On July 28, 2012, North Minneapolis had their annual art crawl called FLOW. I, along with other artists from the Northside, displayed and sold their work. As one of the highlighted artists exhibiting during this event in a business on West Broadway, I wanted to not only showcase my studio work and illustrations but also the community mural projects I facilitate around the Twin Cities. I set up a temporary wall in the vacant lot next to Dimensions in Hair where I have a permanent mural they commissioned me to paint last spring. I worked along with three interns from MCAD to paint a mural with around 25 kids that came up from the street that day. As expected, the mural was not completed by the end of the event but it was an engaging and fun event for the kids and their families. I brought the 8ft by 4ft mural home with me and finished it. The mural still doesn't have a permanent home but is currently on display at the MCAD Gallery for the Fall Faculty Show, On-Location until September 16, 2012.
Having the community partake in a mural about guns and our youth, a hot topic on the Northside and within our city, I feel would not only demonstrate a positive activity youth can get involved in but also a visual to communicate an issue people feel strongly about in this particular part of the community. Focusing on our young men in the design of the concept is important because most of the gun related crimes and fatalities in North Minneapolis involve our boys. It was especially important to me because I am a mother of a 15-year-old boy. This piece is not intended to be an anti-gun statement but rather a statement to keep the guns out of your youth’s hands. Let’s celebrate our youth so they feel cared about and hopefully won’t join a gang to fulfill their need to belong.