Week-long BLKOUT Walls mural festival will beautify New Center and celebrate POC artists


BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival to take place July 24-31; work by Sydney G. James. - COURTESY OF BLKOUT WALLS MURAL FESTIVAL
  • Courtesy of BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival
  • BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival to take place July 24-31; work by Sydney G. James.

This is not your typical blackout we metro Detroiters are used to in the summer.

The inaugural Black-produced BLKOUT Walls Festival is turning the spotlight on Black muralists, as well as the limited racial diversity and lack of sustainable compensation in the art world. The weeklong festival was conceived by artists Thomas "Detour" Evans, Max Sansing, and Sydney G. James, who most recently graced Detroit walls with a Malice Green mural last year during the height of Black Lives Matter protests, as well as a massive mural titled "The Girl with the D Earring."

The festival will host a series of artist talks, city tours, panel discussions, pop-up art exhibitions, and the main event: live murals. Festival organizers selected 20 artists of color from all over the U.S. to create live murals on commercial structures throughout the North End community and the northern edge of the adjacent New Center area — and festival-goers can watch their creation from start to finish.

Unlike similar festivals across the country, BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival has committed itself to paying each artist a fee, as well as compensating lodging, meals, and transportation costs to better establish economic equity in the diverse arts community. The weeklong celebration will conclude on Saturday, July 31 with a BLKOUT Walls Block Party

Various events throughout Detroit from Saturday, July 24-Saturday, July 31;  blkoutwalls.com; events are free, donations are encouraged.

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