When we purchased a new building on University Avenue in St. Paul to create Animal Humane Society’s first-ever, full-service veterinary clinic, President and CEO Janelle Dixon knew right away she wanted to include a signature piece of public art.
“Janelle had a vision for a huge, colorful mural that would celebrate animals and the neighborhoods we serve,” says Paul Sorenson, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Brand at AHS. “We wanted to create something beautiful and impactful for the neighborhood that could also become a destination for people who love animals and public art.”
Partnering with a local artist was also a priority. After a brief search, AHS reached out to Chuck U, a Minneapolis-based artist who often features colorful animal characters in his work. Chuck’s artwork can be seen on Indeed Brewing Company’s beer cans, and on murals buildings throughout the Twin Cities (including The Bulldog in downtown Minneapolis, the Rafter Apartments in Northeast Minneapolis, and the Spot Weld Inc. building in St. Paul).
“If you’ve ever seen Chuck U’s artwork, you know he was the perfect choice,” says Sorenson. “He was excited to be part of this project, and we were thrilled to work with him. He was a fantastic partner.”
From first pencil mark to final brush stroke, Chuck spent a total of 200 hours on the project. Painting the mural took 10 days, 12 gallons of exterior house paint, and 10 cans of spray paint to complete.
We love the whimsical, welcoming element it adds to the building, just in time for the Vet Clinic to open in September. To share the love, AHS will be partnering with Chuck U to create limited edition T-shirts and prints featuring the artwork, with proceeds benefiting AHS.