Detroit ACE announces new app to track and identify murals across the city


Detroit ACE announces a new app to track and identify murals across the city

  • Detroit ACE to announce partnership with CANVS to track all the art on the city’s walls
  • Residents and tourists can use their smartphones to identify murals and learn about artists
  • Detroiters can take part by helping submit new murals not yet included in the app

May 11, 2022 - Detroit ACE announced it is partnering with CANVS, an art technology company, to identify all the art on the city’s walls.

Director of Arts and Culture Rochelle Riley announced the launch of the CANVS collaboration, part of ACE’s contribution to Mayor Duggan’s Blight to Beauty campaign. She also discussed how ACE will begin enlisting “mural hunters,” an army of supporters who want to help the city honor our muralists.

ACE will reveal an initiative to not only identify all the murals in the city to honor some of the city’s best artists who are transforming the city with color and beauty. But it is launching an app that will allow residents and tourists to use their smartphones to identify the mural and artist in front of them.

Riley and her team were joined by Tashif Turner, aka Sheefy McFly, Ralph Andre, co-founder of CANVS, Sam Coons, ACE’s Program Manager for Neighborhood Arts Development, and Zachary Meers, director of Detroit’s City Walls fellowship program that hires artists to do specific murals and recently completed its 100th mural.

The CANVS initiative is co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

To better connect residents to murals, CANVS will create a digital map on the ACE City web page to allow users to create tours of similar murals or find murals they have seen, but do not remember where. The initiative is one of several that ACE is planning as part of the mayor’s Blight to Beauty campaign.

Lorren Cargill, co-founder of the start-up, said that one of his company’s missions is to better connect community to art.

“When art becomes more accessible, it allows people to better connect with the city,” he said. “The Girl with the D earring – people know that now. We’re all a part of that context-setting. Once people find the murals and learn about the artists, they’re able to connect with different parts of the city and know Detroit’s artists. Cargill said he visited the North End, where CANVS loaded the murals from Sydney James’ BlkOutWalls Festival. “I had a good time there with all those murals. That place is in my mind now. I have stories there. I met people who live there. Street art allows you do that across Detroit.”

Riley said she has many duties, “but one of them is to help Detroiters rediscover our pride and embrace centuries of achievement by celebrating those among us who are excellent. That includes some of the nation’s best muralists.”