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Urbane MailBox Art

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Hello Urbane Friends, 

We have launched a new project at UrbaneLife. We want to clean up those old, sometimes dingy mailboxes at our Urbane Apartment Communities. We want to bring a smile to our Residents as they gather the days mail, at least until SnailMail goes away forever. We are working with Kyle Rise Irving, an urban artist from the Metro Detroit area. His, Artwork ranges from pop cartoon images, classic comic book heroes/villains, video games, all the way to the traditional tattoo and Asian themes. All his art has what he has dubbed “Hooligan Art”. 

Kyle is a Madison Heights resident, a graduate of Royal Oak Dondero High School and Oakland University, and has designed a new graffiti-style T-shirt for Focus:HOPE.

“We wanted to have a T-shirt that was something different for us,” said Kathy Moran, director of communications for Focus:HOPE. “We were looking for something MailBoxArt Lexington2urban and edgy and something we thought would appeal to a younger audience.”

Focus:HOPE officials saw Irving’s work on the Detroit Artist’s Workshop Website and commissioned him to design the T-shirt for a nominal fee. Irving created several design options and the Focus:HOPE staff made the selection.

“We are so excited about Kyle’s design,” Moran said. “It captured the spirit we wanted to capture and we look forward to another T-shirt or two designed by him.

Irving was pleasantly surprised when he heard from the organization.“It feels great,” said Irving, 29, who has been drawing since he was a child and attempted to reproduce the images he saw on cartoon television programs. “It was one of those moments that I never saw coming. It feels great to give back to Detroit like that and do something that people of all ages can see and appreciate.”

Irving admits that he got a little teary-eyed when he saw the final design on a T-shirt in his studio.

MailBox Art Wash2“It’s really amazing to be part of it. I realized that I could see someone wearing it on the street.”

Irving’s design was unveiled at a recent release party for the T-shirt and the photographic book “Focus on the Mission: Visions of Diversity” held at the Detroit Historical Museum.

He is already looking ahead to future designs.

“We’ve talked about maybe designing some handbags for Focus:HOPE. I’ll be focusing on creating artwork they can sell and reach out to the community with it.”

The T-shirts are available in limited supply in men’s and “missy fit” women’s sizes for $20 each. Find them on the Focus:HOPE website (, look for the online store link on the lower left); at Focus:HOPE, 1355 Oakman Blvd. in Detroit; or by calling Moran at 313-494-4423.

Focus:HOPE, founded in 1968 by the Rev. William Cunningham (1930–1997) and Eleanor Josaitis (1931-2011), is an organization dedicated to practical solutions to the problems of hunger, economic disparity, inadequate education, and racial divisiveness. Focus:HOPE works to bridge the racial divide in southeast Michigan through its food program, career training programs, and the HOPE Village Initiative, which supports academic achievement of children living in the neighborhoods around the campus.


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We came across both the idea of MailBox Art and Kyle and his work by seeing some FaceBook Posts of his involvement in Meters Made Beautiful, that featured painted parking meters inside the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats Festival footprint that debuted Labor Day Weekend 2016 during the festival.  The meters are painted with custom designs which were submitted through an artist application process and reviewed and approved by a joint Arts, Beats & Eats and Royal Oak Commission for the Arts Committee.

We thought Meters Made Beautiful was a splendid idea, that led us to MailBox Art!



Artsy Fart: Alyssa Klash and Alan Ledford- Hazel Park, MI

About the Artist: Artsy Fart is the awesome art collaboration company between artists Alan Ledford and Alyssa Klash. Meeting by chance, both artists realized they shared a similar illustration style as well as artistic vision. The two decided to combine forces and create Artsy Fart! Artsy Fart talents include but are not limited to: animation, apparel, art, toys, and teaching. It is Artsy Farts mission to spread fun, creativity, and bring out the inner kid at heart in everything we create.

About the Art: The artwork submitted is part of a new series by the artist duo dealing with the theme of nightmares. The artwork is inspired by the creatures who control our physical and subconscious realms while we sleep.

Location:  South side of Fourth Street between Lafayette & Washington


Robin DuFour-Hyden – Chesterfield, MI

About the artist: Robin is a graphic designer with a degree from the College for Creative Studies. She loves doing new projects and does freelance work every chance she gets. Her background includes design work, murals, chalk drawings, computer graphics, and photography. She enjoys going to Royal Oak’s Farmers Market, restaurants, shops, and of course, the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats Festival every year! Robin is very happy to have had a chance to paint a meter in the Meters Made Beautiful project.

About the art: “Flamingo Road” is a bright, bold, pink flamingo standing at attention next to the street.

Location: West side of Washington, at the corner of 7th Street, between 6th & 7th Streets


Katie Hosback – Royal Oak, MI

About the Artist: Katie has been a resident of Royal Oak for 10 years. Not only is she an artist, but she has also been an art teacher for the past 12 years in Troy.

About the Art: Katie chose to represent the great and mighty oak tree because it is what our great community is named after. Also an oak tree represents stability and strength often growing for centuries while standing up to the harsh elements of nature.

Location: West side of Washington between 5th & 6th

This article brought to you by the fine folks at Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, Urbane Apartments in Birmingham, Urbane Apartments in Berkley, Urbane Apartments in Milford, Urbane Apartments Ferndale.


EBEric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2002, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine, the New York Times and Harvard Business Review . You can connect with Eric at  UrbaneLife on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications:

Multi Housing

News Social Media Examiner

Search Engine Guide

RDA Press, (Rich Dad Advisors) are publishing Eric’s first book,Apartments to Hot Sauce; RED HOT RECIPES FOR YOUR BUSINESS START-UP, to be on the bookstore shelves in MARCH-2017!

Apts to Hot Sauce

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