Southwest Detroit – When driving around Southwest Detroit you’ll most likely see murals in several locations. Some on businesses as advertising, and others that have a deep cultural meaning. The creator of a lot of those beautiful pieces is Elton Monroy-Duran, a local muralist who gave us an insider look at his work and the significance of art in the community.
“I was thinking of a way to connect the community with art, actually, because not everyone knows about art and not everyone thinks they deserve to know about art,” says Monroy-Duran.
To bridge the gap, Monroy-Duran paints images people will really connect with.
“I wanted to paint these popular Mexican icons -- actors and actresses,” explains Monroy-Duran. “Everybody knows them, so I wanted to use them as a bridge, you know, to connect people to my art, to the murals.”
A great example of this is the gigantic mural he did in the parking lot of E&L Supermarket and Hacienda Foods in Southwest Detroit. It features the legendary Mexican actor Pedro Infante as well as other familiar images of Mexican-American culture, like low riders and Cinco de Mayo parades. He also added some familiar faces.
"I started adding people from the community, along with the popular icons, and it is kind of like giving them the same level of respect and appreciation," explains Monroy-Duran.
Here’s where you can spot some more of his murals around Southwest Detroit:
-The exterior of Tamaleria Nueva Leon
-The exterior of Plaza Del Sol Cultural Center
-The sign at La Michoacana Ice Cream.
-State Farm building at Junction Avenue
-On the outside of Xochi’s Gift Shop
-The parking lot of E&L Supermercado (and inside the market.)
“My inspiration is love. And that’s something that’s very personal. Love for my community inspires me to do these murals,” says Monroy-Duran.