Artist wants to save Motown mural at Northland mall in Southfield

Mall slated to close next month


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Business owner Clifton Perry already knows he'll lose his airbrushing store next month when the Northland mall in Southfield closes. But he doesn't want to lose something else that's special to him, a Motown music-inspired mural that he painted.

The mural is 16 feet tall and 45 feet wide. It took Perry five months to finish.
"People would come up every day asking, ‘Who is going to be next? Who should be on there? Who am I forgetting?'" Perry said.

The mural features some of the famous faces of Motown, including Berry Gordy, the Jackson 5, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder.

"I had fun working on it. It's the largest piece that I have done since I have been airbrushing, so that is always fun having a big canvas," Perry said.

It's unclear what will happen to the mall once it closes.

Perry fears that the piece of art could be lost, and he's raising money through GoFundMe.com to move it or get it into a museum.

"I don't know if somebody is going to buy as is. It is still possible they might paint over it. Or the mall might get bulldozed, and then it goes down with the mall. Either way, it would be a sad situation," he said.

Perry has until April 9 to save the mural.

As for his business, Perry said he'll continue it from his home until he can find new store space, possibly at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn. 

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