MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis will soon shine purple. A mural dedicated to Minnesota’s most iconic resident will soon get underway in downtown.

It will be located on the side of Ramp A at the corner of First Avenue and Eighth Street, a property owned in operated jointly by the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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“I wish we had art all over Minneapolis. I think it brings character and uniqueness and I love it,” said Brooklyn Park resident Nicole Gaustad, as she headed into a Twins game Sunday at nearby Target Field.

Once the project is complete, the 100-foot Prince mural will be one of the largest in the Twin Cities. The painting is scheduled to begin in mid-May.

The project was seven years in the making. Sharon Smith-Akinsanya is among those who have worked tirelessly on the tribute. She said planning with Prince and his family began before he passed away.

“I wanted to make sure this mural was in a place in downtown Minneapolis that will unite us, help it bring us all back together and have us look forward to something so much more brighter,” Smith-Akinsanya said.

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Her team landed six-figure sponsorships from U.S. Bank, the Minnesota Twins, Target and Best Buy. After an extensive vetting of 60 artists, muralist Hiero Veiga was selected for the piece. The entire process was done in consultation with Prince’s family, estate and those closest to the artist.

“I think that he would be pleased. I think he would really be proud of all of us for coming together and making sure that the city had something that he’d be proud of,” she said.

Smith-Akinsanya hopes the mural helps unite Minneapolis after a tough few years.

“He’s just a great statement for Minnesota,” said Bloomington resident Veronica Beach.

Painting is scheduled to begin May 16, with an area for the public to view the process. A block party to celebrate its completion will be held on June 2.

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Click here to learn more about the project or make a donation.

Kirsten Mitchell