CCS Student’s Artwork Adorns Public-Facing Parking Garage Downtown Detroit

November 11, 2022
Multicolored parking structure on Washington st in Downtown Detroit

Park Rite Selects student work, inspired by imagery of the city, for a parking garage Downtown Detroit.

Park Rite, a leader in parking services with locations from Detroit to Ann Arbor, announced today that they recently worked with CCS illustration students and Nicole Tamer Art to transform one Downtown Detroit parking garage into a work of art.

The project was led by CCS Illustration Chair and renowned international artist Don Kilpatrick, and Nicole George, founder and curator of the Nicole Tamer Art Gallery and consultant on the project. The students developed concepts for a mural on a parking structure located on Washington Boulevard, across from the Nicole Tamer Art Gallery, pushing them to think on a grander scale.

“I chose to work with CCS students because I believe that it’s a top 10 art school in the country,” says Nick Aubrey, Co-owner, Park Rite. “I love Detroit and believe that CCS should be celebrated more than it is.”

Creative freedom for Detroit students

 This being her final semester at CCS, alumna Lisa Brandt (‘22, Illustration) thought about how cool it would be to leave her mark on Detroit—literally—being an international student.

Students were given full creative freedom on the project, but focusing on imagery of Detroit was emphasized. Brandt knew the direction that she wanted to take early on, because of the architecture involved—she says this was the hardest part. The structure has five narrow slabs of concrete, along with metal grating in-between each slab. With this in mind, Brandt designed her concept to mimic a collage.

“I wanted the pieces to fit together like a puzzle,” she said. “I used imagery like the lion, a record player, fingers playing a guitar, and houses that represent certain parts of the community and Detroit. Symbols like the lightbulb and door are inspired by the idea of green energy and opportunities within the city.”

The first of three murals is currently on display on the Washington Blvd. side of the Trolley Plaza Garage and was installed by muralist Kelly Golden, whose work can be found all around Detroit, with notable clients ranging from Carhartt to Starbucks.

“I feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Brandt says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my experience at CCS. I hope that many students get to have this experience during college, and have the opportunity to work with a client and see their art out there in the world. It makes a huge impact on your confidence as an artist, which is something many art students—including myself—have a hard time with.”

Brandt, along with her classmates in the course, received scholarships from Park Rite for the work that was created.

This educational partnership with Park Rite and Nicole Tamer Art was a part of a CCS initiative focusing on experiential learning, which assists with the preparation for life after graduation. It provides students with opportunities to gain practical skills through hands-on experiences with faculty, peers, industry, and community partners.

Learn more about CCS’ experiential learning, here:

About Park Rite

Park Rite is a Michigan-based, family-owned-and-operated company that has provided parking management and valet solutions for over 45 years. Trolley Plaza Garage, located at 1431 Washington Blvd in Detroit, is a popular parking location near Grand Circus Park and Woodward Ave.

About Nicole Tamer Art

Nicole Tamer Art specializes in contemporary fine art with a focus on emerging and established artists whose work is driven by meaning and purpose. Based in Detroit, we focus primarily on group exhibitions with special pop-up events. The Nicole Tamer Art is free to visit and is located on the main floor of the David Whitney Building in Downtown Detroit. For more information, visit: