Murals in the Market is one of those cool mural festivals we look forward to every year, not only as an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones, but also to witness the evolution of a neighborhood. What started as a blank slate scattered with a mix of active and abandoned warehouses and commercial buildings has become a creative community where some of the best artists around the world spent as much as two weeks painting and inspiring a city that's quickly becoming a destination for the creative-minded.

Smithsonian Magazine recently named Murals in the Market as one of the Top 5 Mural Festivals in the world, and a stroll through the neighborhood to take in the more than 125 murals that have been commissioned to date makes it easy to understand why.

This year, 2018. marks the 4th year of the festival, produced by 1xRun, a Detroit publisher of fine art prints and editions. While MITM is primarily a mural festival throughout the Eastern Market area of Detroit, a big component that makes it a little different is the work done at HQ, a warehouse in Eastern Market that serves as a landing pad and event space throughout the duration of the festival. 1xRun publishes a limited run of prints with each artist in the festival and produces a number of gatherings, including a block party this year with DJ Jazzy Jeff that brought 2,500 people out to take part in the overall experience.

Additionally for 2018, Community Push, a local skateboarding organization that aims to bridge the gap between skaters and their communities, built an entire art-themed skatepark in one of the alleys just behind HQ in Eastern Market that was open to the public all week, bringing even more people to the neighborhood to get involved.

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With more than 40 artists involved from all around the world, this year was as ambitious of an undertaking as ever, but when you've built a formula that just works, the results speak for themselves. Many of the artists build new friendships and networks over the 10 days they spend in Detroit, resulting in new opportunities and collaborations down the road.

Photos and Writeup by Mike Stalter

In a city where the opportunities seem limitless to get involved from the ground up and continue to build a scene with a strong foundation in arts and culture, we look forward to seeing what Murals in the Market evolves into over the coming years.