50 Outdoor Murals in Detroit
For our 50th post I Love Detroit Michigan took on its most ambitious project yet: we searched every corner of the city to fill out our definitive list of 50 outdoor murals in Detroit. Over the course of our hunt we learned firsthand about Detroit’s unique traditions of public art and that there’s oftentimes a very fine line between mural and graffiti in our fair city. All murals are located within the city limits of Detroit unless otherwise noted and dates are included where known.
3. “Pope Park Mural”, Dennis Orlowski (1982, restored 2000); Located on the southwest corner of Joseph Campau and Belmont St, Hamtramck. An excellent life-sized mosaic-ish portrait of Cardinal Jozef Glemp is also part of this installation.
4. Unknown title (5-story lion), Kobie Solomon (2010); Located on the west wall of Russell Industrial Center, facing the US-75 North Service Drive between East Grand Boulevard and Clay Street.
5. “Splash Murals Storefront”, unknown artists (Katie Craig et. al.??); Located at 7332 Oakland Street, just north of East Grand Boulevard.
8. “Overland Willys Knight Service Station”, unknown artist; Located at Willys Overland Lofts, 444 West Willis Street.
9. “Gold Code: LOVE”, Vagner Whitehead (2011); Located on the west wall of The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art at 52 East Forest Avenue. The hands and symbols in this work spell out the word “Look” in American Sign Language, Braille and Morse code.
10. “Park Shelton Apartments”, unknown artist; Located on the north wall of The Park Shelton Condominiums Building at Woodward Avenue and East Kirby Street.
11. “Patterns of Detroit”, Hubert Massey (central panel, 2005); An all tile mosaic located on the east wall of the Center for Creative Studies parking ramp, at the intersection of Brush and East Kirby Street. Multiple adjacent horizontal panels were created by various community artists in concert with various area youth groups.
12. “Malice Green Memorial”, Bennie White (E. Israel??) (1992); Located on the northwest corner of West Warren Avenue and 23rd Street. Click here to see something closer to what this memorial looked like when it was freshly painted in 1992. A relic of a far less than stellar chapter in the city’s history.
14. Unknown title, Carl Oxley (2008-2009); Located behind the Woodbridge Pub at the corner of Trumbull & Merrick Street.
15. “Welcome to Woodbridge”, Summer In The City Non-Profit Service Organization; Located at Barnabas Youth Center at 3530 Grand River Avenue on the northeast corner of Grand River and MLK Jr. Boulevard.
16. “‘Today we need to combine learning with work, political struggle, community service and even play.’ -Grace Lee Boggs“, Katie Yamasaki (2011); Located on the south wall of the building on the southeast corner of 2nd and Brainard Street.
17. Unknown titles, Hygienic Dress League (Steve and Dorota Coy); Located on the street level of the old Hotel Eddystone on the northwest corner of Sproat and Park Avenue.
20. “Whale Tower” aka “Whaling Wall #76″, Robert Wyland (1997); Located on the northeast wall of Broderick Tower (1928) at the southeast corner of Grand Circus Park. This mural is currently covered up by a 15-or-so-story Android telephone advertisement. Despite all the good things Dan Gilbert, the trillionaire owner of Broderick Tower, has been doing with his newly acquired downtown Detroit real estate, covering up the work of this Madison Heights native AIN’T one of ‘em!
22. “Uplift, Inspire, Grace, Love”, unknown artist; Located on the east wall of Saint Andrew’s Hall at 431 East Congress Street. This mural promotes a gospel music tour entitled ”How Sweet The Sound“.
23. “Serman’s Fine Clothes for Men and Young Men”, unknown artist; Located on the southeast corner of Randolph and Macomb Street.
25. “Your BBQ Rib Headquarters!”, unknown artist; Located at Kap’s Wholesale Foods, 2630 Riopelle Street in the Eastern Market district.
26. “Eastern Market” Mural #1, unknown artist (Lee Mans Outdoor Advertising of Hazel Park??); Located on the west wall of Eastern Market Cold Storage at 2531 Riopelle Street in the Eastern Market district.
28. “Wigleys Corned Beef” “Cheech’s Chicken” “RJ’s Meats” (Gratiot Central Market murals), unknown artists; Located at 1419-1439 Gratiot Avenue. A nearly identical set of murals can be found on the backside of the building along the US-75/375 Service Drive.
29. “Family Owned and Operated since 1918″, unknown artist; Located at Busy Bee Hardware, 1401 Gratiot Avenue in the Eastern Market district.
30. “Insect Control Rodent Killer”, unknown artist; Located at Busy Bee Hardware, 1401 Gratiot Avenue in the Eastern Market district.
31. Unknown title, BrownBagDetroit aka Malt; Located in the Dequindre Cut Greenway alongside about fifty to one hundred of the city’s very best works of graffiti art.
32. “Greetings From Gratiot”, Summer In The City Non-Profit Service Organization; Located on the north side of the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and Jos Campau.
34. “The African Amalgamation Of Ubiquity”, unknown artist; Located on the northeast corner of Gratiot and Cadillac, just north of Harper Avenue. This timeless beauty is badly in need of a quality restoration. Here’s to hoping some capable and industrious local steps up to the task, and soon.
35. “Jefferson East” aka “Summer In The City”, Carl Oxley, John Hix, Phil Cierpial, Greg Frederick, Dave Danielson, Chad P. Hunt, Mark Sengbusch, Chazz Miller, Julia Rowe and Madison Hicks; Located on the west wall of Crown Cleaners at Jefferson Avenue and Lakewood Street.
36. “Corktown: Since 1834: Detroit’s Oldest Neighborhood”, Jerome Ferretti (2004); Located on the east wall of the building at 1236 Michigan Avenue, just a tiny bit west of the Lodge Freeway ovepass. Check out Ferretti’s “Monumental Kitty” just around the corner at the intesection of US-75 South Service Drive and the Cochrane Street pedestrian bridge.
37. “Corktown”, Summer In The City Non-Profit Service Organization; Located on the west wall of the building at 1236 Michigan Avenue, just a tiny bit west of the Lodge Freeway ovepass. We’re extremely curious about the identities of the three faces in this work. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
38. “Corktown: Dedicated to R. Drury”, Kobie Solomon (2004); Located on the west wall of Duncan Speedometer Service at 2135 Michigan Avenue, just a bit east of 14th Street.
39. “EN MASSE @ Corktown”, Jason Botkin, Sintex, FEL3000ft, Mike Han and Chris Carden (2011); Located on the east side of 14th Street between Michigan Avenue and Dalzelle. Click here and here for more info about this piece.
40. “The Cornfield“, Vito Valdez and James Puntigam; Restored by Vito Valdez with assistance from Jen Boyak (1997-1998??); Located on the northwest corner of Bagley and Sainte Anne Street in Mexicantown.
41. Unknown title, unknown artist (Mexican-American heritage themed, all-metal mural); Located on the front wall of Detroit GreenWorks Solutions: Green Jobs Training Center at 2301-2315 Bagley Street, just west of Sainte Anne.
44. Unknown Title (“Tree Of Life”??), ???? Moreno and ???? Vargas (1979, restored by ???? and Callahan, 1997); Located on the west wall of the building at the southeast corner of Bagley and Sainte Anne Street in Mexicantown.
45. “Spiral Of Life”, Hubert Massey (2010); An all tile mosaic located at the east end of the Bagley Street pedestrian bridge over US-75, just to the west of Bagley and 21st.
46. “Aztec Calendar“, unknown artist; Located on the west wall of Los Galanes Mexican Restaurant at Bagley and 23rd Street. There’s an even larger, but less aesthetically pleasing mural on the north wall of this joint.
47. “Cesar Chavez”, Lisa Luevanos; This all tile mosaic is located on the street side of the “LA SED” Building aka Myron P. Leven Learning Center at 4138 West Vernor Highway in Mexicantown.
49. “Mano de Obra Campesina (Hand Of The Peasant Labor??)” aka “Hijo del Maiz (Son Of Corn)” Dasic Fernandez (2010); Located on the west wall of Hacienda Mexican Foods at 6022 West Vernor Highway, just east of Livernois Avenue.
50. Unknown title, unknown artist (underwater nude Meso-American female humanoid??); Located on the west wall of the building at 5658 Fort, just slightly west of Junction Street in the Delray neighborhood.
Our Continuing Research Department promises to fill out the long list of “unknowns” found herein with actual researched factual information over the coming months. Any lowdown our adoring public cares to share with us regarding the 50 aforementioned murals in Detroit would be welcomed and greatly appreciated. ~I♥DM