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Lake Street murals help beautify the community, deter graffiti

The murals along the bike trail are a part of a series of artwork sponsored by the Lake Street Council and the Lynlake Business Association.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Midtown Greenway is a 5½-mile trail that runs through the heart of Minneapolis.

"This is what some people call the nation's best urban bike trail," said Soren Jensen, executive director with the Midtown Greenway Coalition.

Over 5,000 people commute on the Greenway during our warmer months and now they'll notice two new additions popping up on these walls.

"This is our latest mural, it's by a local artist, Reggie LeFlore, and we've been working with Reggie for a long time," said Jensen.

These murals along the bike trail are part of a series of artwork sponsored by the Lake Street Council and the Lynlake Business Association. It's an effort to beautify the community hit hard during 2020's civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

"They've got murals all over Lynlake and the Lake Street Council has been getting murals up and down Lake Street, and it's creating this cultural corridor," said Jensen. 

"We had our 2022 series where we invited 50 muralists and street artists to come to our area and we transformed over 30 walls," said Carly Caputa.

Caputa works with the Lynlake Street Art Series and says the artwork also helps to deter graffiti from popping up.

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"With all sorts of street art, we go into it knowing it will be temporary, however, there's still something about a put together wall of street art, it draws audiences in, it's accessible to all, and other street artists respect that, and it deters away from getting tagged or community graffiti," she said.

While Soren says it's all about vibrancy and inclusion.

"A lot of the murals are by local artists of color, we are purposely trying to make a welcoming space," said Jensen.

People living and working in this community say they won't stop filling these walls with works of art.

"We are going to run out of walls before we stop putting murals up," said Caputa. "If there's a wall, we'll find a way to paint on it."

In addition to the two new murals, the Midtown Greenway Coalition is working to raise funds for a light-emitting sculpture in the Greenway at the 18th Avenue ramp.

The Greenway Glow Arts Festival is also taking place Sept. 10 from 4-10 p.m. 

For more information on the Lynlake Street Art Series, visit the link here

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