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Northside native finishes mural at Shalla’s

ALPENA — An artistic homage to blue-collar workers adorns the side of Shalla’s Market and Service Station, thanks to the talents of northside native Aaron Golbeck.

Shalla’s owner Kristen Misiak reached out to Golbeck, who has painted other murals in Alpena, but this is the first one he has painted on the northside.

“I was able to get in touch with him through his mom (Angela), thankfully,” Misiak said. “Because she had said he wanted to do a mural in Alpena, so of course I was like, ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ Luckily, he had those northside ties, and he was like, ‘For sure, I’ll do it for Shalla’s.'”

Golbeck grew up near McRae Park, and he was happy to accommodate Misiak’s request.

“I’m just grateful,” Golbeck said of being able to use his talents to help beautify the northside. He added that the most important thing is “that everybody else enjoys it.”

Golbeck selected a design representing blue-collar workers, with bright orange welder’s sparks flying against an industrial black background.

“It kind of represents the blue-collar side of Alpena, and I just thought aesthetically, it just fit the space pretty well, and it brings some color to the northside, which gets overlooked sometimes,” he said.

“I wanted something industrial,” Misiak said. “He picked the design, and it is perfect … all of our neighbors and our customers work in manufacturing and industry and trades, and I just want this to be about that.”

Misiak has owned Shalla’s for 10 years. She is proud to have Golbeck’s artwork on the building.

“I think it’s great that Alpena has this mural project — they’re beautifying the downtown — but I also feel like other parts of the city need that as well,” Misiak said. “And, like Aaron said, the northside is sometimes overlooked, and I’m here to try to get us out there.”

Shalla’s Market offers breakfast and lunch. The whole store was remodeled about four years ago when the deli was added, Misiak said.

“We’re here to serve our neighbors, plus anybody else that wants to come over,” she added.

The deli offers a variety of homemade soup, salads and sandwiches.

Misiak is amazed with how Golbeck can just look at a photo or design and create such a huge work of art.

“It’s amazing to me how you’re able to do that,” she told Golbeck last week.

With his phone in hand, looking at an example design, 27-year-old Golbeck created the mural using spray paint.

“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “It’s a lot of practice, a little bit of talent, and a lot of work.”

He said he’s been spray painting for more than a decade, but, as with anything, it gets better as you continue to practice it.

“I just recently got good,” Golbeck said. “I used to suck.”

Golbeck travels the country in a fully sustainable van, creating murals. His primary stops include Denver, North Carolina and Alpena.

The mural is painted on the side of the garage at 326 Long Lake Ave.

In 2019, Golbeck created two other murals in Alpena — one at Family Enterprise and the other at Hungry Hippie. He most recently painted a mural inside Red Brick Tap & Barrel.

He is a 2012 graduate of Alpena High School. To see more of Golbeck’s work, visit his Instagram page @ag_pnt.

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