The Power of Art On Community

What is the purpose of Chicano Murals and Art in Detroit?

Emily Shea
Jessica Vera

( Image gallery )

This project was inspired by a trip to Detroit , Michigan for our Latino Studies class. We believe that the art plays an important role in a community because it is something everyone can embrace and enjoy the beauty and meaning of it together. Community is something many people in the United States take for granted and because of this our communities are greatly disappearing. It is being replaced by violence and a sense of fear engulfs the community. Many artists try to bring back a feeling of community with the art they create. Detroit , being a prime model of a struggling community, is being redeveloped by many caring citizens and several artists. On our trip to Mexican town we discovered how passionate people can be about art and how it effects the community in a positive manner. The purpose of this web page is to explore the impact of Chicano murals and art in a community. This website is designed to explore the ways art is used as a tool for expression in Social Movements. This quote is a reflection on the loss of community in the United States. Can art help bring create community?

"Its too dangerous...we don't even know our neighbors even

though we've lived next to each other for a long's not like when I was growing up..." 1

What better way to learn about art in Detroit than to go to the artists themselves. We contacted Nora Mendoza , a local Detroit Latina artist and interviewed her about the importance of art in a community. Then we contacted the creator of many of the murals in Detroit , Vito Valdez and interviewed him about his experiences with art and its effects on the Detroit community. Murals are not the only type of art in Detroit that is of great importance. We explored some of the wood art pieces made by Brett Colley and Eric Skoglund along with forms of abstract art in Detroit 's very own Garden Park . Photographing art in Detroit , talking to artists and researching, enabled us to discover some of the major roles that art plays in a community. To find out more about the Latino Studies class at the University of Michigan , visit AC213 Web Page .


Imagegallery / Bibliography / Credits