The Twin Cities have a lot to offer, yet I seldom prowl their streets with camera in hand, as I usually do when I travel.
I was pondering this the other day when I happened to drive past this mural:
You are the artist. Life is your canvas. Talk about a kick in the (creative) pants! I went home, grabbed my camera, and set out on a “photo safari” of Minneapolis’ cool murals.
Yes, this homage really is located on Fourth Street. Some of the paint has faded, but Bob Dylan is still going strong. I love his mysterious Mona Lisa smile.
Just around the corner there’s a more recent addition. This one takes a nostalgic view of Dinkytown itself, celebrating the businesses that have come and gone.
Of these, I used to frequent Campus Drugs, which has now morphed into a wonderful—if somewhat pricey—restaurant. And guess what? The restaurant has its own mural, too.
A couple of smaller paintings adorn the alleys between the businesses.
But I think the biggest mural in Minneapolis is probably at Merit Printing in the Warehouse District. This block-long behemoth has evolved over the past 14 years years. (Here’s one incarnation. And another.)
Then, in 2009, seven artists gathered to give the building its “Last Mural EVER.” I didn’t have a lens wide enough to capture the whole thing, but here’s a small sampling of their stunning work.
In what seems to be a growing trend, other businesses have also commissioned murals. I’m not sure what this one represents but it’s certainly distinctive.
A nearby coffee shop and tanning salon have more thematically appropriate walls.
But of all the business-related murals I saw during my walk, this one (for an otherwise unremarkable fish market at 628 Central Ave. NE) was my favorite.
Hats off to you, Ethan Heidlebaugh!
… and here’s his completed masterpiece, in all its verdant glory:
I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface, and that I’ve missed some notable landmarks. Still … it was good to appreciate my city through new eyes. Thanks to Val Carpender for providing the inspiration to see my life—and my city—as a canvas.