A wall outside Museum Place Mall is about to get a little color from world-renowned artist Kenny Scharf.
The Brooklyn-based artist will be coming to Salem on May 14 to paint a permanent mural on the facade of the garage that's located approximately where Brown and New Liberty Streets meet, at the entrance to the garage.
Mike Lash, who heads Mike's Museum (Mike is currently looking for a space to house the museum after vacating the spot on Lafayette Street), said he contacted Scharf on Facebook and he was pleasantly surprised when Scharf wrote back.
Lash said Scharf was up to the challenge of coming to Salem.
"He said 'sure, let's look for a public area, a permanent site,'" Lash explained.
Last year, Lash said the city was very helpful in efforts to bring sculptures to the Pedestrian Mall. This year, he said the city did the same in an effort to find a wall.
“Kenny’s mural is one more way we are bringing art to the public, and his mural will add a new and colorful dimension to downtown," Driscoll said a press release from the city. "Kenny has worked all over the world and we are fortunate that he has agreed to share his talent with us."
Lash said he considers Scharf, who has painted murals across the country and was even recently featured in yellow on The Simpsons, "a genius painter."
As for Salem in the arts in general, Lash said the city has always had a "strong arts tolerance," and he's just one of many working to develop arts tourism that is mutually beneficial for art enthusiasts and the city alike.
"I'm having a great time here," Lash said of exploring the arts and what they can do in Salem.
On Monday, Lash people are welcome to come by and watch Scharf at work (he'll probably be at work as early at 6:30 a.m.)
Lash said he also needs the help of residents in the catering for the event.
Scharf is a big fan of donuts (they often appear in his work), Lash said, and he wants to know which Salem donuts readers recommend as he preps for Scharf's arrival.
Ziggy's, Coffee Time, Dunks? Which donuts are your favorite? Let us know in the comments.