South Pearl Street in Denver embraces the offbeat.
“This whole neighborhood’s pretty quirky,” Riley Dorway said.
The neighborhood welcomes all types of people. And magical creatures.
“This right here is a little fairy door,” Dorway said, gesturing to the tiny door at Kaos Pizza.
Dorway is the manager at Kaos and first noticed the door back in November.
“All of these kids were running up to the restaurant kind of taking a look at this thing out here, so I walked outside and sure enough, there’s a little fairy door with a woman inside,” he said.
The fairy door at Kaos Pizza is one of 13 scattered along South Pearl Street. Of course, fairies need doors, too.
“Here is our little fairy carrying a platter of Duffyrolls,” Michele Brown said, opening the fairy door at the Duffyroll Café.
Brown and two other local artists, Seymon Gurule and Anna Bjugstad, created the fairy doors for businesses along South Pearl. Brown has worked on murals before, but this was the first time she attempted a fairy door.
“There’s a lot of fairy enthusiasts,” she smiled.
It turns out, fairies are pretty popular.
“Even the woman at Home Depot – the cashier gave me a hug because I told her what I was making and she loves fairies, so I guess this is like a common thing,” Brown laughed.
“Fairies are moving in!” Councilman Jolon Clark said, standing beside the fairy door at AikoPops.
Back in November, Denver mayor Michael Hancock asked Clark and his fellow council members to find new ways to infuse arts and culture into their districts. The fairy doors were Councilman Clark’s answer to the challenge.
“Each council district got $2,020 to celebrate 2020 to do some placemaking art in their district,” Clark explained.
Clark was inspired by similar fairy doors he’d seen with his kids visiting Ann Arbor, Michigan. He reached out to the three local artists bring tiny doors to Denver. People along South Pearl seem to dig them.
“It adds a little bit of mystery and magic to the neighborhood,” Rick Grawey said.
Grawey and his wife, Anne, were visiting Denver from Illinois. They stumbled upon one of the fairy doors outside Palizo Italiano.
“There’s a bit of whimsy in this city I think that’s so attractive,” Rick said.
Councilman Clark said he’d recently secured another grant from Denver Arts and Venues. An additional $3,500 will go toward more fairy doors along South Pearl.
“Once fairies move in, you never know,” Councilman Clark said. “Next thing we might have, you know, the Alley Gnomes of Platte Park!”
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