ART BLOOMS ON A MASSIVE white canvas, brightening a street corner in the heart of downtown Faribault with flowers in vibrant hues.
It’s an in-progress floral delight created by Jordyn Brennan. The Faribault City Council selected the Minneapolis-based visual artist to paint the 85 x 35-foot instagrammable mural on a blank wall next to a parking lot on the corner of First Avenue NW and Third Street NW.
A week ago I photographed the project, which differs from the many historically-themed murals scattered throughout the downtown. This one, while also incorporating history, is more universal.
Yet, Brennan thought local when designing this “LOVE FOR ALL” mural. She’s incorporating the word LOVE—spelled in American sign language, braille and text. Faribault is home to the Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind. Skin tones on the signing hands will also vary, celebrating our community’s diversity.
The flowers, too, hold significance, according to Brennan’s Facebook page. Yellow mums trace back to Lehman Gardens, founded here in 1931 and nationally-recognized for its mums. The mum gardens drew thousands of visitors. The mum business continues today as Mums of Minnesota owned by Faribault Growers, Inc.
The peonies painted into the mural honor the long ago Brand Peony Farm, no longer in existence. The nationally-renowned peony grower/developer earned Faribault the title of “Peony Capital of the World.” The community celebrated with an annual peony festival and parade, and brides stored peonies in caves along the river. In many Faribault residential neighborhoods you’ll see peonies bushes, currently in bloom.
Brennan also painted another Faribault famous flower, the clematis, in to her mural. Donahue’s Greenhouse, just blocks from my home, grows one of the largest selections of clematis in the country.
Finally, the rare, endangered Dwarf Trout Lily also earned a spot in this floral garden. The mini lily grows in only three places in the world—in Rice, Steele and Goodhue counties—and can be found locally at River Bend Nature Center.
I love how this young Minneapolis artist put so much thought into designing a vibrant mural that is universally appealing yet reflective of Faribault. I expect this oversized public art piece will provide the backdrop for many a fun photo opp. For visitors and locals alike. Maybe even for brides clutching peony bouquets.
FYI: Jordyn Brennan, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts, has been working hard on the mural with a goal of completing it by mid-June, just in time for Faribault’s Heritage Days celebration. She’s painted more since I took these photos. I will do a follow-up post when the mural is done. This talented young artist is also pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. She’s completed other flower and nature-themed murals. Be sure to visit her website.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
That it is. I think you will be even more impressed once you see the finished mural.
We have a 112 acre golf course being developed near me (a residential area) with “input” meetings/gatherings galore. The last one had the “streetscape” group. I submitted what Faribault has done/is doing, this latest addition fits right in as we don’t have “architecturally historic” here. But, it’s an old, diverse east side St. Paul area that borders Maplewood on 2 sides. I have done a 360 map on this site trying to find a view that matches the city’s web cam and your picture. Is this the side of the Heine Ins. bldg.? But it’s not all white. I’m sure they’ll have a plaque posted to explain….for the artistically challenged. It is just lovely. Kudos to the city fathers on this one!
Sandra, I don’t know off-hand what business is in the building upon which this mural is being painted. However, the parking lot is the site of the former Milady’s across from the now-closed Grampa Al’s. The Milady’s building was torn down as it had fallen into major disrepair and was beyond the financial feasibility of saving. Many in town thought we needed more parking downtown (I disagree) so this space was paved for parking. The white side of the building was added during this entire process. It’s not the “natural” state of the existing structure. I hope this answers some of your questions. I hope things go well with the project in your community.
Wow, I had no idea of all the floral history in Faribault. This is fascinating and beautiful. Thanks for the story behind the art.
Yes, Faribault has a lot of floral history. I wish all of these businesses still existed. We’ve lost more in recent years with the closing of retailers Farmer Seed & Nursery, Faribault Garden Center and North Star Nursery.
The mural looks awesome! I can’t wait to see it complete. Dubuque apparently has 30 outdoor murals. We saw a few.
It reminds me of the mural in Northfield. Thirty murals…wow.
This is beautiful! The historical background is also interesting. Thanks for sharing this new addition to your community.
I agree. This mural is beautiful. I drove by yesterday and the mural is nearing completion. I promise a follow-up once it’s done.
Well that is just beautiful. Can’t wait to see it when it is all finished. I love how many places are embracing having murals grace the buildings in their communities.
The mural has changed a lot in the past week. The hands signing “love” are now painted into the scene. The message, everything about the mural, is beautiful.
I love this mural so much! I spent this morning at my friend Marie’s house; she’s a master gardener with Dakota County and we spent a lot of time talking about flowers. Her peonies are in full bloom right now. I’m going to have to show her your blog. Aside from that, what the artist is incorporating in the design and the reasons behind those choices are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this.
Once you see the completed mural, I expect you will love it even more, Kathleen.
Wowza….this is beautiful! Such a talented artist! I love the significance and meaning of the flowers.
It’s a remarkable mural in many ways. For it’s beauty and message, especially.