Brian Whitfield is the Johnny Appleseed of Lansing muralists. In the last several years 15 of his murals have popped up across Lansing, including on the walls of the Allen Neighborhood Center, the Meijer Capital City Market and under the overpass where U.S. 127 crosses Michigan Ave near Frandor.
Right now, he’s busy painting a mural on the west side of the Rathbun Insurance Agency on the corner of Pine and Saginaw streets while jumping back and forth to preliminary work on murals on some Interstate 496 support pillars recognizing the impact the Interstate 496 construction in the 1960s had on African American neighborhood.
The Rathbun mural shows a silhouette of the Lansing skyline with a picket fence in the foreground. The fence honors one of the founders of the Rathbun agency who got the nickname “Fencepost” for his penchant for nailing advertising posters on fence posts.
Despite his wall-sized graphics gracing Lansing, Whitfield’s most visible artwork might be the Mackinac Bridge license plate he designed in 2014 for his employer, the Michigan Transportation Department.
Whitfield traces his diverse mural styles to Rothko, El Greco, Jacob Lawrence, Picasso and Romare Bearden, among others.
To view more of Whitfield’s work, visit B. Whitfield Studio on Facebook.
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