ArtCorpsDetroit completes 'brixel' on Hostel Detroit - The South End: Arts & Entertainment

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ArtCorpsDetroit completes 'brixel' on Hostel Detroit

Mural is one of many in a series of geometric tessellations

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Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 12:00 am

The exterior of Hostel Detroit received an artistic gift from ArtCorpsDetroit and volunteers as the latest brixel was completed Aug. 7.

A combination of “bricks” and “pixels”, brixels are computer-generated patterns painted on walls of aging brick buildings, according to the ArtCorpsDetroit website.

The mural at the hostel, located in Corktown, is the sixth in a series of geometric tessellations transferred from a computer screen to brick walls throughout Detroit.

The website,, created by Cedric Tai and Dan Marchwinski, is still in its infancy but has already been able to make a statement by utilizing strategic locations scattered throughout Detroit, including Eastern Market, Midtown and Woodbridge.

As Tai prepares for graduate school in Glasgow, he said that the brixels are no longer just his project. Brixel: Phase Two, he half-jokingly explained, is part of the evolution of an idea.

Instead of being present and a part of every site, Tai will now assist others with obtaining resources and a location for brixels. Rather than looking at the murals as a legacy, "it's really just one part; a continuation of something bigger than any one person," he said.

Hostel Detroit's brixel is the most recent example of the project's communal growth; organized by ArtCorpsDetroit, the paint was donated from Sherwin Williams (Grosse Pointe and Southgate locations) and the food by Corktown Sausage.

Wayne State art student and member of Art Corps Detroit, Ayaka Hibino, explained that, aside from projects, ArtCorpsDetroit helps provide volunteers. As the weekend-long brixel project required a group of people to ensure that it be completed on time, Hibino says thatArtCorpsDetroit utilized social media to gain volunteers.

"In an area like Corktown, there is so much going on right now and the city really needed the hostel,” Hibino said. “It makes the city more accessible, which is great when there are so many amazing projects popping up all the time. "

As one labor of love merges with another, it is clear that Detroit's synergistic revitalization shows no signs of slowing down. Hostel Detroit's general manager, Michel Soucisse, said that the momentum in the city is really what has facilitated so many projects and the resulting success.

Soucisse, who has been a Detroit resident for six years, is an artist himself and greeted ArtCorpsDetroit and the project with enthusiasm.

"I don’t know anyone actively involved in the Detroit who wakes up and says, 'Okay, now its time to go save the city,'” Soucisse said. “Everyone does what they love, and that passion translates into positive change in Detroit."

Like the brixels, Hostel Detroit also aims to celebrate Detroit's open space through renewal and re-imagining. Both have been fortunate to join the ever-growing circle of businesses and projects in Detroit that are made possible by people willing to donate themselves, resources and time.

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