Art contributes to our lives in many ways: It educates, commemorates people and places, creatively inspires or challenges—and sometimes it just makes us feel good. That was the intention of the FloralPop initiative, the vibrant art on the exterior of the Galleria this past summer. “We wanted to make people smile,” says Rachel Oelke, marketing director.
When the shopping center had to cancel its Floral Experience event last spring, which would have filled its walkways with fresh flowers, it decided to bring flowers to people on the outside of the building. The Galleria collaborated with local artist Lindsey Made This, a graphic designer who created murals for Coach’s flagship store in Manhattan and is committed to making people happy through her art.
The lively patterns and psychedelic designs were transferred to large vinyl sheets and, over two weeks, 152 of these panels were heat-applied to the Galleria’s exterior. The installation and the removal of the brick wrap occurred overnight, adding to the magic with its unexpected arrival and sudden disappearance.
Like any bold artwork, the exuberant FloralPop may have been controversial as well as colorful, but it’s hard to argue that we all needed more fun during this difficult year. “It was a hard year, and this was an opportunity to bring color and fun into our world, our home, our self,” Oelke says. Inside the mall, spontaneous giveaways of fresh flowers and sweets surprised shoppers and art-themed pop-up events benefited local art nonprofits, such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery in North Minneapolis and the African American Interpretive Center of Minnesota.
Contributed by Laura Westlund, a tour guide at the Weisman Art Museum and an Art Hound for Minnesota Public Radio.