The Art of Dinkytown
Art Materials was housed in the basement of Perine’s Bookstore on 14th Avenue near University Avenue, overlooking the railroad tracks. Now located on Lyndale Avenue, it is over 50 years old.
University Department of Art faculty bought charcoal, drawing paper, canvas and paints at Art Materials and frequented Perine’s for art books on art movements and fellow artists.
Walter Quirt and Peter Busa
Walter Quirt and Peter Busa came to Minneapolis from New York City, where they studied at the Art Students League and were Registered WPA artists. Busa studied with Thomas Benton and Hans Hoffman and was classmate of Jackson Pollack. Quirt had a major retrospective exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with works in major museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Public art collections with Busa’s work include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institute, and the Whitney.
Among other faculty artists who spent time in Dinkytown were printmaker Malcolm Myers, sculptor Wayne Potratz, and influential documentary filmmakers and photographers Gary Hallman, Allen Downs and Jerome Liebling.
Famous Murals and Street Art
In 2006, The Dinkytown Business Association hired University of Minnesota Graphic Design major Sergey Trubetskoy to design and create public works depicting images of Dinkytown’s history from the 1960’s and 1970’s. The era was chosen because they believed it was the “heyday” of Dinkytown history due to the student activism, diverse local businesses, vast student population, and a thriving music scene. Many of the DBA members were students themselves during the time period.
“By evoking nostalgic images of Dinkytown’s colorful history, the DBA hopes viewers are not only reminded of the past but also feel inspired to follow in the tradition of past student residents and patrons while working to shape and ensure the Dinkytown of the future.”
THE DYLAN MURAL
The Dylan Mural is located on the west side of Dinkytown Business Association President Skott Johnson's business, Autographics. It was designed by Sergey Trubetskoy and financed by Autographics and himself. The mural attracted the interest of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program Committee, who commissioned six more murals for Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown.
SINGER SONGWRITER & JIM MORRISON MURAL
Located on the south wall of Everyday People, this mural represents the local folk music community of the 1960's as well as the legendary rock star Jim Morrison of the Doors who was a favorite icon among students who frequented Dinkytown in the era.
HISTORIC BUSINESSES MURAL
This mural, located in the ally between the Loring Pasta Bar and Shuang Cheng Chinese Restaurant, depicts the businesses that were on the 14th Avenue block between University and 4th Street in the late 1960's through the early 1970's. They are supposed to represent the diversity of stores throughout the community's history.
PEACE PROTESTS MURAL
This giant mural can be found on the back wall of Burrito Loco on 13th Avenue. It is a tribute to peace protests and other significant events from the 1960's. The lyrics "Give peace a chance" refers to a 1969 song by John Lennon to promote world peace. His wife, Yoko Ono, recorded a song titled, "Make Love, Not War", a phrase commonly used by peace protesters in response to U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Minnesota native and Vice President at the time, Hubert H. Humphrey, was a strong civil rights activist is pictured in the mural. Jimi Hendrix and man's journey to the moon are symbols of the 1960's also pictured on the mural.
RED BARN, PEACE GARDEN MURAL
Located between Camdi's and the Tony's Diner , this mural is dedicated to the memory of the Peace Garden that was planted in the vacant lot left behind after the Dinkytown community's victory in protesting a Red Barn franchise being constructed in Dinkytown.
They couldn't save the businesses from being razed, but they were able to convince the franchise to stay away. So in the vacant lot that used to be across from the varsity theater, students and community members planted colorful flowers and peace designs.
MARCY HOLMES MURAL (NOW GONE)
This mural can be seen as you drive up the 4th street ramp coming from i-35w south. It is on the right side of the former Gopher Cleaner's wall. The significance of the mural recognizes the historic neighborhood adjacent to Dinkytown, Minneapolis. The "other side of 35" has housed University of Minnesota students, professors, and other non-students for decades. The mural shows the neighborhood's borders along with the tagline of "The first Minneapolis Neighborhood."
Located on the back of the Dinkytowner and Blarney's Bar and Grill is an entire wall of graffiti art. This was not done by Trubetskoy, but is a public work-in-progress. The Dinkytowner Café' opened the back wall of their building for graffiti artists to legally use.