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Ford Commissions Rebel Nell to Create Jewelry From Michigan Station Graffiti

September 21st, 2018

Borgman Ford in Grand Rapids, MI is very eager to see what Ford’s plans are for the historic Michigan Station in Corktown, Detroit. After the last train left the station in 1988, the station was ultimately abandoned and became something of a canvas for local graffiti artists to hone their craft.

After Ford acquired the building, much of this artwork has cracked and fallen to the floors of the lobby and hallways or has otherwise become degraded. Ford enlisted the help of local women’s organization Rebel Nell to collect some of this fallen artwork and transform the fragments into beautiful, unique, and meaningful pieces of jewelry.

Rebel Nell hires women who face barriers to employment in Detroit and educates them on financial management, life wellness, and entrepreneurship. You can read more about the project in Corktown and Rebel Nell in these excerpts from the Official Ford Media Center, or by visiting the links below.

From Graffiti Art To Jewelry: Corktown Firm Rebel Nell Turns Pieces Of Michigan Central Station Into Unique Wearables

For years, the walls, columns and archways inside Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station served as a canvas for inspired graffiti artists and muralists.

That fascinating chapter of the iconic building’s history isn’t about to be lost as Ford transforms the structure into an innovation hub to help it realize its vision for the future of transportation.

Ford commissioned Rebel Nell, a Corktown social enterprise, to repurpose layers of graffiti paint from inside the massive building into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.

The result is the limited edition Michigan Central Station Collection, an assortment of pendants and earrings, each individually created from fallen graffiti.

“There is a story in every piece,” says Shawn H. Wilson, manager, community engagement at Ford Fund. “Over the years Michigan Central Station became an artist’s playground. Artists went there to perfect their craft and build their brands. Part of the reason we’re doing this is to pay homage to the artists.”

Ford worked with Rebel Nell to gather fallen graffiti from the lobby and other floors of the 500,000-square-foot building, which closed in 1988 and has remained vacant since. Wilson and Rebel Nell co-founder and CEO Amy Peterson said they were respectful of the artists’ works and only gathered graffiti that had fallen from surfaces.

“Graffiti is truly art,” Wilson says. “Rebel Nell was able to help us identify artistic components inside the train station and which graffiti to use.”

You can read the full article by visiting or stop by to see their products and learn more about their mission.

About Borgman Ford in Grand Rapids, MI

Borgman Ford first opened back in 1960 and has always been a family owned and operated company. Our founder Fred Borgman built the business around the golden rule, and through this has achieved long-term success in the Grandville community and beyond. His grandson Matt now oversees the dealership as general manager, ensuring that everyone who comes through our door is treated like family – just as we have done for nearly sixty years.

If you’re searching for a New Ford or Pre-Owned Vehicle in West Michigan, visit us any time to see our selection. Times have certainly changed since the 60s, but our dedication to Fred’s vision has not. Our staff will work to make sure all of your questions are answered, but will never pressure you into a sale. Come see why we’re the Best in the West!


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