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

Click the audio player to hear the full conversation. CultureShift airs weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDETFM 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.”

(data support) Gender Ratio.

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.

Wait a second, there’s more:

Detroit Arts Icon Charles McGee Debuts Massive Mural Downtown

Swooning Over Detroit: The Renowed Artist Does Murals, Museums & Galleries in Detroit

New “Murals in the Market” Book Supports WDET’s Arts & Culture Coverage

You Risk Your Life”: Freddy Diaz on His Street Art Journey Through Southwest Detroit

Solidarity in Tune: The Seraphine Collective Celebrates Women in the Arts at BFF FEST

The Progressive Underground Show 292: BLACKWOMEN ROCK TAKEOVER EDITION

Mural Search by Detroit Museum of Public Art:

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Murals in Detroit:

Way to listen to WDET

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