By: Stevie Soul
There are a lot of revitalization efforts happening in downtown Detroit to restore the city to its former glory…and I’m loving every bit of it.
Amidst Detroit’s historic landmarks, new construction is occurring, allowing for creative contributions by global artists as we work towards the expansion of the city.
Lately, “The Z” has captured all the buzz – a massive, ten-story, “Z”-shaped parking structure, retail center, and art gallery which recently opened its doors to the public last week. Personally, I believe the most impressive features of this structure are the paint-covered interior walls, showcasing the work of twenty-seven international artists who worked day and night to make this vision a reality.
A team of local filmmakers – including Sean “Seabright” Jackson, Jon Braue, and Joe Talbot – and I had the opportunity to capture an amazing series of moments. We filmed these talented artists painting each of their murals. This footage will be compiled and edited to create a documentary with an impending Spring release, taking Detroiters behind-the-scenes of the creation of these breath-taking murals.
Where is The Z, you ask? The structure wraps the entire block of Broadway between the streets of Grand River and Gratiot. Over the past year, Detroit residents have had the opportunity to watch this colossal structure being built from the ground up. The LED lights, which lace around and illuminate the exterior fascia, bring a fascinating glow to The Z at night.
In addition, the alley below The Z will be transformed into an urban hangout where young professionals and art lovers can socialize and exchange ideas. The Z, which has become a large part of Detroit 2.0, brings novelty and order to the city.
There’s a video running on loop in both lobbies of the structure that fully displays the intensity of the artwork within The Z. With floor-to-ceiling murals on the walls of this parking structure, Detroiters are essentially “Driving-in” to an art gallery. Check out the teaser video HERE.
One good thing about artists is that we always find a way to interconnect through our work, no matter the genre. Between the months of August and December, I had the opportunity to meet, interview, and hang with most of these artists while they worked on their murals.
Although I admired each and every artists’ pieces, check out a gallery of my ten favorite murals HERE. (Note: photos are of the artists painting these murals, in-progress. Murals have since been completed)
Bring in the New Year with a trip downtown to explore The Z and see all the brilliant paintings! Plus, keep your eyes peeled for a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of these amazing murals in the upcoming documentary from local filmmakers…coming this Spring!
Stevie Soul is a Detroit-area musician with a passion for this city, making music, and capturing moments. Get the latest on Stevie Soul on his website, Facebook, or Twitter pages! Learn more about Stevie in his CBS 62 Detroit Proud interview HERE.