Downtown Farmington mural installation reflects rich history

Downtown Farmington’s first official mural project was installed this week on the north elevation of the building at the corner of Farmington Road and State Street.  Crafted by Farmington Hills’ artist in residence, John Martin, the 36 by 8-foot piece graphically illustrates Farmington’s unique history and diversity.   
The Public Art Committee, established by Farmington’s Downtown Development Authority in early 2018, kicked off Farmington’s Public Art Program this summer with the David Barr Sculpture Installation in Riley Park.  Ending the year on a high note, the Committee installed its first mural, with plans for more, says Committee Chair, AJ Cooke. “The committee is thrilled to display the mural in Downtown Farmington while we concurrently plan more creative projects for our community to enjoy in the future.”  In fact, the Public Art Committee has a master plan for public art in Downtown Farmington referring to the Public Art Blueprint, crafted via public input collected in 2016 and 2017. A mural program was just what the community was asking for.  
The mural installation has been long awaited as the committee juried mural submissions earlier this year. According to the Call to Artists, proposals focused on “Cultivating Community” and the Committee encouraged applicants to “use the local neighborhood and culture as inspiration for their design.”  According to Cooke, John Martin’s proposal stood out. “Though we received several aesthetically appealing designs through our open call to art, John Martin’s submission was ultimately chosen because of its balanced composition and historical references.  We were intrigued by its throwback iconography – some of which is instantly recognizable, while others perhaps require research – all collaged together in one saturated graphic.” The mural is intended to entice both art lovers and history buffs alike.    
Mural fabrication and installation were made possible through a grant awarded to the Farmington Downtown Development Authority by Flagstar Bank in partnership with Main Street Oakland County. Downtown Farmington is a Main Street Community, which makes them eligible for placemaking grants that support projects like this one.
John Martin’s mural is rich with history and meaning. In order to express the intricacies, the Committee has plans to host a public event with John Martin in early 2019 to discuss his creative intentions as well as the historical references.  The Public Art Committee hopes the event will spur excitement regarding the Public Art Program and invite residents and visitors alike to enjoy Downtown Farmington’s growing arts and culture scene.
For more information about the John Martin mural and the Downtown Farmington Public Art Program, please visit or follow Downtown Farmington on Facebook and Twitter.