You Don’t See Many Black Women on the Wall”: Detroit Artist Sabrina Nelson Uses Public Art to Educate


For over 30 years, Sabrina Nelson has worked as an artist in Detroit. She spoke with CultureShift on WDET about her mural for the annual Murals in the Market street art festival returning for its 5th year this September.

Click the audio player to hear the full conversation. CultureShift airs weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit public radio.

Artist Sabrina Nelson has been a creative force in Detroit for over three decades.

When she was invited to participate in the annual public art festival Murals in the Market in Eastern Market in 2018, she knew she wanted to use the opportunity to highlight the role of African-American women in Detroit’s creative community.

The majority of muralists than I knew were men,” says Nelson. “You don’t see many black women on the wall.”

In addition to being a professional artist, Nelson works as a studio art teacher at the Detroit Institute of Arts and as an admissions counselor at the College for Creative Studies.

She used her wall space off Russell Street to paint a trio of women — activist Grace Lee Boggs, poet and performer jessica Care moore and community advocate Charity Hicks.

I wanted to say something about the women who did a lot of work here, that left marks here,” says Nelson.

Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation with Detroit artist Sabrina Nelson.

Image credit: 1xRun / Murals in the Market

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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