See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Online catalog will pinpoint more than 1,000 Detroit murals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge Mural by Ellen Rutt on West Vernorn Hwy in Detroit. - VIRANEL CLERARD
  • Viranel Clerard
  • Mural by Ellen Rutt on West Vernorn Hwy in Detroit.


Viranel Clerard divides his time between working at Trader Joe's in Ann Arbor and chauffeuring people for Uber. In what limited spare time he does have, the Detroit resident has taken on the monumental challenge of cataloguing every mural within the city's 140 square miles.

“I see the city of Detroit as the mecca of art. The best in the world,” he said. “Detroit 2020s will be New York 1980s.”

His project has manifested itself into the online directory called Detroit Mural Project — an informative, user-friendly site with hundreds of entries that can be divided by location.

Armed with only an iPhone and a mental diary of newly-discovered murals (those Uber trips come in handy), Clerard has collected some 1,000 photos to post to the site. 

Each mural he posts is assigned a description of the artist, a link to their Instagram account, and the address of the artwork.

He's been working at the project for more than three years, and he doesn't profit a dollar for doing it.

click to enlarge Viranel Clerard. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Viranel Clerard.


His primary goal — to increase visibility of the arts in Detroit.

"The city of Detroit doesn't focus on art enough," he says. "When I start to make money on this, I want 10 cents over every dollar to go to the Heidelberg Project. The reason why these nonprofits are important is that we're getting our kids prepared to be next generation's artists."

Clerard is also inspired by his father, a Haitian immigrant who first learned to write his name at 24, and who has since managed to help put his daughter through college and pay off a house.

“He’s the American dream,” Clerard said. "It’s a game I always play in my head, comparing myself to my dad.”

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.


Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 2, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation