Murals in the Market kicks off with new sports-themed activations – Crain's Detroit Business

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Murals in the Market is tapping into the intersection of art and sports during the fourth installment of the Eastern Market program, which kicks off Thursday.

Local artist Freddy Diaz is painting basketball courts in lots on either side of Shed 3 in Eastern Market, said Roula David, executive festival director of Murals in the Market. The two red-and-blue half-courts will be equipped with temporary basketball hoops open for use by the public.

The project is supported by the city of Detroit, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and the Detroit Pistons, which is putting $2.5 million toward building and renovating basketball courts in the city as part of its community benefits plan connected to its new headquarters in New Center.

David said the paint is permanent, but the net can be wheeled to and from the court depending on the season and programming at the market.

Just up the block, a new skateboarding-themed installation is also being set up for Murals in the Market, which runs through Sept. 22 with work from more than 50 artists featured on building walls and public spaces.

Multiple skateboarding murals and temporary ramps will be set up in an alleyway off Riopelle Street in between Winder and Adelaide streets, David said. The activation is being launched with assistance from Detroit-based skateboard booster Community Push.

Returning for the second year, the art program, which is produced by produced by 1xRUN, is teaming up with Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy to support Our Issue, a clothing line he launched in conjunction with a campaign against sexual assault. Detroit native Sydney James, who created the stirring Our Issue mural in Eastern Market last year, will participate in a panel 3-5 p.m. Sunday focused on how public art plays a role in combatting sexual assault.

New this year, the Murals in the Market block party will close off Division Street near the Dequindre Cut with a lineup of artists scheduled to perform starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

For more details, a schedule of events and a map of murals, visit