Bob Dylan Mural - Eduardo Kobra - 2015

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Bob Dylan mural takes shape in downtown Minneapolis

(Photo: Heidi Wigdahl, KARE)

(Photo: Heidi Wigdahl, KARE)

MINNEAPOLIS -- A new piece of art is taking shape in downtown Minneapolis thanks to an internationally acclaimed muralist.

Eduardo Kobra of Brazil is painting a five-story mural of Bob Dylan on the west facade of the 15 Building on Fifth Street and Hennepin Avenue.

Kobra and a team of five artists--three from Brazil and two from Minneapolis--started the mural Wednesday.

The 15 Building is owned by R2 Companies and AIMS Real Estate, a business unit of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Commissioned by the building's owner, the mural is part of Hennepin Theatre Trust's effort to revitalize downtown Minneapolis with a Cultural District.

"People are stopping, they're talking, they're having conversations in ways they've never had before and really seeing this space in a new way," said Naomi Pesky, vice president of external relations for Hennepin Theatre Trust.

At twelve years old, Kobra got his start as a graffiti artist. He is known for his kaleidoscopic use of bright colors and bold lines. Kobra has completed more than 10 projects in the United States; the Bob Dylan mural is Kobra's largest work outside of Brazil.

Through a translator, Kobra said, "My work is always related to the important personalities who are from the location where I choose to work and Bob Dylan is one of these."

In a press release, Tom Hoch, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust said, " celebrates Bob Dylan who is not only one of Minnesota's most admired native sons, but also a former owner of the Trust's Orpheum Theatre."

Dylan owned the Orpheum Theatre from 1979 to 1988 with his brother David Zimmeran.

According to Pesky, the mural is part of a larger vision to bring more destination art to downtown Minneapolis.

"The Cultural District runs from the Walker Art Center, which is on Hennepin Ave., all the way to the Mississippi River. Along the way, there are so many magical places where there's arts and culture in different and unique ways," Pesky said.

Kobra and his team started work on the mural, which is 60 feet tall and 150 feet wide, on Wednesday. They are expected to finish the mural on Sept. 8.

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