I saw some murals the other day while riding through a couple of Detroit’s neighborhoods. They weren’t large murals like those found in Southwest Detroit. They weren’t religious in nature; nor were they as intricate as some of the huge graffiti paintings I’ve seen on walls along railroad tracks or on the sides of manufacturing facilities. The murals I’m referring to can be found on abandoned homes throughout the Morningside Neighborhood and parts of the Creekside Community. Both neighborhoods are on Detroit’s far eastside.
The colorful murals are small and located on vacant, blighted homes that are scattered throughout the neighborhoods. They have been painted on plywood that now cover the openings of the homes where windows and doors once were. Their intention, I’m sure, is to diminish the harsh reality of the numerous deserted homes found in their respective communities.
A few of the blocks I rode appeared to have more unoccupied homes than those lived in. On those particular streets, it was uplifting to see one of the mural covered homes among the abandonment. The murals seemed to soften the bleakness of the abandoned homes, adding interest, freshness, and a little color to the forlorn structures. The feeling I got while looking at the many murals was that there are people in the neighborhood who care about their surroundings and quality of life in Detroit.
Unfortunately, I don’t know who painted and installed the murals, but they should be commended for making a difference in the community. Not only are they helping the image of the neighborhood, the murals might also be an inspiration to some kid living in one of those tough neighborhoods, to pick up a paintbrush and explore his or her creativity.
Reminder – You can click on the photos to view them larger.