Last year we were lucky enough to be invited out to 1xRUN’s Murals in the Market in Detroit. The event was surprising in so many ways, from the time taken by the team to show us what the city was really about – the once-indomitable motoring capital of the USA, with a thriving industry that birthed a lot of modern Capitalist structure, that has since come back from being slammed into depression and decay – to the amount of heart and community that the organisers put into it. With barber-chair artist chats, a roster of local events and genuine support for the artists and workers involved in the festival and beyond, one message was clear, Detroit got soul.
It’s no surprise really – as so many Southern Americans made the trek north for promises of prosperity and a better life – that the city retains so much of it’s sense of family. It is evident in the streets, from the bustling Blues and Jazz bars, the smiling people willing to stop and talk to you on your travels, the rich culture of the museums and galleries, Tyree Guyton’s incredible Heidelberg Project, hidden homegrown music venues and pumping techno parties at institutions like TV Lounge. With an influx of creatives and maker-doers attracted by the cheap rents and sheer space available for living, the city has an ever-changing face and a multitude of urban farms and start-ups, including places of outreach and infrastructure for small businesses like Eastern Market’s Kid Rock community kitchen. Because of all this and more, Detroit will never be the same again, and maybe that’s a good thing.
Despite, or perhaps precisely because of, the population falling from 2 million to a shade under 689,000, Detroit maintains a solid sense of pride, of community and of solidarity. And this is exactly what the 1xRUN team understand. This is what makes Murals in the Market so special and this is why it will continue to be a festival that regenerates, activates and builds up the great city of Detroit into somewhere people are proud to call home again.
Over 50 artists worked to produce over 40 new murals this year, including: 1010 (Germany), Alex Yanes (Miami), Apex (San Francisco), Ben Saginaw (Detroit), Ben Wolf (Detroit), Cey Adams (NYC), Chris Saunders (LA), Clifton Perry (Detroit), Olayami Dabls(Detroit), Dalek (Raleigh), Emad Rashidi (Cleveland), Ellen Rutt + Patrick Ethen (Detroit), Freddy Diaz (Detroit), Felipe Pantone (Spain), Ghostbeard (Detroit), Greg Mike (Atlanta), Halopigg (NYC), Hebru Brantley (Chicago), Hueman (San Francisco), Janette Beckman (NYC), Jeff Gress (Hawaii), Jeremiah Britt (NYC), Jesse Kassel (Detroit), Kevin Lyons (NYC), Kristin Farr (San Francisco), Lauren Harrington (Detroit), Lauren YS (San Francisco), Marka27 (Boston), Meggs (Australia), Mr Jago (UK), NNII (Detroit), Nicole MacDonald (Detroit), Patch Whisky (Charleston), Pat Perry (Detroit), Paul Johnson (Detroit), Paula Schubatis & Dessislava Terzieva (Detroit), Pixel Pancho (Italy), Ricky Powell (NYC), Selina Miles (Australia), Shades (Detroit), Sheefy (Detroit), Sheryo (Singapore), The Yok (Australia), Slick (LA), Sydney James (Detroit), Tylonn Sawyer (Detroit), Tyree Guyton (Detroit), Vaughn Taormina (Detroit), and Xenz (UK).