Brett Vonschlosser Mural

Categories:  News

The Urban Outfitters store in the Uptown area of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Here’s an unlikely story.

I went last weekend at an Urban Outfitters store. Being unable to find anything to wear, I checked out the home decor section. Once the bubbly sweet style of the artwork bored me, I turned to leave.

There by the door, however, was an astoundingly genuine, gritty, hand-rendered mural. It stood out from among all the trendy mass-produced stuff and beckoned me forward. I recognized the human torso at once and went to read the label just to make sure.

‘Fancy that,’ I thought. ‘Brett VonSchlosser, the MCAD grad, comic shiller for Big Brain Comics and local cartoonist has landed himself a very sweet deal! And yet, such a strange one.’

I went back on Monday to gather more information and take some pictures.

Read on to find out more about Urban Outfitters’ nation-wide local initiative outreach program, which happens to be a good opportunity for local cartoonists like VonSchlosser and animation/design firms like Puny Entertainment (Big Time Attic‘s sister company). They’re currently working on an animation installation that will be in place at the Minneapolis Uptown Urban Outfitters by Thanksgiving.

I spoke briefly with John Migala, a store manager at Urban Outfitters, about what I see as a completely unexpected turn of events. Don’t trendy chain shops like these make a living by presuming to tell us what’s cool without asking our opinion?

Migala said that the effort to welcome local talent has been expressed nation-wide, though some stores aren’t as proactive as the Minneapolis store. It offers a space for some local artists to sell their work and has even played host to a Tapes N’ Tapes concert. Anyone interested in VonSchlosser’s work has to contact the artist directly to purchase it, so don’t presume that Urban Outfitters is getting into the consignment business, but it’s still decidedly rad that the store is opening the minds of local hipsters to the promising art world at their own front door.

The invitation to exhibit seems to be pretty exclusively given, at this point seeming like luck and circumstance just to be invited to try. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to go to the mall for a portfolio review, but if you’ve got an Urban Outfitters in your area, why not ask them to hang your art for a month? While going about my holiday shopping, I’d gladly welcome the sight of a local cartoonist on display in exchange for one less smirking Santa Claus.

VonSchlosser’s mural went up at the beginning of November and will only be on display through the end of this week or early next week at the latest. Check it out if you’re in the area! Also be on the lookout for the upcoming Puny animation, which I expect will be outstanding.


Amanda Martin, Urban Outfitters employee, folds clothes in front of a mural created by the Minneapolis cartoonist Brett VonSchlosser.

-Sarah Morean

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