Legendary Golden Leaf club receives new mural as part of Flint City Mural Festival

By Tom Travis

Finishing a vividly bright mural at Flint’s famed Golden Leaf Club, Florida visual artist Zulu Painter declared, “Hopefully I can pay homage to all the legendary acts here and the energy itself that’s here that’s gone on for over 100 years. It’s an honor to be one of the artists to get to paint on this building.”

“It’s an honor to paint the mural for the festival. And it’s an honor to paint it here on this historic building that’s been around for over one hundred years,” he added.

Flint City Mural Festival artist Zulu Painter. (Photo by Tom Travis)

Zulu hails from St. Petersburg FL and is in Flint for the week-long Flint City Mural Festival,  part of the Flint Public Art Project. Seventeen artists have been in town creating murals this week for the festival.

Most recently, Zulu created murals at Busch Gardens in Tampa and at the end of the month, he will return to Florida to paint “some small murals.”

Asked how old he is, Zulu said, “I’m old enough to know better and young enough to do it anyway.”

Historic Golden Leaf Club displays new mural

The new mural on the outside back wall of The Golden Leaf features some of the legendary faces who have performed at the club  over its  long history, including Aretha Franklin.

Golden Leaf Club patrons dancing to music provided by a DJ between band sets. (Photo by Tom Travis)

The iconic club is at 1522 Harrison.  It’s  one of the only buildings left in what used to be the Floral Park neighborhood ripped out by the construction of the I-69 and I-475 interchanges in the 60’s and 70’s.

The Golden Leaf Club will host The Flint City Mural Festival this Saturday, July 2 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. as they close out a week-long mural painting event.

The Free City Mural Festival has run from June 25 to July 2 celebrating public art, community engagement and pieces of art to bring vibrancy and connection to the city. This year’s theme is Food Systems and is showcasing a food summit, workshops and presentations surrounding sustainability, access and getting involved with local food systems. More information can be found at the Facebook link Flint City Mural Festival.

Flint City Mural Festival artist Zulu Painter. (Photo by Tom Travis)

Over the week, event goers have been experiencing more than a dozen new murals being created along the Saginaw Street corridor as well as live music, poetry, drum circles, walking mural tours,  and more at local venues and businesses downtown, according to a press release.

Funding for the festival came from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Genesee Fine Arts Council millage and Kobra paint.

The Flint City Mural Festival is part of the Flint Public Art Project that organizes public events, workshops, permanent and temporary installations to inspire residents to reimagine the city, reclaim vacant and underutilized buildings and lots, and use innovative tools to steer Flint’s long range planning.

Flint City Mural Festival artist Zulu Painter. (Photo by Tom Travis)

In addition, according to their website,  it supports collaborations among local residents and organizations as well as with leading artists, architects, planners and community organizers from around the world, connecting Flint to regional, national, and global movements to revitalize neighborhoods and cities through art and design.

EVM Managing Editor Tom Travis can be reached at tomntravis@gmail.com.

Author: Tom Travis

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