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Downtown mural pays tribute to ‘Orange is the New Black’ character

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

You might notice a familiar face if you happen to be on Broadway between Gratiot and Grand River. Netflix commissioned local artist Michelle Tanguay to honor the popular Orange is the New Black character Poussey Washington, played by actress Samira Wiley, who was (spoiler alert, although it was last season) killed horrifically by a prison guard at the end of last season.

Tanguay worked with local artists Jesse Kassel, Shaina Kasztelan, and Jake Dwyer to paint the mural and with Brooklyn Outdoor to find the perfect location for it.

Tanguay says, “I'm a huge fan of the show. I cried when Poussey died last season and cried a little when Netflix called asking me to paint her. I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to bring awareness to her story line. I love the characters strength, her compassion, her love interests, and her story.”

It’s both a beautiful tribute to a sympathetic character and pretty clever marketing. Murals are also located in cities such as New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, and Sydney, Australia.