‘Boring wall’ gets a super heroes facelift

Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

You don’t have to leave Miles City to see some of your favorite Super Heroes.

Take a drive or walk behind Trails Inn at 607 Main St. and you’ll see six of them — the Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Wolverine, Deadpool, Batman and Superman (Clark Kent) — all done by professional artist Michael Jondavid Martin.

Martin, the owner of Bear Needles Tattoo Art Studio in Miles City, was hired by Ilyana Rice, owner/manager of Trails Inn, to “cover up” the rear walls of their bar/restaurant.

“The main purpose was to cover up what was on there — a lot of the community didn’t like it,” Martin said. “They wanted the walls fixed, after that small mural. It really needed to be covered and done right.”

Rice added: “I saw the giant mural (three blocks east) and I thought we need to do something with that boring plain wall.”

She saw another work by an artist on the Internet. It was Captain America.

So it was decided to do the Super Heroes over an area of more than 1,000 square feet. Martin started on Wednesday of last week and he continued, having already used 40 cans pf spray paint, into this week.

“The whole thing was pretty difficult,” Martin said. “It definitely was a challenge, but I didn’t have a problem taking on the challenge.”

Martin used an oil-based enamel paint. “It’s a high-quality paint that’s made especially for murals,” he said.

It was an instant hit with Deanna Rice, daughter of the owner.

“My 4-year-old loves Wonder Woman,” Ilyana said, “so we had to have Wonder Woman. But I think people of all ages would like the Super Heroes.”

Even before it was completed, people were visiting the site.

“It’s turned out great,” said Seth Hostman, a Trails Inn employee. “We’ve had a lot of people stop by to take pictures.”

Miles City residents have been impressed.

“I think they’re wonderful, but I couldn’t find the (back) door to get in,” Sharon Atkins said.

“They were pretty impressive,” Travis Witkowski said.

“I brought my kids (ages 7, 3 and 2) and they loved the Hulk,” Caleb Deming said

The Super Heroes are located three blocks to the west from the large mural depicting Custer County’s heritage. It was well-received by the community, just as it appears his latest mural will be.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Miles City resident Rita Robinson said. “I think he’s multi-talented — tattoos, wall art and murals.”

The fact that some of the Super Heroes are holding a glass of alcohol doesn’t faze the owner.

“We needed to show what type of establishment this is — it’s a bar,” Rice said. “I absolutely love it. It’s beautiful and he (Martin) makes it look so easy. I think he’s really talented, really creative.”

When she made the decision to implement the artistic creations, there was no hesitancy on the part of Martin.

“I said I have a project for you. He really got excited about it,” Rice said.

By the way, Martin said: “Two Super Heroes didn’t make the cut” due to space limitations.

Maybe on the next one.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see the the photo gallery Super Heroes for more photos)