The Current

Great Music Lives Here
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now
Local Current Blog

New Prince mural towers over North Loop in downtown Minneapolis

Kayla Song/MPR
Kayla Song/MPR

by Kayla Song

October 10, 2019

On the side of the 424 building on Washington Avenue in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, you might have seen the beginnings of yet another mural of Minnesota music icon Prince. You can thank the Floyd’s 99 Barbershop for the commission.

Many Floyd’s 99 Barbershops all over the country have murals on the side of their buildings. So when it was the Minneapolis location’s turn for a mural makeover, they had it narrowed down to murals of Prince or Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett.

“Then, the building manager only wanted to do one [mural], so then there was a huge debate about it and they polled everyone in the company,” said Kia Arendt, the full-time receptionist at the North Loop location. “In the end Prince won out.”

The 30-foot commission is being painted by a prominent artist from Los Angeles. Jonas Never paints the murals for all the Floyd's shops across the U.S.

“He met the owner a couple years ago and the owner was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you can paint?’" Arendt explained. “And he was like ‘Yeah,’ so he came out and he did a mural for them. Now they have him do all of the murals whenever they open a shop that allows for it.”

The mural is based on an image of Prince during his Purple Rain Tour in Long Beach, California in 1985. Never should be done with the black and white mural by mid-week next week, according to the North Loop Neighborhood Association.

This is the latest of several Prince murals in the musician's home state. There's one just off Hennepin Avenue in South Minneapolis; there are also Prince murals in Chanhassen (home of Paisley Park) and Henderson (where the “that ain’t Lake Minnetonka” scene was filmed for Purple Rain). A temporary mural went up this summer on the Midtown Greenway.

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment
This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.