Minneapolis Riots Reactionary Paintings

On or around June 10th, I was in South Minneapolis after the riots. I saw multiple people painting different murals on the buildings on Lake Street near the site of the George Floyd choking. Like most in Minneapolis, I was pissed off and confused - and wanted to do something about it. I stopped and chatted with a few of the artists. They were really good paintings... not the crap that the rioters were tagging on buildings - but beautiful and I was inspired. Being me, I decided this might be a way I could give back in a small way to Minneapolis. I proceeded to "knock" on multiple business' doors asking if we could paint on their boarded up windows as well. I got the phone numbers of the artists I met that day and I know a few others personally - and was excited to make that happen the very next day. Well, I came up dry... but Dena from Planned Parenthood called me back 5 days later, I called her back 2 days after that - and this project began. Please don't take PP's involvement as political. The Minneapolis riots (just like COVID), shouldn't be political either. It's a sad tragedy. It is the biggest story Minneapolis has ever seen in its rich history. 100x more important than hosting the Super Bowl. If you live here - and haven't been to the site at Chicago and 38th, I encourage you to go. I've been there 4 times this summer. The site 4.5 miles from my home “drew” me in repeatedly; I was drawn by the initial anger but as the summer went on, the site became more and more sanctimonious. The first time I was there, it was less than a half hour before the riots began at the Target down the road. The last time I was there, a preacher was giving a sermon from the adjacent parking lot on a Sunday morning. I sent Dena a Sharpie sketch of what I had in mind based on the entrance and 2 windows of their building. It's a big white building that would have been awesome to paint on with bright colors - and I like bright colors (as you can see). But by the time Dena "sold" this to her boss, who had to pitch it to his boss, we lost a couple weeks and their windows were already on order... "Would you be willing to paint this on a canvas for our new Minneapolis lobby opening in September?" Dena asked. "Sure," I said "as long as you can buy the paint and the canvases?". We settled on acrylic paint. Rating your own art is not objective at all - I'd give myself a solid B... I'll learn how to get to the A level when my kids leave the house and I can find more time... Here's where I am at - the first draft shown is almost done and I've painted it on the back of my home. I have to finish the eye and the trees need some work. Dena comes and looks at it this Monday for the first time. Before their new location opens on September 14th, I have to then move to canvas and replicate the main painting shown. "Let's" and "Together" will be simpler paintings with flowers to the upper left (Let's) and the upper right of this painting (Together). I hope it will make the hundreds of people who go in and out of their lobby every week, smile or ponder - but mainly, I hope it helps them remember the tragedy that struck Minneapolis in late May and early June of this crazy year. So, here's what I'm asking for - a contribution towards finishing this project. I've almost run out of the $800 worth of supplies that PP gave me as I've "practiced". So in the spirit of the movement, I'm asking for donations so that I can buy the rest of the paint. Ultimately, if I can raise $2,500 (especially from those of you in Minnesota), I can take a couple weeks off to finish this right. If I somehow go over that, I'll contribute the remainder to the United Way of Minneapolis. If I don't hit $2,500, I have to work 70 hours the next two weeks to get this done in time. If I raise $300, great, at least I can continue to do this project for free. I won't be insulted by $10 - I will be honored. If you can give more, AWESOME!!! If you want to just send a check the old-fashioned way, I'll give you my address if you message me directly. Thank you all for listening and your support - and for letting me brag for a minute! Thank you to the artists and friends that have given me feedback on the piece as I've been painting the past two months. Forward, never straight~ Drew

Donations

  • Jeffrey Schmitz 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Garrett Williamson 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo

Organizer

Andrew Schmitz 
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
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