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Finding Minnesota: Scott Seekins, Unlikely Icon

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Of all the signs that our weather has been unusual, none is more unique than the sight of Scott Seekins — and the fact it took him so long to change into white this year (May 10th).

Seekins is the artist who’s known for wearing all-black in the winter and all-white in the warmer months.

It’s a peculiar habit that’s made him an unlikely icon in a state where people are known for being reserved and modest.

“I just feel it inside to do this,” he said. “I want to.”

For decades, Seekins has been steadfast in his battle against conformity.

“A lot of people are nice about it,” he said, “but some are affected by it not in a good way. They’re threatened by it.”

Whether riding the bus, walking around town or fishing at Lake Calhoun in his signature outfit, Seekins has endured decades of disapproving glances and occasional verbal abuse.

But he’s also developed a fan base. There are places online to report sightings of him — something that supposedly brings good luck, although Seekins has nothing to do with those sites.

“See, I don’t use a computer,” he said, “so all those sites, like there’s a Facebook and a Twitter and everything, that’s all run by imposters.”

He approved, though, of an original song, “Seeking Scott Seekins,” written and performed by the local band, Pink Mink. Director Dan Huiting produced it into a music video. It’s a bit of love from a place where he’s never fit in.

“Well, I was a strange child,” he said. “I mean when the other kids were playing softball on recess, I was looking for snakes.”

He was adopted by a family in South St. Paul, after his birth parents abandoned him.

“In high school I wanted something different,” Seekins said. “I didn’t want to be looking like all these people around me. There was something in me that wanted a look, you know?”

That look is now prominent in the art he produces. Sometimes he shows up in historic settings. Many times, it’s with Britney Spears.

“She’s my girl,” he said. “Britney’s my girl, yeah. She’s almost like a symbol of America, like the tabloid side.”

He won’t say how old he is now, but he’s traveled a long road to gain this notoriety. And there’s no turning back.

“So to change now and suddenly put on a flannel shirt, just becomes, no, it’s too late now,” he said.

Seekins likes to think of himself as a living, walking art gallery, because he carries around examples of his artwork, and sells prints on the street. He also has a studio with original works near Loring Park.

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