Every month, a new Andre Trenier mural pops up overnight at 'Mikey Likes It' ice cream on Avenue A. June's shutter features TV character Tootie from the 'Facts Of Life', and the flavor: prickly pear with blood orange, prickly pear swirl and orange-glazed cake pieces.
Andre has painted every mural since the store opened in 2014. He and owner Michael ‘Mikey' Cole bonded over a love of sneakers years ago when Mikey co-owned sneaker store SoleFood, and Andre custom-painted sneakers. They often drove out to Abu's bakery in Brooklyn together when Mikey used the kitchen to develop flavors and Andre painted a mural.
When Mikey first opened the store, he asked Andre if it would be crazy to paint the store gate every month. Andre took up the challenge, and now Mikey tells Andre who the new flavor is inspired by! After conversation, Andre determines the best image to work from that fits the gap in the gate. He buys the paint, arrives as the store closes, and gets to work... making sure to be done by the time Mikey opens. I once asked if I could watch him paint and he replied, ‘Yes… come between 1 and 6am’.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Andre got his start when his brother created an opportunity for a big illustration project. He now loves the ability to reach and communicate with people through his art, saying, 'What motivates me is progressing: getting better at my craft, getting better at conveying whatever emotion I'm striving to convey. I'm also motivated by motivating others; I am inspired more and more by teaching and working with teens.’
This matches the philosophy of Mikey Likes It perfectly, as they strive to build lasting relationships with local business owners and schools. Stop by next month to see a fresh mural and sample a new flavor!