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If you have been on any kind of social media lately, then you have no doubt seen how hot street art is currently. Miami, L. A. , and Berlin are known for their creative and unique street art. There is another city, however that is deserving of the same recognition, Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is home to dozens are street art murals of all kinds. You will find beautiful watercolors, flower motifs, political statement, even technicolor cartoon monsters, and so much more! Detroit is a city with a rich history, that has struggled the last half century. Political corruption, race riots, bankruptcy, and rampant crime have plagued this beautiful city since the 1960s.
However, in the last 5 years Detroit has started its comeback. Crime, residency, economics, and business statistics have all improved since 2013. The vibrant street art scene is just evidence of the blossoming hope and optimism that is currently defining Detroit. There are dozens of street art works throughout the city, however the most concentrated area of murals is located at Eastern Market, an open-air marketplace in the city. Eastern Market is home for local plants and flowers, traditional farmer’s markets, fresh produce, artisan goods, live music, and so much more, all depending on the day of the week. Around every corner, and adorning almost every flat sided building are dozens of murals by various street artists, some world-renowned, some local and relatively unknown. My personal favorite is Louise Chen, aka Ouizi, with her vibrant and beautiful floral murals. Each year, Detroit celebrates its street art community with a festival called Murals in the Market. The festival holds street art tours to educate the community about the murals and artists. The festival also commissions artists to create new murals each year in this area. The happy and creative atmosphere is further celebrated with various events, including a block party, meet and greet with the artists over cocktails, and panel discussions.
The Murals in the Market festival also holds a bonfire one night at Lincoln Street Art Park, a small open area dedicated to art installations. What is special and unique to street art is that it is by nature, public. That means anyone, of any background may observe and appreciate street art. Nowhere is this more important than in Detroit. With a history of economic and social inequality, public art has a way of leveling the field. It is not reserved for the privileged or the elite, it is available to all. Unlike fine art, sitting protected in museums, street art is open to the elements. The work will be weathered and eroded by the elements. Similar to the people of Detroit, who have been made even more beautiful and valuable by their hardships.
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