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'Guardian angels': Billings artist creating new mural in downtown Billings

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 28, 2023

BILLINGS — It took Billings artist Michael Martin over 15 gallons of paint to create a new mural on a building in an alleyway between North 27th Street and Broadway.

The mural, titled "Grace" depicts three angels against a 1,700-square-foot wall and was a volunteer project not funded through the city.

Give Martin some spray paint and some time, and you’ll get a sight for sore eyes.

“I’m hoping it will change the future,” said Martin on Wednesday.

Martin, the founder of Inkredible Art Productions, owns an art studio just on the other side of the mural on Broadway.

“It’s kind of an art gallery as well, I post a lot of my art up there and I also tattoo in my art gallery,” Martin said.

Martin’s landlord first gave him the green light to paint the building three years ago and even supplied him with the paint.

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“Nobody’s paying me. Nobody’s commissioned me to do this. This is just something I’ve had on my mind for a long time,” said Martin.

It’s a gift to the city that Billings Mayor Bill Cole appreciates.

“It’s beautifully done. He’s a real artist, and it’s not alone. We have many of these downtown,” Cole said.

Cole said the project aligns with the Downtown Billings Alliance’s mission to highlight local artists and their work through city murals.

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“Murals just put a smile on people’s face, they deter graffiti, and they just create a great energy downtown,” said Cole.

A great energy that also takes a lot of energy to complete, especially when Martin is on his own. He estimates it took him roughly 65 hours over the course of eight days to get to the point where he’s at now.

“I’m sitting here on probably about 25 cans of spray paint and 15 gallons of exterior paint,” Martin said.

And it’s a project, he said, that’s set the bar for the rest of his work, especially with the inspiration behind it.

“I guess I’m just kind of giving a shout-out to my guardian angels,” said Martin.