Skip to main content

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

If you're ever driving around the neighborhoods of West. St. Paul, you probably won't have a hard time spotting the mural on homeowner Ryan Weyandt's wooden fence.

Big, bold letters spell out "Black Lives Matter" over a rainbow splash of vivid colors. But it turns out they may be a little too vivid, as the city is now demanding Weyandt paint over the mural. He got the news this past week: 

Weyandt, who commissioned the artwork last summer, writes that it violates the city's "sign policy," as it was "considered a political sign until after the election, but now needs to come down."

In the above post, from April 7, he talks of plans to paint over it with the help of neighbors, but the latest reports indicate that the mural's future may be uncertain.

As the Star Tribune reports, Weyandt could be facing stiff fines if he doesn't remove it by April 15, but with friends and neighbors suggesting a wide range of alternate solutions — including crowdfunding to help pay the fines, donating the fence to a museum or making it a public art installation elsewhere — Weyandt says "he hasn't yet decided what to do."

As the paper notes, the piece also violates an ordinance restricting fences to "one uniform color," while the city's code enforcement team has received more than 20 complaints about the mural in the past several months.

In the meantime, Weyandt has found himself — and his fence — at the center of local, national and even international news. On Facebook, he shared his reaction to having made the New York Times as well as the Guardian in the United Kingdom: "Wow."

According to his Facebook page, Weyandt is the CEO and founder of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a nonprofit of industry professionals aimed at "empowering the LGBTQ+ community on their path towards and enjoyment of homeownership."

Next Up

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.

cats

Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.

metro mobility bus

Charges: Man led police on multi-city pursuit in stolen Metro Mobility bus

The bus had been left unattended with the keys inside when it was stolen.

Bell Ramsey Co. Jan 22 - crop

Charges: Man fatally shot mother of his child during argument

Officers found her on the ground outside the couple's home.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 26

More than 15,000 new cases in today's update.

Related

Bob Kroll

Protesters show up at Bob Kroll's home demanding his resignation

Kroll's leadership of the Minneapolis police union has been under scrutiny.

Black Lives Matter/BLM sign

Report: WI women's shelter loses funding, police support over BLM signs

"Embrace" has four locations in northwestern Wisconsin.

Demonstration/protest in Minneapolis.

Thousands take part in Minneapolis 4th of July demonstrations

They included a march to St. Anthony Main and a "Roll 4 Justice."

Pregnant woman saves husband's life, then gives birth to their 1st child

This story about a West St. Paul couple is simply incredible.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

St. Paul teen charged with killing his uncle after fight in alleyway

The 16-year-old is facing one count of second-degree murder.

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 7.32.55 AM

Man who yelled at young BLM protesters in viral video apologizes

The women who were yelled at have asked that charges not be filed.

Steven Buford

West St. Paul man sentenced after killing woman in front of 3 kids

The victim, 22-year-old Lauren Summer Koffi-n'guessan, died at the scene.