Detroit might be known for manufacturing, but we’re also a city of art.
There are so many amazing pieces in the city that we can’t possibly include them all in one post, but we thought we’d gather some of our favorite murals, parks and bits of artistic whimsy around town.
This is meant as a conversation starter. We’d like to eventually build a map of all the art around town. Get in touch here with your tips.
The thing about public art and street art is that over time it can change. Pieces come, pieces go. But the artistic energy coursing through the veins of our city continues to flow.
1. Dabls African Bead Museum
Not only is the inside of the place cool, but the outside is a huge lot 18 creative outdoor installations that are vignettes of curated, found art. 6559 Grand River Avenue.
2. Detroit Tardis
This recent addition is in the whimsy category. This is actually a “Little Library,” where people can take a book and/or leave a book for the community. More on the background here. It made national news. Corner of Vermont and Warren in Woodbridge.
3. Monumental Kitty
So you’re driving on your way near I-75 in North Corktown, and there’s.. a seven foot tall brick kitty cat. It took 3,000 salvaged bricks and was created by Jerome Ferretti. Keep being weird, Detroit. 1548 West Fisher Service Drive.
4. Heidelberg Project
Any public art list has this onet. The Tyree Guyton creation spreads over a couple blocks and is known the world over for making people think and have a reaction (one way or another). We’re told it’s one of the top tourist attractions, by number of visitors, in the city of Detroit. 3600 Heidelberg Street.
5. The Birwood Wall
This is a wall with a ton of history as it’s the wall that divided the mostly black community from future white homebuyers after World War II. Although a creation of systemic racism fueled by the Federal government, the community has beautified this structure roughly located at 20194 Mendota Street in Detroit.
6. The Murals of Eastern Market
There are really too many to mention in one post, so we’ve tried across two (here and here). A series of pieces born out the “Murals in the Market” program, it’s taken a multitude of blank walls and turned them into art. Eastern Market.
7. Corktown Pheasant
This relatively recent piece designed by Bob Spence is unmistakable if you’re heading up Rosa Parks. 2615 Rosa Parks Boulevard.
8. Lawndale Market
Wall to wall is a loving tribute to many families over the years put together by Amad Samaan, neighborhood history has been curated in Polaroids since 1995. Yes, it’s in a private business, but it’s accessible to the public and about the community. Be sure to buy something when you visit. 1136 Lawndale Street.
9. El Asador
The piece, “Deity of Southwest Detroit” by Victor Quiñonez aka Marka27, is stunning when you drive up Springwells. Also, stop into El Asador. It’s delicious. 1312 Springwells.
This new piece on the side of the new 28 Grand micro-lofts in downtown Detroit is by legendary Detroit artist Charles McGee. He created various murals in the city over the years, and it’s great to see at 92 he’s still making it happen. This is his largest piece in surface area.
11. Calvin and Hobbes (With Pheasant)
Don’t know much about this one (if you do, get in touch). It’s an awesome piece of whimsy at Avery and Lysander streets in Detroit.
12. Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple
Part of a series of “Om” paintings by Nicole Macdonald – 4347 Trumbull Avenue
Bonus – love this interplay between the main piece on this nearby house (designed by the artist above) and the big Garfield on the upper porch. See him?
13. High Dro Zone
Commercial art that’s so eye-catching that it counts as public art is a rare feat. Freddy Diaz did it here. 9429 West Fort Street.
14. The Spirit of Buddy’s
Another well-executed piece that’s commercial in that it was created for a business, but captures the Spirit of Detroit – literally. Fel3000FT. 17125 Conant Street.
15. Intersections Park
Although the two tall art pieces have been there for awhile, the park surrounding them is a relatively recent addition designed by Jeff Klein of Detroit Farm and Garden The park honors Martin Luther King, Je. and Rosa Parks. It’s appropriately located at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
16. The Lincoln Street Art Park
On the other side of a recycling center, this ever-evolving, truly grassroots artistic wonderland is a feat to behold. Don’t forget to share your candy. 5926 Lincoln Street.