Above: Artist Seitu Jones' #blues4george stencil led to these going up Saturday on a boarded-up U.S. Bank branch across from the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street. Photo: Alicia Eler.
The Twin Cities are alive with art. Boarded-up buildings are canvases for artists and community members who are demanding justice for George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody on May 25. Twin Cities artist Seitu Jones is adding to this public artmaking. He offers a free, downloadable stencil of Floyd for artists to use in their creations, available on his website seitujonesstudio.com/blues4george. He encourages artists to use blue paint with the stencil and use the tag #blues4george when posting it to social media. The stencil is available in a single layer or five layers
On Sunday, June 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Jones, Ta-coumba T. Aiken, and other black artists will paint murals with messages of solidarity, anger, solace and hope over boarded-up buildings on University Ave. between Rice and Dale in St. Paul. One of those businesses is Springboard for the Arts, which experienced fire and property damage on May 28.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Jones is a fourth-generation Minnesotan. As an artist, he is invested in community work, ranging from large-scale public art projects to set designs and food justice gatherings. In 2017, he took home the McKnight Distinguished Artist award, given annually to an artist who has significantly contributed to the state’s cultural life.