Murals in the Market

Artist : Organized by Inner State Gallery & 1xRUN
Location : Detroit USA
Year : 2015
Researcher : Jessica Fiala

Murals in the Market was the brainchild of 1xRUN, a fine art publishing company located in the market neighborhood that also runs the associated Inner State Gallery. Over the past 4 years, the company has curated and produced more than 30 mural projects in Eastern Market and over 100 murals across the city. With Murals in the Market, 1xRUN sought to heighten their impact by concentrating efforts within their home community.

Adding to the lively festival atmosphere, the community embraced the project. Teachers organized their own field trips to allow students to see the work and talk with artists and local tourism spiked as visitors came to follow walking tours of the new murals. The public response also took a personal turn, with 1xRun receiving an influx of comments and reflections.

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The project also connected business owners, workers, and artists to strengthen the community of stakeholders in the diverse and long-standing Eastern Market. At 125 years old, Eastern Market is the longest continuously running food market in the United States and has been a place to build a livelihood for generations of diverse immigrants and ethnic groups.In infusing public art into the district, 1xRUN is collaborating closely with Eastern Market Corporation and both have an eye on the long-term and a concern to hedge the advancement of gentrification and ensure that the district maintains the vitality and diversity that have been its backbone for over a century. Partnering with building owners, Eastern Market Corporation is balancing converting older properties to mixed purpose sites with moves that support the modernization and food safety improvements needed by local businesses working in the food industry.

The city of Detroit has struggled in recent years and is working to rebound from a historic declaration of city bankruptcy in 2013. Murals in the Market brought international artists to Detroit to paint 45 murals on walls in the neighborhood surrounding Eastern Market, a long-running local public market. Beyond adding vibrancy to this community space, many of the artists chose to celebrate African American identity, a decision that is particularly significant given Detroit's large African American population. This work is also timely given the nation-wide Black Lives Matter movement, a response to police violence that is also an affirmation of Black identity that seeks to replace negative stereotypes with positive representations. In addition to the lasting murals, Murals in the Market brought artists into the community to create work in the public sphere and was bolstered by exhibitions, gallery talks, walking tours, and a workshop for youth.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency