Gallery: Detroit marks 100th mural in 'City Walls' neighborhood art series

October 19, 2021, 2:23 PM

"The Spirit," a new east-side display by 29-year-old Waleed Johnson of Detroit, is the 100th city-sponsored mural. (Photos: City of Detroit)

City Walls, a four-year-old Detroit government initiative, just hit a milestone worth noting: A six-story mural by local artist Waleed Johnson on an east-side storage building is the program's 100th mural.

Waleed Johnson: "I've wanted to do something to celebrate the city that made me." (Photos: City of Detroit)

His work at Mack and Van Dyke avenues, "The Spirit," shows a Black woman with the city flag as a head wrap and holding the gold sun and spires of Marshall Fredricks' "Spirit of Detroit" statue (above). "For years I've wanted to do something to celebrate the city that made me who I am," Johnson, 29, says in a city media release.

"The very first portrait painting I ever completed was an image of me wearing a Detroit vs Everybody hoodie back in 2014, and now the largest painting I've ever completed is also about my home."

The mayor's office marks the 100th mural achievement by posting some earlier street art it commissioned (below). What began "as a pilot [program] to replace graffiti-covered viaducts and vacant building walls with beautiful murals ... has grown into a full-scale beautification program," the announcement says.

The program's goals are to highlight the values and identity of the communities where artwork is created, empower Detroit artists, and provide a positive cost-benefit to the public via art versus the cost of blight remediation. ...

Each artist receives a $15,000 stipend and $10,000 in supplies to complete their art for the season.

"Many Detroiters probably enjoy these murals without realizing they've been commissioned by the city," the mayor is quoted as saying.

Fifteen murals are planned this fall, including at five recreation centers and Palmer Park's Detroit Exploration and Nature Center.

Photos from city:

Artist: Felle, on 7 Mile | Co-sponsor: Quicken Loans 
Artist: Lindy Shewbridge, Alfred Brush Ford Park
Artist: Bernal Perez, Gratiot and 7 Mile
Artist: Jake Dwyer, "People Have the Power", 3714 Trumbull in Woodbridge 
Artist: Hubert Massey, "Dutch Girls" | Co-sponsor: Quicken Loans
Artist: Bernal Perez, Michigan Avenue
Artist: Chris Dyer, Partnership with Electrifly Co.
Artist: Phil Simpson, Muruso Basketball Court
Artist: Sheefy, "Love Hands" on Gratiot and 7 Mile
Artist: Pat Perry, "Immigrant Arrival." Michigan Central Station viaduct | With Garage Cultural
Artist: LeDania Gurisito, Southwest Detroit rail viaduct | With Garage Cultural
Artist: Phil Simpson, Piquette Avenue
Artist: Sheefy, Lodge Freeway Service Drive
Artist: Tony Whlgn, "Something from Nothing", Tolan Park with Detroit Pistons
Artist: Bernal Perez, "Paris Cafe"


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