Archive for January, 2013

Michael Kirby’s Murals: Promoting Unity at the Smithsonian

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Some people go to school to learn to become artists; others take their natural inclination and run with it, producing pieces without any formal training. Michael Kirby did the latter, traveling to Italy when he was just a teenager, watching the maddonari – street painters named as such because they create replicas of the Madonna on public walkways. Already a drawer, Kirby saw the murals and knew that he had the ability to paint his own. For the first time, in Italy, he realized that it was possible to make money by making art – maybe even make a living in so doing.

Now, he has. During his career, mural painter Michael Kirby has gone from making thirty dollars a day in Italy as a young man to being commissioned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to create installations – bringing the art outside for all passerby to partake in. Two years ago, Kirby spent three days working on sidewalk paintings as a part of the Smithsonian’s Chalk 4 Peace Family Festival. He said the piece was about “love, family, unity, embracing, tranquility, safety” (Source). In the spirit of unity, when the work was finished, members of the collective public were invited by the museum to take up some chalk and create an inspired mini-mural of their own. Children and adults alike did so, proving that art can connect all.

Mural at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Installation | photo by: Michael Kirby

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Pinterest.


Passion’s creativity: Street artist Michael Kirby at the Smithsonian

The Man Behind the Murals: Michael Kirby

Monday, January 14th, 2013
Michael Kirby, founder of Murals of Baltimore

Michael Kirby, founder of Murals of Baltimore

Murals: from the archetypal cave man creating simplistic images on the walls of stone dwellings to European churches adorned with elaborate frescoes, these large scale paintings have been around as long as art itself. Though Michael Kirby hasn’t been wielding his brushes and brightly colored paints for that long, he’s been in the business of creating both permanent and ephemeral public art displays for nearly two decades. Since the early 1990s, he’s Kirby has been commissioned by innumerable clients to develop expansive works of art using walls and large surfaces as his canvas. From Carnival Cruise Ships to National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institute, Honda, the Black Eyed Peas, the City of Venice, and more, Michael Kirby has traveled the world, leaving 3D murals in his wake.

It’s no surprise that fans of mural art have been singing his praise: Michael Kirby began his career creating sets and props for both Opera companies and film and television productions in Italy. Using forced perspective to create the appearance of great depth and distance, Kirby was a pioneer in bringing painting techniques for the stage to the street. And speaking of streets – Michael Kirby was the first American artist to take the title of Master Street Painter in all the renowned European Street Painting Festivals.

street painting

Original fine art street painting in Holland

Now, Michael Kirby is stationing himself in Maryland as the founder of Murals of Baltimore, leading a band of accomplished artists in creating beautiful frescoes and decorative pieces, using mixed materials like oils, watercolors, and pastels. With a breadth of experience and expertise as huge as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michael Kirby and his team can accommodate and create any creative endeavor you might dream up. To commission a piece, please contact us at

We’ll be bringing you weekly updates about our projects and the latest in the art world, so stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Pinterest.