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Photos wrap around vacant North Side building as a part of FLOW Art Crawl

Last weekend, a vacant building at 1001 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis was turned into a large-scale work of art. 

A bold vinyl wrap featuring photographic images from the neighborhood wraps around two sides of the three-story building. 
The project kicks off the FLOW Art Crawl, an annual event since 2006 that’s running this weekend with more offerings than in previous years. 

Many different galleries, studios, theaters, and other spaces are a part of the art crawl, which stretches down West Broadway, from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue North, according to art crawl materials. This includes a Caribbean cultural "masquerade parade" and a mini-Open Streets event in partnership with the Minneapolis Bike Coalition. Open Streets allows for bicyclists and pedestrians to freely wander North 2nd Street.  

Dudley Voigt, FLOW’s artistic director, says that each year during the event, “We have made a piece of public art that lasted beyond the event.”   

The three-story building can’t be occupied at this time, “but that doesn’t mean it can’t be showcased,” she says.  

FLOW, along with the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, collaborated with the city, which owns the building, to “figure out a way to wrap it, to use art on a larger scale and amplify what we’ve been doing for a long time,” she says. 

The project expands on the city’s façade improvement efforts and the coalition’s work around business recruitment, corridor marketing and creative placemaking, a prepared statement from the city reads.  

The guerilla-style photos that characterize the vinyl wrap, which Armour Photography, owned by Jake Armour, shot in June, feature area business owners, organization leaders, artists, architectural elements of the corridor and more. 

“What’s great about this is that you can drive by it and see it anytime. It’s a celebration of the great things happening on the North Side everyday,” she says.

A number of other North Side buildings have also gotten an artistic makeover. “Public art makes any space look good,” on both the inside and outside, Voigt says. At times, this type of public artwork has even led to a building or another space being rented or purchased. “We see that story playing out over and over again, the intersection of art and commerce,” she says. 

Meanwhile, the vinyl wrap is expected to last several years. “The city and the community want to see the building occupied before the banner fades,” says Voigt.  

Source: Dudley Voigt, artistic director, FLOW 
Writer: Anna Pratt

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