The BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival, a seven day, all Black-produced art event aiming to fairly compensate muralists of color is having its its inaugural event July 24-31 in the North End Neighborhood of Detroit.
The festival was conceived by Sydney G. James, who’s from Detroit’s North End, Thomas “Detour” Evans and Max Sansing, artists with a history of participating in mural festivals throughout the country with no remuneration for participating artists and limited racial diversity among those represented. BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival is a direct response to these unfair practices.
Approximately 20 murals will be produced across the Motor City’s North End and New Center neighborhoods, planting seeds of arts-based economic development. BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival will be a juried festival, inviting muralists of color from across the country to submit applications.
Sydney, ‘Detour,’ and Max have set up a Kickstarter campaign to help offset the cost of organizing, and to make sure each artist is paid, and has their lodging, meals and transportation covered.
With live mural-painting, artists talks, pop-up exhibitions and more, BLKOUT Walls offers a dynamic return to in-person, outdoor events this summer. I attended a mural festival in Atlantic Beach, Florida near where I live earlier this summer and it was one of the most enjoyable and communal art experiences I’ve had.
Watching the artists create in real time right in front of you is a fascinating and insightful opportunity to understand more about the mural-making process and meet the artists in a manner you can’t typically. If you’re anywhere near Detroit at the end of July, I’d highly recommend you make the trip to BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival to check it out.