The artist from East Lansing paints massive, vibrant murals on doorways, walls and trash cans

EAST LANSING, Michigan – East Lansing artist Adrienne Gelardi makes a name for herself with large, bright, bold murals on garage doors, sides of shops, trash cans, and even her van. You name it, she will paint it.

Lauren Shields 2021

It started with cartoons.

“I loved cartoons as a kid … I really started drawing a lot of cats,” Gelardi said.

And this love lasted.

Gelardi and her cat

Lauren Shields 2021

“I actually studied traditional animation at Columbia College in Chicago,” she said.

A Michigander at heart, Gelardi returned after graduation.

A Michigander at heart, Gelardi returned after graduation.

“I worked with a company in Detroit for a few months to work on a pilot for a series, but that kind of job is, it’s just like that, you have a few months to work, then you have to look for someone else Job. So I decided really early on that I wasn’t that into the freelance thing, and I was looking for that corporate job to get all these Bennies, “laughed Gelardi.

That changed in 2018.

“The job in the company is like destroying souls”,

“The job at the company is overwhelming,” said Gelardi, “so I decided to do the opposite and started freelance full time in 2018.

“What happened was, I bought this house and then I had to paint the whole house myself, and when I finally got to the front door I thought, ‘You know what, I didn’t pick a crazy color for the house, I’m going to be one Paint crazy paint on the front door, ‘”Gelardi said.

Gelardi found that she hated the color. She thought it was Chartreuse. It looked “school bus yellow”.

Gelardi's front door

Lauren Shields 2021

“So I thought, ‘Let’s see what I can do to spice this up,’ and I painted this white line drawing of dahlias on my front door. That was the first door, ”she said.

It wasn’t the last. Gelardi posted her door on Facebook where the reaction she got made her think, “I have to run into something.”

“I mean, if we combine all of the doors, garage doors, and murals, maybe 100,” Gelardi guessed.

She was. She has since commissioned, “I mean, if we combine all of the doors, garage doors and murals, maybe 100,” estimated Gelardi.

Deidre Garlock is one of Gelardi’s customers. Your garage door is covered in brightly colored sunflowers.

Deidre Garlock is one of Gelardi’s customers. Your garage door is covered in brightly colored sunflowers.

“I found out about her from a friend in Grand Ledge who had her garage door done and I said, ‘I have to have it!’ said Garlock. ‘I said,’ How about sunflowers? ‘ and she said, ‘I can do that.’ “

Garlock gets a lot of attention from passers-by, “Compliments, horns, people roll down their windows. ‘I love your garage door!’ “

Gerlardi’s latest project is a huge mural on the side of the Studio Shop in Williamston, which she started last summer. Owner Will Long said he’d wanted a mural next to his shop for a while, and it clicked when he saw Gelardi’s artwork online.

Owner Will Long said he’d wanted a mural next to his shop for a while, and it clicked when he saw Gelardi’s artwork online.

“Your shadow and detail work really stands out from any other I’ve seen,” Long said.

Gelardi is currently accepting orders for the fall and winter seasons. To see more of her work, click here.

See more of Gelardi’s artwork

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