American art: Powers paints Legion mural in downtown Brainerd
Local artist Tony Powers is in the process of painting a mural at the American Legion Post No. 255 on Front Street depicting a waving American flag, a soldier kneeling by a battlefield cross, and the seals of the branches of the military.
The 20-foot by 80-foot mural is located on the east wall of the Legion and will be visible from Front Street.
Brainerd Restoration viewed the east facade of the American Legion as a huge, blank canvas, and as a huge opportunity for local artists to help beautify downtown Brainerd, according to the nonprofit. Brainerd Restoration is 501(c)(3) organization passionate about the revitalization and redevelopment of historic downtown Brainerd and the surrounding community, according to its website.
The organization approached the American Legion about the mural concept two years ago and has been raising money ever since to pay for an artist to design and paint the side of the building. Brainerd Restoration, Powers and members of the American Legion met on multiple occasions to confirm the design expectations for the mural, however, Powers should get all of the credit for the artistic representation of these meetings and expectations, the organization reported.
“Many people donated money, time and equipment, in order to make this happen, and we’ll do our best to acknowledge them in August at the official dedication,” a news release stated. “It’s been so exciting to see how people have had such energy with offering up their support for this project, and how the community is coming down to the Legion to watch an artist perform his magic. … This mural is another great example of how local artists, business owners and property owners can collaborate and help beautify downtown Brainerd, create an attraction for people to come downtown and check out other local downtown businesses while they’re here.”
In the fall of 2018, Powers, who runs Tony Powers Designs Tattoo and Art Gallery, led the community in a mural-painting project at The Crossing Arts Alliance, located just south of the new mural.