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Local artists create murals to showcase six neighborhood businesses

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Not long ago, Detroit-based entrepreneurs and local artists were teamed up. The result? Brand new murals on six brand new businesses in Rosedale Park, University District, Springwells Village and Jefferson Chalmers.

Called the “Small Business Murals Project,” the idea is to celebrate Detroit’s entrepreneurial culture. It is a partnership between the Quicken Loans Family of Companies and 1xRUN, local publisher of fine art editions and producer of the Murals in the Market program at Eastern Market.

Seven local artists painted murals for Cutz Lounge The Grooming Shop and Garden Bug in Rosedale Park, Social Sushi and E&S Uniforms and Apparel in University District, La Posada Taqueria Y Carniceria in Springwells Village, and Craft Café in Jefferson Chalmers.

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“I love the collaboration of this project – you’ve got entrepreneurs, artists and creative people working together to make amazing things happen,” says Dante Williams, owner/manager of Cutz Lounge The Grooming Shop. “As a community, we’re really creating synergy and capturing the essence of Detroit.”

The artists who have taken part in the project are:

  • Freddy Diaz – Diaz was recently commissioned by the Lear Corporation to create a unique mural painted inside their new Innovation Center in Detroit’s Capitol Park.
  • Jesse Kassel – National burger chain Shake Shack commissioned a permanent piece for the opening of their new downtown Detroit location.
  • Sydney G. James – Recently commissioned by Under Armour to paint Justin Verlander in the new Brand House on Woodward.
  • Ouizi – Detroiters may know her work best from the Flower House project in partnership with Pot+Box, and her mural at Astro Coffee.
  • Sheefy McFly – Visual artist turned musician who co-founded Rager Haus artist collective and The Air Up There hip-hop showcase
  • Phil Fresh Simpson – Founder of The Smile Brand, a streetwear and lifestyle brand dedicated to the life of smiling and spreading joy.
  • Michelle Tanguay – Michelle’s “Lollipop Building” murals adorn vacant street-level windows on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Boulevard.

Here is a list of the mural locations and the artists who created them:

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Based in Eastern Market,1xRUN has championed Detroit’s public art scene for nearly a decade. Over the past five years it has created more than 100 murals in Eastern Market and more than 150 murals throughout Detroit, along the company’s fine art gallery Inner State.

It will hold its third annual arts and culture festival Murals In The Market in September, partnering with the Eastern Market Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to present dozens of permanent murals throughout the Eastern Market district.

“Over the past 10 years we’ve worked hard to collaborate with local businesses that may be considered more ‘off the beaten path’ to create unique murals that not only allow the artist to express their creative freedoms, but to build on the exploration of art in the City of Detroit,” Jesse Cory, 1xRUN CEO said from his Eastern Market studio. “From the moment we started the conversion with Quicken Loans our entire team was excited to collaborate with a partner that shares our vision for public art in Detroit.”

Here is a map that shows you how to find the murals.

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This project finished up just as Startup Week began in Detroit, during which Quicken Loans and WeWork will invest $2.5 million in Detroit entrepreneurs on Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, May 25, at the Gem Theatre.

– Photography by Daniel Isley

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