Great Moments in Melt History – “Meet Melt Mural Artist Jake Kelly.”
You’ve probably seen his art and didn’t even know it. Cleveland artist Jake Kelly has been creating fliers for bands and the Grog Shop for longer than he would probably like to admit. This ephemeral art has been a mainstay in Cleveland, adorning telephone poles, coffee shop bulletin boards and college kids’ dorm rooms for decades. But some of his most visible art graces the walls of Melt locations all over the state.
Jake hated high school, which pushed him farther into his own head and his own art. Being forced into a box never suited him because creative people need to create. In high school, he created fliers for his band out of necessity. Then other bands started asking him to do their fliers and a career was born.
Jake has done thousands of fliers and created a comic, The Lake Erie Monster, which he co-created with fellow Cleveland artist John G. (who creates Melt’s monthly specials posters). Murals at the Grog Shop, Melt and Blue Arrow Records also fill Jake’s portfolio.
“Matt came to me with the Melt Murals,” says Jake. “He said he wanted it to have some Cleveland people in it to which I said, ‘It’ll have everything from Cleveland in it ever.’ I can draw on my vast knowledge of Cleveland esoterica and distill it all into one thing.”
Mission accomplished, Jake! The murals at Melt are hypnotizing and create conversations. “Who is that person?” “Is that Dorothy Fuldheim?” “I see Bob Hope!” “I think that’s Murray Saul doing a ‘Get Down!’”
“A mural has to be super detailed so it never gets old,” continues Jake. “For example, in the Melt Columbus mural, I hid things like an eggplant, a 45 record, a walkman, I made a list on the wall — so when people are waiting for their food they can find them.”
Next time you’re in a Melt location, give the mural a good look. Did Jake put himself in the mural? Only he knows for sure.
Click Here to see the uncut version of our interview with Jake Kelly