You can’t miss it if you’re looking east near Woodward and Grand Boulevard. It’s tall at nine stories, colorful, and unmistakable. It’s called the Illuminated Mural, and it has been at the center of a lawsuit between Detroit-based artist Katie Craig who sued developer Princeton Enterprises under the Visual Artists Rights Act last January.
Now comes word the two sides have settled Thursday, on the eve of the purchase of the building to The Platform, a development group in the city that’s making waves in 2017 in a few areas of the city.
When the news broke, Craig’s federal lawsuit was seen as a major legal showdown over artists’ rights. Craig’s lawsuit sought protection under the Visual Artists’ Rights Act. The 1990 law extends special legal provisions to visual artists, and, for works of “recognized stature” prohibits any kind of distortion, mutilation, or destruction. The law specifically extends protection to significant public murals that could not be removed from a building without being destroyed.
According to a statement, the settlement agreement will ensure the preservation of the 100-by-150 foot painting created in 2009. The settlement guarantees that The Platform will honor and extend a previous agreement to ensure the Mural’s protection.
“The Illuminated Mural is a significant achievement in my career, and it has received recognition nationally and internationally,” Craig said. “The Visual Artists Rights Act provided me a way to ensure that the Mural is protected, and the confidential settlement that we reached honors and extends the original agreement that governed its creation.”