New Northend mural 'illuminates' E. Grand Blvd.

In August, artist Katie Craig and a crew of young people began working on a mammoth (100-feet-by-125-feet) mural on a nine-story vacant building on E. Grand Boulevard at Beaubien. The North End building was selected because it "kind of links Youthville, Vanguard (Community Development Corporation), the new CCS and Russell Industrial," says Craig. "It's in the middle of things happening in that neighborhood."

The mural, entitled "The Illuminated Mural," is nearly complete; the dedication is set for Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. with a reception to follow at Vanguard's offices. Craig says its design is intended to "translate to all people in the neighborhood." It utilizes drips of paint flowing down the wall into "abstract explosions of paint spatters and cross-hatching." The mural is "about action and movement, (which) represents the North End: it's a constantly going neighborhood, there's a real fast pace up there," she says.

Craig and some other artists are now occupying the ground floor of the building as studio space, all with the cooperation of the building's owner, the Boydell Group. A recent graduate of CCS, she is also currently teaching art classes to youth at Vanguard. "We're really trying to teach them the business of painting murals and also give them skills," she says. "Everything around us at one point -- except for nature  -- was a drawing, someone's concept. (We're teaching them to) create their own surroundings."

The Illuminated Mural is part of the community+public arts:DETROIT (CPAD) program. Other CPAD projects include installations at Rouge Park, Gigante Prince Valley Supermercado, Patton and Clark parks and, in Brightmoor, Talking Fence. It is facilitated by College for Creative Studies.

Source: Katie Craig
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh
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