Looking as if it has been showered by a liquid rainbow, the side of a nine-story building on East Grand Boulevard looms as a brilliant landmark in the North End neighborhood of Detroit’s New Center.
The Illuminated Mural, created by Katie Craig and Brandon Dougerty, with the help of neighborhood children and fellow artists, is one of 23 projects in six Detroit neighborhoods — part of Community and Public Arts Detroit (CPAD). Funded by three foundations — Skillman, Chase, and Kresge — and fostered by the College for Creative Studies, the ongoing project has created and installed sculpture, masonry, mosaics, and environmental design in neighborhoods from Brightmoor to Southwest Detroit.
The installation process has brought together people from different walks of life whose combined efforts have created community touchstones.
On East Grand Boulevard, cascading streams of living color breathed life into a formerly abandoned storage facility. Today, the building, which is occupied by artists on two floors, has become a community hub that houses art openings and occasional screenings of “flicks on bricks.”
“For residents, it’s typically new to work with professional artists,” says Sioux Trujillo, an artist, 2009 Kresge Fellow, and CPAD associate director. “Afterward, they have a much better understanding of what artists do.”