Off the wall: Another colorful mural going up in downtown Mpls



At this rate, plain brick walls will be an endangered species in downtown Minneapolis.

Just a couple months after work wrapped on the colorful Bob Dylan mural overlooking Hennepin Avenue, another project is underway just up the road – but instead of a shrine to a legendary music icon, this one is dedicated to Hennepin Avenue itself.

The artist is Minneapolis-based Greg Gossel, who's been commissioned by American Express and contemporary art magazine Juxtapoz as part of a Small Business Saturday event that will see similar murals go up all across the nation, according to a release.


The mural will be painted on the side of the former National Camera Exchange on the corner of Hennepin and 10th Street. Gossel says he will try to "capture a snapshot of the vitality and diversity of Hennepin Avenue, one of Minneapolis' most historic thoroughfares."

He may be just the man for the job. According to the Hennepin Theater Trust, which is coordinating the project, Gossel's work is like a mix between that of Roy Lichtenstein (known for his pop art- and comic strip-inspired pointilism) and "street artist" Shepard Fairey, whose signature piece is the iconic "Hope" poster that was widely used during President Obama's first White House campaign.

Using this "pop art aesthetic," Gossel says, the mural "will be a symbol of empowerment for the many artists, musicians and entertainers that have shaped Hennepin Avenue throughout the decades."

He adds that the "brightly colored, heavily layered mural will spotlight" an area known as a "hotbed for creativity and cultural diversity."

So, other than honoring the local scene, what's the point? It's one of 20 "Shop Small" murals going up around the country as part of Small Business Saturday; the idea is that the artworks will raise awareness of local communities and the small businesses therein, the Huffington Post reported.

Work on the mural started on Saturday and is expected to be completed next Monday.

To get a vague idea of what the finished product might look like, have a gander at a previous mural of Gossel's (this one is in Miami, Florida):


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