Detroit students, community members, artists begin mural for Joe Louis Greenway

DETROIT CITY WALLS MURAL 1
Posted at 6:25 PM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 18:58:24-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Ahead of the historic 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit, the city hit the ground running on beautification projects: cleaning alleyways, adding new signs and sprucing up parks.

Keeping the momentum going on beautification projects, Detroit public schools students, community members, local artists and Detroit City Walls worked Wednesday afternoon to complete a street mural near Noble Elementary School.

The murals, which are curbside and at a roundabout on Cherry Lawn between Fullerton and W. Buena Vista, depict flowers, words of affirmation and portraits of children. Muralist Trae Isaac designed them after community members pitched in ideas.

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“After the kids get done today, everything’s going to come to life, be a lot more vibrant, going to wake up the community a little bit more,” Isaac said. “The messages depicted in these murals is a spirit of togetherness. We have some nice affirmative words on the Fullerton side: love, hope, peace, joy. We want to promote and endorse those good feelings and those good attributes and qualities in our community.”

The murals will eventually be a part of the Joe Louis Greenway, which will connect nearly 30 miles across the city via bike paths and existing trails. The greenway will also pass through Highland Park, Dearborn and Hamtramck.

“This is just the beginning,” said Carol Pickens, whose family has lived near Littlefield Park for generations.

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Pickens is a part of the Littlefield Community Association. She says the murals are not only nice to look at, they are something to pass on for generations.

“We want them to grow, to be excited about their neighborhood. We want them to take responsibility, which is how we were taught,” Pickens said.

Detroit City Walls, the civic organization that coordinated the Cherry Lawn/Little Field Murals, says this is their first big project that involves children. It’s also their first project since unveiling and placing larger than life cleat sculptures throughout downtown for the draft.

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“Our neighborhoods are where it’s at. This is where the people who make the city what it is, where people are thriving, where they’re working and playing,” said Bethany Howard, who is the project manager at Detroit City Walls. “So, we definitely want to make sure that is something that we’re focusing on and connecting with the neighbors and not just focusing on the downtown space but the neighborhoods where everybody resides and lives.”

The murals are expected to be completed by the end of Wednesday, however, Isaac will be adding finishing touches through the end of the week.

Community members will also be able to learn more about this particular section of the Joe Louis Greenway in an upcoming meeting, which is set to take place May 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Greater Southern Baptist Church.