It didn’t take Shawn Palek long to name all 62 characters found within the newly completed mural inside Perry Perk.
Batman looked out a window while Spider-Man hung on a sign. Betty Boop stood next to Fred Flinstone outside the building near characters from Harry Potter.
“I tried to hit all the different decades of different characters from there too so anyone can find something that they can associate with,” said Palek, of Palek Studio and Gallery.
The 62 comic book, TV and movie characters are all found within a recreation of the original Citizen’s Bank building at 1126 2nd St.
“It’s strange, but it worked,” Art on the Prairie President Jenny Eklund said of the completed mural.
She approached Tari Mason, owner of the Perry Perk, about a large, white wall inside the coffee shop. Palek was working on an Art on the Prairie mural in the alley between Perry Perk and Mary Rose Collections in the late summer and early fall of 2018.
Eklund asked Palek to work on a mural on the blank wall inside Perry Perk as part of Art on the Prairie. Mason wanted the mural to feature action figures, while Emily Leslie, who co-owns the building with Backwards Properties, wanted a photo of the original building.
“He knows so much about action figures that he’s the perfect artist for that,” Eklund said.
Palek combined the two visions into one mural. He added that the mural also features signs for Backwards Boutique and Perry Perk, along with one modeled off of the Las Vegas sign as that’s where Mason lived before coming to Perry with her family.
Palek started painting the mural during Art on the Prairie in November. He didn’t return to it until after the first of the year. He’s since worked on it off and on through January, March and April before wrapping up on Tuesday, April 16.
The mural spans the previously large, white wall inside Perry Perk. “To do the painting justice,” Palek added an extension to the wall for the spire on the original building.
“It was great fun to do,” he said of the mural and of adding all of the characters.
“The more I look at it, the more I see a new one,” Eklund added while looking at the painting inside Perry Perk.
Eklund said Palek will next turn his attention to a mural on the back of the Sinclair building. Palek anticipates work to start on the mural in May.