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The exterior of the African Bead Museum. There is art painted on the walls and pathway. There is a sign on the museum that reads: Dabl’s African Bead Gallery.
African Bead Museum
Michelle & Chris Gerard

Detroit's public art essentials, mapped

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African Bead Museum
| Michelle & Chris Gerard

Murals, and public art generally, have come back in the U.S. in a major way. And in Detroit, a city with ample public space, it’s no surprise that there’s hundreds of murals, installations, statues, and more.

We’re cataloguing 30 pieces and place in our public art map, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive picture, check out the website for The Detroit Museum of Public Art, where Detroiter Viranel Clerard has documented over 700 works and installations.

In many instances we feature specific works; in areas where there’s a cluster of art, like Eastern Market, we specify the neighborhood.

Did we forget your favorite? Leave a comment or send us a tip on the tipline and we'll add more in next time!

Note: locations are listed geographically from west to east.

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Brightmoor

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Art and nature come together throughout the neighborhood of Brightmoor, where the community has committed itself to numerous beautification efforts through murals. Consider a bike tour to see urban farms and public art installations around the neighborhood.

Artist Village Detroit

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At the center of the Old Redford commercial district, Artist Village serves as a hub for artists and the community. It’s also a partner in Sidewalk Festival, an annual street festival and art celebration.

The exterior of Artist Village Detroit. The facade is yellow brick and there is a colorful mural painted on the walls. There are words above the entrance which are: Artist Village. The Artist Village on Facebook

Growing Together

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In Rouge Park, a 15-ton marble statue called “Growing Together” by artist Larry Halbert stands “to raise hope and continue to grow together as a community.”

A large marble statue of two people facing away from each other but attached at the body. Photo by Robin Runyan

8 Mile Wall

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Once a physical barrier to separate the white from the black neighborhoods, the 8 Mile Wall, or Detroit's Wailing Wall, today has artwork depicting civil rights struggles and segregation in Detroit.

Southwest Murals

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You can find dozens of brightly colored murals around SW Detroit, including this one on the side of El Asador Steakhouse, painted by Mexican-American artist Victor "Marka27" Quiñonez. Also check out our article on a Mexican muralist Elton Monroy Durán and his work in the area.

African Bead Museum

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This unique destination on the corner of Grand River Avenue and West Grand Boulevard includes a museum and a block filled with large-scale art installations. The museum also recently opened a new exhibition space.

The exterior of the African Bead Museum. There is art painted on the walls and pathway. There is a sign on the museum that reads: Dabl’s African Bead Gallery. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Lincoln Street Art Park

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The Lincoln Street Art Park is an non-traditional sculpture park that's fun for adults and kids. They also have tours, volunteer opportunities, and visitors can learn about recycling and turning materials into art. Nearby, Henry Ford Heath System built ArtBlock, a gallery and event space that opened in May 2019.

Grand River Creative Corridor

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Stretching for several blocks along Grand River Avenue, the GRCC is a neighborhood revitalization project featuring over 100 murals.

A post shared by Kristina (@kristina_mahan) on

Mary Ellen Riordan Mural

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In 2016, a mural commemorating Mary Ellen Riordan, the first woman to lead the Detroit Federation of Teachers, was commissioned by Jon Zemke on the side of the home he redeveloped. The mural was painted by artist Nicole Macdonald and stands 20'x36'. Riordan was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2001 and passed away in 2010.

A building with a mural on the side of it. The mural depicts a woman and these words are written in the mural: Teachers want what children need, Mary Ellen Riordan. Jon Zemke

Monumental Kitty

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Located in North Corktown, just off I-75, artist Jerome Ferretti created Monumental Kitty out of almost 3,000 salvaged bricks.

City Sculpture Park

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Artist Robert Sestok created this outdoor rotating exhibit of metal installations, open to the public as a place of education and inspiration in Cass Corridor.

A large metal sign with the words: City Sculpture. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

We Kahn Do It!

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This mural has delighted passers-by since being painted in the early 2010s. It’s of course a pun on renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn, who’s iconic Fisher Building is evoked in the painting and which can also be seen down Milwaukee Avenue as you face the mural.

Illuminated Mural

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Artist Katherine Craig created The Illuminated Mural, at 2937 East Grand Boulevard, in 2009 when she received a Community + Public Arts grant from the College for Creative Studies, the Illuminated Mural faces an uncertain future. The Platform purchased this building, which is being redeveloped into Chroma.

United We Stand at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History

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United We Stand by Detroit artist Charles McGee was unveiled in 2016 and stands just outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and is meant to represent interconnectedness. As McGee says, "We are all connected and we are all essentially important to the process of everything.”

A post shared by shawn e.t. (@s.e.t._images) on

Detroit Chimera

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Painted by Kobie Solomon, you'll see this giant mural while speeding down I-75 on the side of the Russell Industrial Center.

A building with a mural on it. The mural depicts a chimera.

Hamtramck Disneyland

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The unique public art space created by Ukranian immigrant Dmytro Szylak was sold a couple years ago to Hatch Art, a local arts group, after Szylak died.

Rise Up Tiger

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Over in Milwaukee Junction, David "Meggs" Hooke painted this explosive tiger in November 2014 reminding Detroiters to "rise up against great odds."

A post shared by Roman Antonio G (@romangg) on

Rise by Beverly Fishman, artist-in-residence and head of the Painting Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, was inspired to paint this work by her interest in Detroit “as a center of cultural and industrial innovation.” In the mural, machined forms collide with colors that evoke both natural and electronic lighting.

A large white building with a mural on the side of it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue

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Artist Bunnie Reiss painted this jewel-toned mural on the back side of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue earlier in April 2018. It’s influenced by Eastern European folk art, with symbols respresenting happiness and luck.

A large tan building with various murals of folklore symbols painted on the side of it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Whale Tower

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Whale Tower is one of the 100 "Whaling Walls" painted across the world by Detroit native Robert Wyland. The mural was painted in 1997, when the Broderick Tower was still among America's tallest abandoned buildings.

A tall building with a blue mural depicting whales on the side of it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

93-year-old Detroit artist Charles McGee designed this 118-foot-tall mural titled Unity on the side of the new 28 Grand in Capitol Park.

Various city buildings. One of the buildings has a black and white mural on the front of it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

HENCE at the Madison

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Painted by HENCE over the course of three weeks, this colorful 1,000-square-foot mural covers the entire southern face of the Madison Building.

The Belt

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If you're downtown, it's worth taking a stroll down the Belt Alley, located between Broadway and Library Street, linking Gratiot and Grand River. Art and lights decorate this alley, creating a magical little oasis right downtown. And if you're there, you might have parked at the Z-Lot, also filled with all sorts of colorful artwork.

The side of a red brick building in Belt Alley in Detroit. There is a metal mosaic of a man on the building. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Waiting by Kaws

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In May, Dan and Jennifer Gilbert gifted this 17-foot-tall statue to Detroit. Titled Waiting by Brooklyn artist Kaws, the sculpture represents a parent and child in a moment of pause. The sculpture, however, is not without its critics.

A courtyard between buildings. There is a large statue of a parent and child. The figures are cartoonish. Photo by Robin Runyan

Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts

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The most recent addition to this list, the Stevie Wonder mural was painted by London-based artist Richard Wilson. He began the mural in May, on Wonder’s 69th birthday, and painted it out of pure appreciate for the musician and at his own expense for around $10,000.

The side of a building. There is a mural depicting Stevie Wonder on the side of the building. Photo by Aaron Mondry

Eastern Market Murals

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Ride your bike through Eastern Market these days and you'll find murals around every corner. Each fall, more murals are added through Murals in the Market. Over the years its changed the landscape of the market and now contains one of the densest collections of murals in the country.

A mural depicting a group of children who are all wearing goggles. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

2126 Pierce

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Located just outside Eastern Market, this house has a long, crazy history and is now completely renovated as a unique Airbnb rental. The mural on the side was painted for Murals in the Market by Beau Stanton.

A post shared by Beau Stanton (@beaustanton) on

Dequindre Cut

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Once the home to the Grand Trunk Rail line, now the Dequindre Cut extends from the Riverfront through Eastern Market and features some of the best murals in the city.

A mural depicting a person in a gas mask is on a wall in Detroit. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

The Heidelberg Project

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The Heidelberg Project has started to change in recent years, including an artist-in-residency program and a new gallery on site. Started in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton, the installation draws visitors from around the world.

A white house with various numbers painted on it in different colors. Outside of the house is a fence that has shoes attached to it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Agnes Street

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If you're visiting one of the many businesses in West Village, you'll notice the lovely floral mural painted by Ouizi. Get a cup of coffee from Red Hook and take in the beautiful mural on the side of the Parkstone garage.

A post shared by Cammy (@gothmom92) on

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Brightmoor

Art and nature come together throughout the neighborhood of Brightmoor, where the community has committed itself to numerous beautification efforts through murals. Consider a bike tour to see urban farms and public art installations around the neighborhood.

Artist Village Detroit

The exterior of Artist Village Detroit. The facade is yellow brick and there is a colorful mural painted on the walls. There are words above the entrance which are: Artist Village. The Artist Village on Facebook

At the center of the Old Redford commercial district, Artist Village serves as a hub for artists and the community. It’s also a partner in Sidewalk Festival, an annual street festival and art celebration.

The exterior of Artist Village Detroit. The facade is yellow brick and there is a colorful mural painted on the walls. There are words above the entrance which are: Artist Village. The Artist Village on Facebook

Growing Together

A large marble statue of two people facing away from each other but attached at the body. Photo by Robin Runyan

In Rouge Park, a 15-ton marble statue called “Growing Together” by artist Larry Halbert stands “to raise hope and continue to grow together as a community.”

A large marble statue of two people facing away from each other but attached at the body. Photo by Robin Runyan

8 Mile Wall

Once a physical barrier to separate the white from the black neighborhoods, the 8 Mile Wall, or Detroit's Wailing Wall, today has artwork depicting civil rights struggles and segregation in Detroit.

Southwest Murals

You can find dozens of brightly colored murals around SW Detroit, including this one on the side of El Asador Steakhouse, painted by Mexican-American artist Victor "Marka27" Quiñonez. Also check out our article on a Mexican muralist Elton Monroy Durán and his work in the area.

African Bead Museum

The exterior of the African Bead Museum. There is art painted on the walls and pathway. There is a sign on the museum that reads: Dabl’s African Bead Gallery. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

This unique destination on the corner of Grand River Avenue and West Grand Boulevard includes a museum and a block filled with large-scale art installations. The museum also recently opened a new exhibition space.

The exterior of the African Bead Museum. There is art painted on the walls and pathway. There is a sign on the museum that reads: Dabl’s African Bead Gallery. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Lincoln Street Art Park

The Lincoln Street Art Park is an non-traditional sculpture park that's fun for adults and kids. They also have tours, volunteer opportunities, and visitors can learn about recycling and turning materials into art. Nearby, Henry Ford Heath System built ArtBlock, a gallery and event space that opened in May 2019.

Grand River Creative Corridor

Stretching for several blocks along Grand River Avenue, the GRCC is a neighborhood revitalization project featuring over 100 murals.

A post shared by Kristina (@kristina_mahan) on

Mary Ellen Riordan Mural

A building with a mural on the side of it. The mural depicts a woman and these words are written in the mural: Teachers want what children need, Mary Ellen Riordan. Jon Zemke

In 2016, a mural commemorating Mary Ellen Riordan, the first woman to lead the Detroit Federation of Teachers, was commissioned by Jon Zemke on the side of the home he redeveloped. The mural was painted by artist Nicole Macdonald and stands 20'x36'. Riordan was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2001 and passed away in 2010.

A building with a mural on the side of it. The mural depicts a woman and these words are written in the mural: Teachers want what children need, Mary Ellen Riordan. Jon Zemke

Monumental Kitty

Located in North Corktown, just off I-75, artist Jerome Ferretti created Monumental Kitty out of almost 3,000 salvaged bricks.

City Sculpture Park

A large metal sign with the words: City Sculpture. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Artist Robert Sestok created this outdoor rotating exhibit of metal installations, open to the public as a place of education and inspiration in Cass Corridor.

A large metal sign with the words: City Sculpture. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

We Kahn Do It!

This mural has delighted passers-by since being painted in the early 2010s. It’s of course a pun on renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn, who’s iconic Fisher Building is evoked in the painting and which can also be seen down Milwaukee Avenue as you face the mural.

Illuminated Mural

Artist Katherine Craig created The Illuminated Mural, at 2937 East Grand Boulevard, in 2009 when she received a Community + Public Arts grant from the College for Creative Studies, the Illuminated Mural faces an uncertain future. The Platform purchased this building, which is being redeveloped into Chroma.

United We Stand at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History

United We Stand by Detroit artist Charles McGee was unveiled in 2016 and stands just outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and is meant to represent interconnectedness. As McGee says, "We are all connected and we are all essentially important to the process of everything.”

A post shared by shawn e.t. (@s.e.t._images) on

Detroit Chimera

A building with a mural on it. The mural depicts a chimera.

Painted by Kobie Solomon, you'll see this giant mural while speeding down I-75 on the side of the Russell Industrial Center.

A building with a mural on it. The mural depicts a chimera.

Hamtramck Disneyland

The unique public art space created by Ukranian immigrant Dmytro Szylak was sold a couple years ago to Hatch Art, a local arts group, after Szylak died.

Rise Up Tiger

Over in Milwaukee Junction, David "Meggs" Hooke painted this explosive tiger in November 2014 reminding Detroiters to "rise up against great odds."

A post shared by Roman Antonio G (@romangg) on

Rise

A large white building with a mural on the side of it. Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Rise by Beverly Fishman, artist-in-residence and head of the Painting Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, was inspired to paint this work by her interest in Detroit “as a center of cultural and industrial innovation.” In the mural, machined forms collide with colors that evoke both natural and electronic lighting.