists from nearby cities. It is listed in the international database of free walls at www.legalwalls.net.

The project could not have been completed without the help of Phillips Tax & Accounting, who graciously co-host the site, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, who helped fund the project through its Community Partners Grant, and the generous support of the Hastings DDA. Left side of alley, 1 October 2023

Left side of the alley, 1 October 2023.

Proposal of Second Wall

The proposed second wall, during the interim development period.

The last day of painting, 27 July 2023

The last day on the mural, 27 July 2023.

Work begins, 22 June 2023

Work begins after pressure washing, 22 June 2023.

In Progress, 23 July 2023

In progress, 23 July 2023