Detroit Beautification Project @ Gratiot Avenue & Orleans Street
The Detroit Beautification Project is the brainchild of two Southeast Michigan based art organizations: Contra Projects of Hamtramck and 323 East Gallery in Royal Oak. Numerous street artists of national and international renown, plus a handful of Detroit’s best local taggers, have been invited by project organizers to legally place their marks on high-visibility real estate throughout the city, primarily in three locations: Grand River Avenue between I-94 and the Lodge Freeway, Jos Campau Street between Hamtramck Drive and McNichols Rd, and the Eastern Market District. The project has truly ushered in a new era, nee a Renaissance, in the history of Detroit Street Art. Today, I Love Detroit Michigan presents, for your consideration, the first of eight new photo-heavy posts showcasing eight separate locations that feature multiple, freshly painted masterworks.
Our first piece of evidence is a stunning new installation of Detroit street art and graffiti that covers three full walls of a mid-sized, two-story building at Gratiot Avenue and Orleans Street in the Eastern Market District. These wildly colorful works by multiple artists come off as virtually neon against the otherwise drab backdrop of this nondescript section of Eastern Market. “Jukebox Cowboys”, a full-wall mural that faces Orleans Street just northeast of Riopelle, is, in our opinion, easily among the best graffiti-style street artworks to ever grace any wall within our fair city. According to our research, it was created by a trio of artists who go by the names “Nychos“, “Flying Förtress” and “Most”.
Another disgustingly sweet full-wall mural lies just to the northeast of “Jukebox Cowboys”, facing the I-75 Service Drive and entrance ramp. We can only assume its title is “The Seventh Letter”, but we can’t say so with certainty. We also aren’t certain of all the artists that collaborated on this mammoth piece, but we can tell you that some are part of a group called “Mad Society Kings” out of Los Angeles, whose members include “Revok“, “Steel”, “Reyes” and “Saber“, among others. Works by locals “Sintex” and “Gasm” and others fill out the rest of this side of the structure.
Head to the back, along Winder Street, to see the last few works shown in our album: another stylish full-wall mural that we’re guessing is titled “Blues”, a tag by well-known local “Elmer”, and finally, just a bit more to the west, inside the fenced-off, recessed vacant lot across the street, a phenomenally expressive work of face-melting letter forms by an artist whose name appears to be “Smosh”.
Stayed tuned to I Love Detroit Michigan in the coming days to see more of the most comprehensive coverage of the Detroit Beautification Project you will find anywhere online. ~I♥DM