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Richfield rainforest mural comes to life with AR technology

People can see and hear animals of the mural on your phone at the Galaxy Food mural in Richfield.

RICHFIELD, Minn. — Art takes work, and the mural at East 72nd Street and Chicago Avenue in Richfield is an example of that. Standing 80 feet wide and 12 feet tall, the rainforest mural is a reflection of community collaboration at it's best. 

"In order for a rainforest to prosper, there has to be diversity," Galaxy Food owner Arun Motilall said.

Motilall and his friends began the process for the mural two years ago when Galaxy Foods decided to get the community involved in the artwork. They held a few events where they cooked for their neighbors and asked what they would like to see represented in the mural. Artist Ricardo Reyez says community members from different cultures wanted him to bring a rainforest to Richfield. 

"We brought elements from a lot of cultures," Reyez said. 

There is a mix of Mexican, Puerto Rican and Caribbean representation in the masterpiece. Rem5 Studios helped bring it to life outside of the walls. 

People scan one of the four QR codes on the mural through their camera setting on a smart phone. They can then click the link that pops up and open Instagram to see the art pop off the building. 

"Seeing people engage with technology that is basically like magic, " Amir Berenijan, Rem5 Studios CEO said, "It never gets old." 

BJ Skoogs works with Berenijan. It was his idea to mix the augmented reality into the mural. He says the mural wouldn't have been possible without their community partners, and help from the City of Richfield. 

"I grew up here," Skoog said. "I love it here. I think it's that bridge city. The beautiful thing about a bridge is it connects people."

Rem5 Studio plans to update the AR every so often so the art work can change without having to physically add more paint. Berenijan says AR is apart of a growing movement of art sustainability.

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