Whole Foods Mural- Detroit

Over 160 entries were submitted for a competition to do a mural on the side of the new Whole Foods in downtown Detroit. My design featured an urban garden with three women with the skyline of Detroit in the background. The photo above shows the rendering I submitted for the competition. This was the largest outdoor mural I had done to date. The committee interviewed the finalists in person. After my design was selected, we met several times with the designers to come up with the proper panel and material choices to provide the best finished product and longevity. I used NovaColor paints for the first time on this mural and a new protective UV coating on Coralite panels. The transparency and vibrancy of the paint was incredible and I have used it on several murals since. The Whole Foods mural has been in place for many years now and it still looks as good as it did the day it was installed. Here are some different views of it.


The mural was so large that I couldn’t paint the whole thing at once. My studio at the time could only hold three panels. The mural was 5 panels wide and 2 panels tall, so I had quite a time matching up the upper and lower panels. To add to the challenge, there were spacer bars between each panel, so I had to leave 1 1/4 inches between each panel to make sure that items would line up across the gutters.

Wholefoods inprogress.jpg

The end result was a very satisfying project. I learned a lot about Detroit, met some local school children who modeled for the painting and spent a winter painting something beautiful. The following 2 minute video shows the process of painting the mural and installing it on the building. Enjoy!



Katherine Larson

Katherine Larson is a graphic artist, muralist and classical singer from Dexter, Michigan.

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