Local artist transforms north Minneapolis wall with 'All Seasons' mural

For more than 40 years, his illustrations have captured the African American experience. Now, local artist, Charles Caldwell is embarking on one of his biggest projects to date. 

He’s working on a massive mural near the intersection of West Broadway and Lyndale Avenue in north Minneapolis. And the wall of a longstanding north Minneapolis business is his canvas.

"The most fun about painting a mural is that you’re public, you’re right in front of everybody," said Caldwell during an interview with FOX 9's Bisi Onile-Ere.

The project is hard to miss. "As you can see, it’s a massive wall. It’s 140 feet by 17 feet," said Caldwell. The artist’s latest project is a mural he calls "All Seasons". 

"It’s a mural designed to reflect each and every one of our lives," said Caldwell. Untouched for years, the exterior wall of Kemps’ ice cream plant is his canvas.

"When I got the call from Kemps and they said yeah, we want you to create something for this wall, I said really? I said that I’ve been dreaming about this wall. I’ve been hoping that I can paint something on this wall ever since I was a kid," said Caldwell.  

As a longtime north Minneapolis resident, his work, past and present, is part of the northside landscape. "I hope that this contributes to the perception that there’s beauty in every community. And especially in north Minneapolis," said Caldwell.

With the help of four young apprentices, Caldwell’s imagination runs far and wide. Just across the street, in the parking lot of a busy strip mall is a "Healing Garden," yet another Caldwell creation.

"Minneapolis has been very traumatized from all different perspectives, whether it’s struggle of survival, financial hardship it’s heavy in this community," said Caldwell. He describes this area as a safe space. "Every day is eventful for me and this space. To give something out that I have."

It's a vibrant visual. "One thing that I hope this wall does when everyone looks at it is make them smile. It makes me smile when I’m thinking about it," said Caldwell. And with each stroke, his inner vision comes into focus. 

"This mural is just part of the development of north Minneapolis, and I think that this will get people excited about more of this and more confidence in seeing the beauty that we all possess in this community," said Caldwell.

The mural is expected to be completed next Spring. Caldwell is the artist behind the mural at the fourth street saloon in north Minneapolis.