Inaugural Blkout Walls Festival Kicks Off in Detroit This Weekend
The first-ever BLKOUT Walls Festival officially began today in the North End area of Detroit. Over the course of seven days, visitors can watch talented artists from across the nation create murals on buildings located throughout the neighborhood.
The festival was co-founded by artists Sydney James, Thomas “Detour” Evans, and Max Sansing. All three organizers were on the scene this afternoon working hard on their new murals. “It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone that we know together to participate in this type of community building,” said Thomas “Detour” Evans. “When you are able to connect and learn from other artists that have a similar background, that is where you get the most meaningful and enriching experiences. It feels good to put up artwork that means something in a place that means something.”
Mural by artist Hiero Veiga. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
Co-founder Max Sansing explained that he would see James and Thomas at national and international mural festivals where the lack of diversity was apparent. “As Black artists, there would only be one or two of us at the festivals and you had to be exceptional in the space you were in. We got the idea to throw our own festival where we all could participate at the same time – kind of like the Avengers where we are all in the same movie for once,” he smiled.
Murals being painted by Sydney James (left) and Max Sansing. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
“This is good because we can come together and paint in a space that will benefit Black culture while sharing our experiences and synergy as artists. It’s a fun time and I’m excited to have friends here that we’ve met along the way participate as well. They get a chance to see how it is to be involved in a Black space the same way we’ve had to exist in other spaces. “
For a full lineup of festival events visit the website here.