Search for images of Detroit and you're likely to find pictures of abandoned buildings and crumbling walls filled with graffiti – urban blight captured by the camera's lens.
In recent years, however, communities have embraced some graffiti artists.
The increase in the amount of sanctioned graffiti art is the focus of our most recent "Michigan Radio Picture Project." The Picture Project is a forum for photographers who capture Michigan's people, places, events, and issues.
The most recent project comes from Doug Coombe, an Ann Arbor-based photographer.
Coombe photographed the works of artists like Antonio “Shades” Agee and Fel 3000FT. Both have taken advantage of the many available spaces in metro Detroit.
A few of Coombe's photos are featured above, but you can go here to see the whole collection.
More from our Picture Project page:
If you want to see the art with your own eyes, there are a few great spots in particular to check out a lot of the graffiti in Detroit. Eastern Market abounds with murals and is also home to Inner State Gallery and the Red Bull House of Art.
The nearby Dequindre Cut is a great bike path from the Detroit River to Eastern Market that has a number of large murals, and fittingly it’s where a lot of the early Detroit graffiti artists got their start.
The Dequindre Cut has also become increasingly popular with a new generation of artists and often serves as the source for graffiti-inspired jewelry.
In 2010, Detroit inspired collaboration between Power House Productions and acclaimed art publication Juxtapoz Magazine which turned abandoned homes into living works of art.
Graffiti isn’t just limited to neglected properties. It also hangs on the walls of Inner State Gallery and the Red Bull House of Art. The art is frequently curated by locals ,yet their work also invites transplants like HENSE (Alex Brewer) to create.
If you or someone you know has an idea for the Michigan Radio Picture Project, go here to share your idea.
–Mark Brush and Tifini Kamara, Michigan Radio Newsroom