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Best Mural Minneapolis 2014 - Central Identity Project

Central Identity Project

3416 4th Ave. S.

Minneapolis, MN 55408


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In the summer of 2013, artist Greta McLain kicked off a project to transform the southeast side of the Richard R. Green Central Park School in south Minneapolis's Central neighborhood. The school's building was long, low, and brown, and McLain had the inspiration to brighten up more than 2,000 square feet of it. But it was too much to do alone. So McLain and a team of Green Central middle schoolers set up a series of 10 community workshops throughout the summer, leading more than 700 participants in a kind of paint-by-numbers exercise, where every piece of the mural got a color code, and anyone who wanted to participate was handed a brush. The team didn't ask people to show up at the school, but rather brought the mural out into the community. They hosted workshops at libraries and urban farm plots, and used an indirect cloth method to tackle each section of the mural separately and remotely, later putting the puzzle together on the school building. By the time the completed mural was unveiled in September, it was a work that reflected a collective vision of the neighborhood's history and culture that everyone had a hand in.

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