Purple Raindrop

Sometimes it snows in April. Esther Osayande's tribute to Prince, "Purple Raindrop," on a recent snowy April 11 in North Minneapolis. 

“Sometimes it snows in April 

Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad

Sometimes I wish that life was never ending

But all good things, they say, never last

All good things they say, never last

And love, it isn't love until it's past” – ­Prince, “Sometimes it Snows in April”

Indeed, sometimes it snows in April and sometimes coincidence isn’t coincidence.

Maybe it was coincidence that the now iconic Prince song, “Sometimes it Snows in April” – a song about longing to be reunited in death with a loved one – was recorded on April 21. Maybe it was coincidence that on that same date in 2016 the author himself, Prince Rogers Nelson, transitioned from his earthly being to the hereafter. And maybe it was coincidence that artist Esther Osayande stumbled onto an impromptu celebration of life for Prince near First Avenue – the club made famous by Prince – when she left a workshop after being named an artist as a part of the 26th Avenue North/Assemble art project … maybe coincidence.

The artists, Osayande, along with Christopheraaron Deanes and Christopher Harrison were tasked with creating any type art at any point along the selected bike rout extending from Theodore Wirth Park to the Mississippi River. Coincidentally, all of the artist chose sculpture art, but it was Osayande who was hit with a spirit to honor Prince.

“After I left the workshop, standing on the corner of Hennepin (Avenue) and 7th (Street in downtown Minneapolis) all of a sudden all these people were singing “Purple Rain.” The music was coming from around the corner at First Ave. and all these people were there celebrating Prince. At that moment all I could see was a purple raindrop,” said Osayande. “There were all these parties and pop-up celebrations honoring Prince, but he needed something more permanent.”

That something more permanent is a 15-foot-tall sculpture, “Purple Raindrop,” at the Lyndale and 26th Avenues entrance at Farview Park in North Minneapolis. Conceived shortly after Prince’s passing, “Purple Raindrop” was installed this past December.

There was snow on the ground when the tribute was installed, and as Prince prophetically understood, there was snow on the ground and in the air this April … as it was this past April … as it most likely will be for many Aprils to come. And while the snow won’t last, Osayande’s tribute to Prince shall.

“The sculpture isn’t mine, it’s the city’s; it belongs to the people,” said Osayande, who overseeing the art activities during the upcoming Juneteenth celebration.

“Purple Raindrop” was conceived and designed by Osayande and was welded by welder, Denise Bailey with the assistance of Heather Doyle and was constructed at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. In a bit more of “coincidence” the color chosen to adorn the sculpture is called “Purple Reign.”

So yes, sometimes it snows is April. And so too does the sun shine bright.

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