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Rebel Nell turned Michigan Central Station graffiti into jewelry

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

When we toured the interior of the long-vacant Michigan Central Station after Ford’s press conference earlier this summer, we wondered what would come of the graffiti lining the walls. Detroit has an innovative solution for everything, and now some of the graffiti has been turned into jewelry.

Rebel Nell, which employs women transitioning from the shelter to independence, was commissioned by Ford to create the line of jewelry. They collected graffiti that had fallen, as they have a strict “no peel” policy. They created 300 pieces priced between $30 and $225 for the line; the necklaces, pins, earrings, and cuff links take the shapes of Michigan mitts, the city of Detroit, and simple bars.

Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

“It’s an amazing project to be a part of,” says Amy Peterson, Rebel Nell co-founder and CEO. “The jewelry is a unique way to preserve and commemorate the legacy of the muralists who for decades left their mark on an iconic building.”

Graffiti was taken from the lobby and other floors of Michigan Central Station for this collection. Each piece is one-of-a-kind.

Proceeds from this collection benefit COTS, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and other services for the homeless; Vista Maria, a community resource for disadvantaged children and their families; Love Runs, which raises funds to fight modern day slavery and human trafficking in Michigan; and Covenant House, which supplies shelter and support to homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth.

Ford plans on renovating Michigan Central Station over the next four years as the centerpiece of a new mobility-focused Corktown campus.

Michigan Central Station

2198 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216