The Bigger Picture Project is set of four murals painted on locations along St. Paul’s central corridor. Artists John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons (known together as Broken Crow), designed the images to fit together to create one Bigger Picture along the route of the light rail. Using enormous stencils, they painted animals in motion—lions, camels, rhinos, wolves, tortoises and foxes—varied creatures moving forward together, much like the light rail passengers themselves. The complete composition measures 32 feet tall by 60 feet wide. This is the first multiple-location mural; no one who contributed to the project had tried, or even heard of, anything like it.
The murals are located at 633 University Ave, 651 University Ave, and 2145 University Ave--both sides of the street are painted at the last address, for an enveloping effect.
Broken Crow asked photographer and tech-wiz Benjamin Clasen to document the process. Clasen took 30,000 vibrant photographs to create a time-lapsed video, elevating his documentation into a work of art in its own right. Now, each mural is outfitted with a QR code that provides passers-by access to the time-lapsed footage. People can see the painting process immediately on their mobile device, while still standing in front of the mural—turning city corners into an open air gallery.
“The Bigger Picture” by Broken Crow was financed in part by the Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization Program through the City of St. Paul and is a collaboration of Irrigate.
Mike Fitzsimmons and John Grider began creating and showing art together in 2003. Since then, their unmistakable murals have become an integral part of The Twin Cities aesthetic, earning them global recognition and international commissions. Using enormous stencils, ladders, and meticulous plans, the two-man team transforms featureless walls into incredible depictions of animal imagery, arresting for both for its detail and dimension. Broken Crow murals have contributed to the color and character of public spaces in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, Reno, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Albany, Mexico, New York, Paris, London and The Gambia. They work somewhere in the gray area between street art and public art, reintroducing wild animals to the urban habitat, and writing their own mythology as they go. To date, Broken Crow has painted 126 murals and contributed to countless exhibitions worldwide.
Angel Fitzsimmons, Christin Crabtree-Grider, Amy Praught, Stephen Chapman, Patrick Carlone, Mike Carney, Alex Smith, Mike Mictlan, Ben Lafond, Ed Hughes, Sarah Schatz, Retro Pete, Thomas McKay, Ryan Anderson, Kate Clasen, Mary Jo Clasen, Pete Clasen, Sarah Cochran, Steven Dehmer, Ds Nuts, David Ellis, The Frameworks, The Hickory Hut, Andrea Holton, Betsy Crabtree, Dan Hundley, Dave Keyes, Emily Keyes, Philip Keyes, Max Pratt, Andy Praught, Anna Rajdl, Beth Rajdl, Dottie Rajdl, Darcie Scheuring, Charlie Schreifels, Nicole Steiner, Angelia Sevensai, Shelter Studios.