The Detroit Portrait Series will embark on an ambitious mission to write the Detroit story from the “ground up,” by honoring leaders and everyday heroes from the city’s past and present, who have fought against injustice and championed individual freedom. In the boarded up windows at 5729 W Grand River, prominent and heroic figures from Detroit’s past and present will be featured in large-scale portrait paintings. A historic 3-story building that towers over the street, located near the busy I-94 freeway intersection, 5729 W Grand River has 16 identical 10ft by 7ft windows, all facing one direction — a perfect setting for a portrait gallery, near the burgeoning Grand River Creative Corridor.
Each window panel will showcase a different portrait: Native Americans significant in the Detroit area prior to European arrival, missionaries and important civil rights leaders, labor organizers and current cultural, social and political activists. While the subjects will be from a variety of fields, descending from many ethnic backgrounds, the painting style of the portraits will be uniform. Bold outlines will shape each face, with vivid colors filling the frame. The panels will be designed to stand out at a distance.
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