Detroit artist creates mural that sparks civic engagement conversation

Detroit artist creates mural that sparks civic engagement conversation
Ndubisi Okoye’s “VOTE” mural, on the side of the ACLU of Michigan-Detroit office. (Photo credit: Bre’Ann White)

Okoye references the artist Shepard Fairey and his iconic “Hope” poster of President Barack Obama, designed during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, as he mulls over the many ways art and music influence his own notions around civic responsibility and the inspiration for his design. “The idea for my mural was born from my love for bright vibrant colors, my pattern work and simple messaging from my days of working in advertising,” he says. “I wanted to combine those influences into a beautiful mural with a simple and powerful message that could be conveyed across cultures, social media, and connect with people.”

Okoye adds, “Voters need to reengage because these are some of the most important times to affect the future of this country, state, and our individual cities. Those votes enable change and hope in the areas that often don’t see either.”

From now until Nov. 2, Michiganders can vote early. Registered voters can cast their ballots by dropping it off at a designated ballot box location; or vising their city or township’s clerk’s office and completing their absentee ballot in-person. There are also several satellite voting locations available to voters throughout the state. Pertinent info on knowing your voting rights can be found at

The public is encouraged to visit completed artwork in this series, take pictures of themselves in front of the murals, and post to social media with the hashtag #MIVote. While socially distancing from others and wearing a mask, of course.

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