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Curiocity: Xcel’s MN-Made Gift For Paul Simon, Sting

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(credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images and Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

(credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images and Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Sara Boyd Sara Pelissero
Sara Pelissero joined the WCCO web team in August of 2009. You can...
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When national touring artists stop at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, they leave with a little reminder of our Minnesota Nice. This series examines the locally made treasures given to these celebrity visitors.

Two music icons on one stage — no doubt a concert that fans will remember forever. But when it comes to giving these legends a gift to remember Minnesota, it could certainly pose a challenge.

Luckily, the folks at the Xcel Energy Center had the perfect plan — show off some of our Minnesota talent while creating a nostalgic nod to the artists’ earlier days in the business.

When Sting and Paul Simon announce they’re going on tour, efforts to advertise with banners around town and gig posters outside the venue aren’t necessarily needed — a mere mention of their names and the show sells itself.

But the staff at the Xcel thought, why not enlist the help of a local artist who could create a keepsake of their tour stop through St. Paul while evoking the memories of those gig poster days?

With that, they contacted local illustrator Adam Turman — who you may know by his mural work, all over Butcher and the Boar and inside 612 Brew, to name a few.

Turman, a big fan of both Sting and Paul Simon, was certainly on board.

“I like the Police a lot and my mom, she turned me on to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel back in the day. My mom constantly had ‘Graceland’ playing in the house when I was a teenager — I probably shouldn’t say teenager, Paul Simon might not like that.”

Only a select number of gig posters were made for the event — with two going directly to Sting and Paul Simon, a few for their tour crew and one for the wall at Xcel Energy Center.

“It’s a cool thing, they’re beautifully framed and the posters tend to represent the actual tour of whatever that band is doing at the time,” Turman said. “I really try not to do portrait stuff … so we really tried to keep the stuff reminiscent of the instruments they play, the type of music they play and just the feeling that you get when you see these guys.”

(credit: Adam Turman)

(credit: Adam Turman)

Turman researched both artists to get a good sense of where they’re at today and the details of their instruments.

“Paul is really known for his acoustic guitars and a lot of his guitar work. Sting is known a little bit more for his bass and his bass work,” he said. “He’s got this ancient, old bass that he’s been using for years and it’s kind of thrashed up but it looks amazing.”

Turman started playing around with sketches incorporating both artists’ favorite guitars and the title of the tour, “On Stage Together.”

The finished product was completed in about three to five weeks, Turman said.

And this isn’t his first — he has designed several other gig posters for bands coming through Xcel in the past, including Bon Jovi and ACDC.

Turman’s gig poster will be presented to Sting and Paul Simon on Sunday before they take the stage. For more information about the concert or to buy tickets, click here.

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