A new mural will cover the whales on Detroit's Broderick Tower — for now

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click to enlarge Artist Phillip Simpson. - Courtesy of Rocket Companies
Courtesy of Rocket Companies
Artist Phillip Simpson.

It's going to be a minute before you see the whales on Broderick Tower while you're in Downtown Detroit.

Now, before you plug your blowhole, the mural has been temporarily covered by a new mural full of color and happy faces. Rocket Companies tapped local artist Phillip Simpson to bring his signature colorful smiles to the side of Broderick Tower.

“When we heard this property was going to be used as advertising space again, we saw it as a great opportunity to take control of the space and bring more art to downtown Detroit. Such a high-profile location – seen all around the world during Tigers’ home games – needs to be a place to display the work of Detroit artists,” said Casey Hurbis, Chief Marketing Officer of Rock Central. “We hope other Detroit companies and property owners will also explore using their buildings as canvases for local artists.”

Simpson's smiles are not unfamiliar to Detroit. If you visited Monroe Street Midway over the summer, you saw his smiles on the basketball court. He's also been a featured muralist for Murals in the Market and is also one of the artists commissioned by the city to create murals for the City Walls project.

Simpson took to social media to express his joy over being selected for the project, saying in the caption: "I hope this installation brings you joy. I tried my best to abstractly represent everyone. Keep Smiling and keep believing in Optimism."

As of now, there is no word how long the smiling faces will be covering the nearly 25-year-old mural of humpback whales painted by artist Robert Wyland.
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About The Author

Alex Washington

Born and raised on Detroit's Westside, Alex Washington is about as Detroit as they come. She judges your coney island order and serves a mean side-eye when anything across Eight Mile is called "Detroit." Her writing has been published in Real Detroit Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, Model D, BLAC magazine, and...
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