MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis painter Leon Hushcha is meticulously restoring a large mural near Lake Calhoun. Until recently, it sat in storage without a future.

“I’m busy redoing it with some help,” said Huschcha. “We’ll keep it fresh and repainted every 10 years.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

For the last 40 years, the renowned local artist has been painting in Minneapolis.

It was in 1984 when he first painted the large colorful mural that stands 14 feet tall and 49 feet wide.

Hushcha was commissioned to do the mural on a billboard near 5th Street and 1st Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. It hung in place for two months as a present to the city. The billboard panels were then purchased by Minneapolis businessman Billy Weisman and hung on the back of his building on Lake Street.

“I believe it hung there for a decade or more,” said Hushcha. “But you really couldn’t see it from the street.”

When Weisman retired, the mural went into storage for several years. With the help of Stuart Ackerberg of
The Ackerberg Group the colorful mural will sit prominently at the Lake Calhoun Center on 3033 Excelsior Blvd.

“Everyone who sees the painting loves it,” said Ackerberg. “They stop and drive up to get closer, or the walk over here to get a better visual of it.”

Ackerberg is collector of Hushcha work. He says when he looks at the mural he sees passion, movement and vibration.

“There’s water, fish, horses, ladies figure, all the things that make life worthwhile in this part of the country,” said Hushcha.

At the bottom of the mural it reads, “A gift to the Public from Billy Weisman and Stu Ackerberg.”