Downtown Brainerd Gets Some Color with a Giant Mural
Downtown Brainerd was given some color last weekend as the Crossing Arts Alliance decided to paint a community mural.
“We moved to this location about a year ago, and we saw this great big empty wall, and knew we wanted to put a mural on it,” Lisa Jordan, Crossing Arts Alliance Executive Director, said. “The deTOUR Downtown project came to fruition and this was our time to make that happen.”
The deTOUR Downtown project raised over $20,000 in June to host events and bring more people to the area, and this community mural was one of them.
“It’s pretty cool that everyone is just so excited about it,” Tony Powers, the mural’s artist, said. “I didn’t think it’d be so busy.”
Any community member could come out and put their own flavor onto the mural, and have a lasting impact in the community.
“Everybody can be a part of it, everyone can walk by and be excited they painted a part of it,” Powers said.
Community members painted as high as they could reach, and then it was time for the artist to take over on the top.
“I’m going to do the whole upper part, then I’ll go back down to the bottom and tighten things up,” Powers said.
Powers and Jordan collaborated on what the design would be, keeping in mind they wanted the whole community to get involved.
“We decided a giant, crazy, coloring book with shapes and color and all that kind of stuff,” Powers said. “It seems like it’s going over really well.”
And the artist had to put his own touch on things as well.
“The bird was a real big part of me because I really like to paint birds a lot,” Powers said. “Then, we were going for a cheesy up-north feel, and make something that everyone smiles about and likes, and “You Betcha” came up and it was perfect.”
The 20×20 mural is the biggest piece of community art the Crossing Arts Alliance has ever done, and it’s what community is all about.
“I think it’s really important to feel invested in your community, and how cool to do something really colorful in that way,” Jordan said. “I walked around the corner yesterday and saw the beginnings and it was just exciting to see color here, and you wouldn’t expect it there.”
Now downtown Brainerd has something that can put a smile on anyone’s face that walks by for years to come, and many community members can say, “I helped paint that.”
The mural is now complete, and people can take their selfies in front of the artwork at the Crossing Arts Alliance located at 711 Laurel Street.