The day Prince died, and we all remember it burned into our hearts, a purple blanket of clouds enveloped us, and we all came together in front of First Avenue, celebrating, blocking the streets, crying, and listening to his music. The artists of the city came together and created in all their forms. It was our way as artists to honor him.
My first memory of Prince: 10 years old, mowing the lawn, with my yellow tape player walkman blaring as best it could “Raspberry Beret”. As an 80s kid, Prince was constantly in the background of our lives. Our personal soundtracks all encompassed Prince in one way or another.
As a teen, I gardened for Prince collaborator Terry Lewis. Prince would pull up in his Little Red Corvette (Yes, he had one!) and strut to the door, feet away from me. I never said anything, covered in dirt wearing Umbros and oversized tees.
As the years went on, I never personally saw a show but encountered him around town, always so quietly. He blended into the shadows of a dark corner at Sauce/Cause, hosted parties at Paisley Park, showed up at roller skating rinks or movie theaters. It’s like he’s still with us, experiencing him in unexpected places….
After David Bowie died, I curated a group art show at Gamut Gallery which was a wonderful way for artists and art lovers and fans to mourn and honor him. When Prince passed, I arranged a show in July at Gamut, an Art-A-Whirl show in May at Aaron Neuman’s studio called 57 Princes - a stencil for each year of his life - and a group show while selling tons of Prince Stencils outside.
I painted those stencils all over MPLS and wherever I travelled - South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington Oregon, Wyoming. And I painted the two panels you see here for the Prince show at Gamut, so that people may still experience him in unexpected places.
Erin Sayer is an all around creative. From running galleries to traveling the country painting murals, she is constantly engaged in artistic endeavors. She is currently involved with spearheading a grassroots effort to produce a mural mecca on the Minneapolis Greenway.