Caldwell sees the welcome banner as the second phase of the mural he was commissioned to paint on the side of the 4th Street Saloon back in 2009. The 25 by 60 foot image was finished in 2011 and has become one of the most beloved examples of public art in the city.
Caldwell says he is, "excited and inspired by the sponsors that are supporting this project, because it will be a symbol of pride in our community."
The artist begins installation and painting of the welcome banner July 12 and intends to have it near completion in time for the 8th annual FLOW Northside Arts Crawl set to take place the weekend of July 26-28th.
FLOW Northside Arts Crawl is both a community celebration and premier art event in North Minneapolis; it is a free, non-juried, self-guided tour of studios, galleries, theaters, commercial and vacant spaces over a mile and half of West Broadway. FLOW showcases the great art being made every day on the Northside; the arts crawl is produced by the West Broadway Coalition.
During FLOW, Caldwell will have an artist reception on Friday, July 26 from 6-10pm at the CCaldwell Fine Arts Gallery And Studio at the corner of West Broadway and N 2nd St; the event is open to the public and music provided by Wenso Ashby feat. Zsamé, food and drink. Saturday, July 27, Caldwell will open his gallery as well as have a presence on N 2nd St, which will be the site of a mini Open Streets event. In partnership with the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, FLOW will close off eight blocks of N 2nd St to cars, creating a bike and pedestrian-friendly environment filled with art activities, music, food trucks and part of the route for the annual Twin Cities Carifest Masquerade Parade. Caldwell plans to host an artist market with other FLOW visual and performing artists and a photo booth on the street. For the entire weekend of FLOW, Caldwell will offer specially priced limited edition lithographs signed and numbered by the artist.
As work on the Welcome to North Minneapolis banner is underway all of July, those passing by are encouraged to visit Caldwell while he works, wave and generally enjoy the continuation of the second phase of the mural that entreats all to celebrate the Northside.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for National Night Out on August 6. For the occasion, Caldwell, 4th Street Saloon and the Hawthorne Community Council invite everyone to attend a National Night Out gathering for the whole family in the parking lot at 328 West Broadway.