Top 11 Best Cities In America For Street Art

Detroit, Michigan

Despite its well-documented excess of empty space and blank/blighted walls, Detroit has only recently exploded in contemporary mural art. The Dequindre Cut, a former rail line that was transformed into a paved greenway in 2009, was long a haven for graffiti artists, and is now an outdoor art gallery featuring 35 murals from internationally known artists. In 2010, Banksy paid a visit, a local gallery saw a way to make some cash on it, and international attention ensued. The Detroit Beautification Project rolled along quietly until 2012 when city-within-the-city Hamtramck was covered in murals literally overnight, provoking ire and national attention.

The Grand River Creative Corridor, featuring over 100 murals on 15 buildings along a half-mile stretch, launched shortly after. 1xRUN, one of the groups behind the Beautification Project, continued commissioning international artists-in-residence to create new murals and spearheaded neighborhood-wide public art initiatives like Murals in the Market, which will add another 50 murals to the district this summer. Now even billionaire real estate mogul and real-life human bobble head Dan Gilbert is in on the game, shipping in Los Angeles-based artist Shepard Fairey for one massive mural prominently placed in the city’s center, plus smaller pieces for a stunning new «art alley» called The Belt. And let’s not forget the Diego Rivera seven-panel Detroit Industry fresco cycle at the Detroit Institute of Arts.