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Smithsonian names Murals in the Market one of the best mural festivals in the world

The festival returns September 13-22

Mural by Hebru Brantley
Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

One of the top destinations for visitors, locals, and Instagrammers in Detroit’s art scene is Eastern Market, where, in the past few years, over 125 murals have been created on buildings throughout the district. Each September, artists from around the world come to Detroit to create new murals during Murals in the Market. The popular festival just received big recognition internationally.

Smithsonian Magazine just named its top mural festivals from around the world, and included with festivals in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, and Canada is the only U.S. fest on the list—Murals in the Market. The article notes the density of the collection in the district, and its plans for this year.

1xRun, the festival organizers, plan a “family reunion-themed block party” this year, along with guided tours September 22 and 29, plus 10,000 printed free maps for visitors to use as they walk through the district. We wanted to “create a physical piece that people can pick up, take around the neighborhood, and interact with the murals on a deeper level,” says 1xRun CEO Jesse Cory. 30 new murals are expected as part of the festival this year.

Murals in the Market also has a Patronicity campaign running. If the group raises $50,000, another $50,000 will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Funds will go toward the festival’s production and expenses.

This year’s artists include Sydney G. James, Sheefy, Pat Perry, Michelle Tanguay, and Ellen Rutt.