Murals bring beauty to new substations in Detroit

DTE recently teamed up with local artists, Detroit’s City Walls department and several Detroit organizations and businesses to paint murals on the walls of two new substations in Corktown and on Detroit’s east side. These murals will showcase the diversity, opportunity and vibrancy of the city through art.

“We’re excited to have worked with so many incredible people and organizations to bring these beautiful murals to Detroit,” Julie Jozwiak, DTE Regional Relations, said. “DTE Energy is deeply embedded in the city of Detroit — our headquarters is here and many of our employees work in the city. These murals bring beauty to the area while our new state-of-the-art substations will increase reliability for area residents.”

Corktown Substation mural

In 2022, DTE, along with ITC, built a new substation to deliver more reliable power to the Corktown and West Riverfront areas of Detroit. More than 10,000 square feet of concrete walls surround the substation, which was a perfect blank canvas for a mural. DTE worked with Detroit’s City Walls department and the surrounding community to help select an artist to bring life to the substation walls.

Starting in June and wrapping up in late August, Jesse Kassel, a Detroit-based artist, created a mural that represents the vast history of Corktown, which is one of Detroit’s oldest existing neighborhoods. The mural explores the area’s past, present and future, including the old Tiger Stadium, Michigan Central Station in addition to strong themes of peace, strength, unity and much more. The mural’s theme is based and derived from a place of civic pride, and it strives to have a deep connection with residents.

Islandview Substation mural

More than 30 local artists recently gathered near East Vernor Highway to paint the new Islandview substation walls as part of the Murals in the Market festival. Artists decorated over 15,000 square feet of substation walls over a four-day period. Community members gathered each day to watch the live painting, as well as participate in the dozens of events and activities that were part of the festival, including music, art exhibitions, talks, after-parties, and more. The mural was showcased Saturday, Sept. 30, at the closing block party event for the Month of Design. The Islandview Substation mural is a collection of art pieces that tell the story of Detroit and represent the experiences of the people who live, work and play in the city.

DTE will continue working with communities throughout its service territory to create substation murals that represent and beautify the areas. To see more of DTE’s community engagement or to learn more about the company’s work to improve reliability, visit empoweringmichigan.com

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