The Story Behind The Gallery Name And Its Mural

Mural Gallery

We’re often asked where The Gallery got its name.  The answer is simple:  “The Gallery” seemed fitting because public art was part of the development approval process. But with no parameters of what public art should look like, our only vague conception in those early days of development was that it should represent something about Ann Arbor. 

And in those early days, people began to express interest in the building, including Barbara Murphy and Gavin Eadie who has given me to permission to share this story.  (Otherwise, we don’t divulge our buyer’s names.)

Barbara and Gavin were one of the first buyers at The Gallery, and I always looked forward to our meetings because our conversations invariably digressed from the topic of building to their telling stories that always captured my interest – and Barbara never failed to make me laugh. Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly in October 2020. 

Barbara had lived in the Old West Side since 1964.  When she and Gavin married in 1984, they continued to live in the Old West Side home. 

Barbara held several positions at the University of Michigan during her long professional career, and she gave tirelessly to numerous organizations throughout the community.  She and Gavin travelled extensively and always, she was driven by her passion for a socially just world.  Simply put, Barbara was a force to be reckoned with. 

In the spring of 2021, the concept for the mural began to evolve.  Working with TreeTown Murals, the design gives a nod to earlier times in Ann Arbor when Allen Creek flowed nearby, and in Barbara’s memory, lupins – her favorite flower - line the banks.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Barbara would agree that she always brought a smile to our faces.  We hope that the mural and her lupins will bring a smile to yours.

- Betsy de Parry, VP, Sales and Marketing