North End neighborhood boasts beauty in BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival

Color rained over Oakland Avenue and surrounding streets this past week as more than 20 national and local artists gathered to participate in the first-ever BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival. 

The seven-day celebration of Black artists included live mural painting, artist panel discussions, walking tours and community workshops, and left the North End and adjacent New Center area boasting dozens of vibrant new murals. 

Artists Sydney G. James (Detroit), Thomas Detour Evans (Denver), and Max Sansing (Chicago) created the biannual, family-friendly event held July 24-31, as a result of too often finding themselves some of the only Black artists featured in mural festivals across the country. The trio is out to change this by bringing BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival, a support and celebration of Black artists, to new locations and home to Detroit every other summer.

Stroll through the photo story below to enjoy some of the new art gracing commercial buildings in and around the historic North End neighborhood. Find out more about artists and sponsors at and on Instagram at @blkoutwallsfest. All photos by Nick Hagen.