How Detroit Artists Are Shaping Their City and Being Shaped by It

Sponsored: Orlando Bailey of Urban Consulate sits down with Detroit artists India Solomon & Sheefy McFly at The Cochrane House to talk about the role of artists in city-building.

“Cities are a massive physical manifestation of art,” says Detroit artist and urban planner India Solomon. “A Detroit state of mind is a global state of mind,” says artist Sheefy McFly.

In this episode of Urban Consulate Confidential featuring Black city-builders across the U.S., Orlando P. Bailey sits down for a candid conversation at The Cochrane House about how their art is shaping the city, and the city is shaping their art.

Watch the episode here:

Tashif “Sheefy McFly” Turner, born and raised in Detroit, is a multifaceted artist and independent entrepreneur. An alumni of the College for Creative Studies, Sheefy has dozens of murals in the city of Detroit spreading his “Sheefy Faces” and many different styles on walls all over the state of Michigan. From his cubist, surrealist and pop art influences, Sheefy creates his own subconscious gesture figures. As a musician, Sheefy stands out in several different music genres — from Hip Hop to Techno — and founded “The Air Up There,” a hip hop showcase where Dej Loaf and many other influential Detroit emcees had their first performance.

Educated as an urban planner, every piece of India Solomon’s work, whether art or strategy, reinforces the power of dignity and design in building stronger communities. Solomon is a Detroit-based, abstract visual artist with roots on the city’s Westside, and family across the globe. India paints as a means of wayfinding, releasing, and channeling a more grounded version of the present. India’s current art practice spans original paintings, mid-scale murals, thoughtful garments, and home goods. India’s life has always been deeply relational, and it shows in her work that she has had the privilege of learning love in many different forms. Beyond and through her artwork, India works to create connections, communities, and collaborations that nurture talent, shift definitions of value, and help people thrive.

A lifelong Detroiter, Orlando P. Bailey learned how to practice community development in the neighborhood where he was born. Passionate about shifting the narrative of Black cities and neighborhoods, Bailey is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, host of Urban Consulate, Director of Engagement for BridgeDetroit, and co-host of the podcast Authentically Detroit. Rooted in his faith and radical love for his community, Bailey is a passionate advocate for city residents as experts in their lived experience.

Watch the full episode here.

This episode of Urban Consulate Confidential was filmed by Afrochine and made possible thanks to support from the Ford Foundation. To learn more, visit and follow @UrbanConsulate.

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 Urban Consulate brings people together to share ideas for better cities. Urban Consulate Confidential is presented with Next City and made possible by the Ford Foundation.

Tags: detroit

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