Art app

Detroit, CANVS to track murals in iPhone app, online registry

Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) announced Wednesday that it is partnering with CANVS, an arts-tech company, to identify all outdoor art on city walls. .

ACE Director Rochelle Riley announced the initiative during a press conference outside Chroma, a co-working space in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. The CANVS collaboration, which includes an iPhone app and an online map, is part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s “Blight to Beauty” campaign that promotes public art.

Riley called the upcoming season “Detroit’s mural summer” and said the ACE would begin recruiting “mural hunters,” an army of supporters who will help get murals onto the registry.

To better connect residents to the murals, CANVS will create a digital map on the CAOT webpage that will allow users to create tours of similar murals or find murals they’ve seen but can’t remember. not where.

The City of Detroit's Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) announced Wednesday that it is partnering with CANVS, an art technology company, to identify all art on the city walls.  A screenshot of the CANVS app shows its capabilities for Detroit.

Lorren Cargill, co-founder of the startup, said one of his company’s missions is to better connect the 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 are all part of that context. Once people find the murals and discover the artists, they can come into contact with different parts of the city and know the artists of Detroit.

Cargill said it visited the North End, where CANVS commissioned the BlkOutWalls festival murals by artist Sydney James’ “Girl with the D Earring.”

“I had a great time there with all those murals,” he said. “This place is on my mind now. I have stories there. I met people who live there. Street art lets you do that across Detroit.

The CANVS initiative is co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation. Riley and his team were joined in the announcement by Tashif Turner (aka Sheefy McFly); Ralph André, co-founder of CANVS; Sam Coons, manager of the ACE program for neighborhood arts development, and Zachary Meers, director of Detroit’s City Walls Fellowship Program, which hires artists to do specific murals and recently completed its 100th mural.

The City of Detroit's Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) announced Wednesday that it is partnering with CANVS, an art technology company, to identify all art on the city walls.  A screenshot of the CANVS app shows its capabilities for Detroit.

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Launched in 2016 as a passion project, the CANVS Street Art app has grown to over 100 cities, with over 2,000 aggregated murals. Andre said the interactive map is “coming very, very soon.”

The platform itself is currently downloadable for iOS users, with an Android version being accelerated for availability, Andre said.

“Street art is everywhere; it’s ambiguous, he says. “Everyone sees it, everyone sees the beautiful art, but the stories behind the murals, the artists who create them, are almost always unknown. The inspiration to create this app was for me to support my artist friends and to create this generalized documentation of street art.

“When street art is present in a city, it’s always the prelude to greater creative growth…the engine of this creative economy.”

Ralph Andre, founder of the CANVS Street Art app, speaks during a news conference May 11, 2022 about the cataloging of Detroit murals in the app.

Andre highlighted the importance of “mural hunters” in the effort to collect and catalog all of the city’s murals in the app.

“Mural hunters…literally go to different cities and capture murals,” he said. “They tag the artists, they provide all the background information. With this mural hunter initiative, we are actively calling on all photographers, all art enthusiasts in Detroit to grab their cameras, capture murals and document them. , upload them to the CANVS platform, Detroit’s upcoming wall map Once again, we document the history of street art, past and present, across Detroit.


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