Detroit man documents city street art

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man is trying to bike all of the estimated street routes through the city, and he’s halfway there.

Thomas Leeper’s goal of biking 4,000 miles through Detroit isn’t for exercise, but for street art, the Detroit Free Press reported. Leeper takes photos of all the street art he comes upon on his rides and posts them on his blog, Every Linear Mile. He has captured faces and hearts spray-painted onto the inner pillars of large buildings, a hat painted onto a curbside fire hydrant and even a robot flashing a peace sign along a cinder block wall.

His images show the vast number of canvases artists have used throughout Detroit, found in abandoned buildings or on cars, trees and fences.

“It’s everywhere. It’s so visible,” Leeper said. “Ninety-nine percent of it was created with no financial incentive in mind. … They’re helping beautify the city without money, and so I’m trying to give them kudos for what they’ve done and what they’ve created.”

The 51-year-old has biked 2,200 miles of Detroit streets in the past 16 months, admiring and hoping to bring attention to the city’s graffiti and murals. He started the project in February 2017 and believes he could reach his goal by this winter.

Leeper is a single father of a 17-year-old and the executive director for a recruiting company based in Boston. But he spends his weekends with his bicycle and his camera, chipping away at his passion project.

“We all need a day job, we all need to make money,” he said. But if you “have a passion project, and you work on it,” Leeper said, you can help the community.