Artists Took a Week to Transform Detroit Neighborhood With Beautiful Murals
The Eastern Market is a neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan known for its manufacturing and food distribution, but for one week in September this year, the district became one massive canvas.
Organized and hosted by local arts publisher 1xRUN, the buildings of the Eastern Market, or more specifically, the buildings’ walls, were transformed by artists both local and non-local in an event labeled “Murals in the Market,” a festival now in its second year. The festival not only invites the public to come and spectate the artists at work, but it also brings focus to the Eastern Market’s rising arts scene. Letterpress studios and galleries can be found near the familiar meat wholesalers.
The murals themselves are enormous, and all of them unique to one another. A spectator can find abstract pieces, majesties of color, and some politically/socially-charged depictions of the artist’s mind made reality. Murals of famous individuals can also be found, as well as slogans and excerpts.
These murals are meant to hold the viewer’s attention, but also make them have a reaction.
Painter Sydney G. James told the Huffington Post, “People are just enamored by what we’re doing. Even though it’s outdoors and it’s a public space, we’re inviting them into our world by letting them watch us work, so it’s an intimate public situation.”
With her piece “Appropriated Not Appreciated” as shown above, James wants her spectators to exude a reaction that shocks them, that makes them face the truth about police shootings of African-Americans.
“When you look at the mural, I want you to be bothered,” she said. “I want you to be shocked, because I think it is shocking, but I want you to be educated at the same time.”
Roula David, the director of the festival and a resident of the Eastern Market, hopes the festival continues to bring art awareness but also draws attention to the Eastern Market community and Detroit as a whole.
“Public art can be a gentrifying force,” David said. “So we’re really sensitive, we’re really careful in how we’re approaching public art in the market … doing it in a way that’s significant for the community as opposed to just putting pretty things on pretty buildings.”
Check out some of these amazing murals below: