We’d love for you to join us Saturday, July 21st from 11am-7pm as we celebrate 4 years.
Read below to learn more about what we've been up to for the last four years and the mural that's coming to Corktown! For more details on the event click here.
A Look Back at 4 Years
The number 4 carries great meaning. It represents the four elements - Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It honors the four sacred directions and cardinal points - North, South, East and West. It represents the four seasons and the constant, yet important cycle of change. And the four magical moon phases. It also symbolizes what Eldorado General Store has been slowing working on for the last four years - building a strong foundation.
Eldorado has always been a platform for me to engage with my community. That’s the backbone for why the space exists and what its mission revolves around. It’s a place that believes in dreams.
I call it an art project - a haven for me to create and curate what’s important to me like putting people and planet before profit, supporting backyard economics, highlighting makers and artists, stocking the shelves with fair trade companies and people who practice sustainable ideals and believe in supporting bigger issues. It’s also a place that’s been a catalyst for community, allowing me to host neighborhood-wide events that emphasize the importance of gathering to strengthen community in a city that’s in the midst of a renaissance-like resurgence.
From the moment I opened Eldorado over 4 years ago, I knew a mural would adorn the 3-story building that's home to the ever-evolving art project that is Eldorado. For 4 years I've had a folder on my computer titled "mural" filled with Los Angeles based artist Hans Walor’s artwork - acting as inspirational ideas for this future dream.
I had experienced Hans' work over many years through festivals and shows on the West Coast and became innately captivated by his visually powerful messages. His balance between gentle fluidity and powerful structure creates visual cues that allow you to look within yourself, and yet question your environment at the same time. He brings a calm strength to his pieces and forces the audience to look within and ask bigger questions about purpose and passion.
4 years ago it seemed like a silly dream to think the artist whose work I collected as inspiration would actually be the artist to create this birthday mural, and gift to the Corktown Community and the City of Detroit.
Earlier this year, pieces of this dream started to fall in place. As fate would have it, Chris's best friend Zach became Hans' roommate and the seed was planted. In February while out in California, we officially met Hans at a gallery opening party and spent a pretty magical California evening, full moon shining down on us, sitting around a fire pit in his backyard and learning more about each other, our work and personal passions. As Chris and I got in our car to head home for the night, the clock read 11:11 and I knew the universe was ready to make this dream blossom and grow into a reality.
We extended our trip an extra week to connect again with Hans to talk more and how our visions aligned. Finding the overlap was a truly inspiring conversation - and it boiled down to constantly wanting to evoke a sense of discovery and to hopefully inspire others to find and follow their inner passions and purpose, too.
Hans and I circled each other for years - a term I use when people are always in the same place at the same time but haven't officially connected. To me, it makes perfect sense that this was the timing for Hans and I to connect and share his art in Detroit - for our 4th Birthday.
The 4th tarot card is The Emperor, something that represents all the hard work, discipline and self control that’s brought you this far. “Grand achievements are not built overnight; they require a mature coordination of foresight, planning, and bold fearlessness,” writes The Fountain Tarot deck. The She Wolfe deck goes on to say that the card focus on "using powers for the benefit of all and using its position as an opportunity to further the gifts and the resources of everyone around them." All things that ring true to the core of Eldorado's bigger mission.
Over the last four years, Eldorado has always focused on engaging the community and art has always played a big role in this focus. We've hired local artist, Monique of Alchemy Henna to paint our windows. And commissioned our neighbors, Woodward Throwbacks, to create our planter boxes. A few years ago we won a grant from People’s First Project through the Knight Foundation to make our neighborhood more pedestrian friendly and safer. We hung lights, my boyfriend Chris Miele designed and fabricated chairs, collaborated with Detroit Artist Louise Chen (Ouizi) to create and install Vision Boxes that reflect during the day and glow at night, and we installed our sparkly entry way. All things that have positively impacted how pedestrians engage in our neighborhood. These projects stemmed from the mission of inclusivity and introducing art to everyone, wanting to create spaces for anyone to engage in. It’s so special to see people of all ages interacting with the art we are placing outside. We’re trying to pump good vibes out of 1700 Michigan Avenue for as far and as wide as we can - and this mural is another (large) piece of that puzzle.
But the bigger message is really that when people choose to support small businesses like Eldorado General Store, big things can happen. This mural wouldn’t be possible without YOU and your support and encouragement over the last four years. So this celebration isn’t just our 4th birthday party, it’s honoring how important you all are in the Eldorado story. This mural is a gift to you. My hope is that Hans Walor’s work inspires you just as it has inspired me.
Thank you for believing in Eldorado and our mission for four years. Thank you for believing in Corktown and the city of Detroit. I'm in awe of how far we have all come, and we’re only just beginning. Together, all boats rise.
Moments of happiness from some of the events we've hosted over the years and the memories we've been able to make together: