The Minneapolis Target store that was looted and burned during last year’s George Floyd riots now displays a mural that appears to celebrate arson.
In late May 2020, rioters damaged over 1,500 Minneapolis buildings, burning 150 of them, including the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. Among the first to be attacked was a Target store on Lake Street near the Third Precinct that was gutted of its contents and filled with smoke.
Six months after the riots, Target announced that it “rebuilt the stores [one in Minneapolis and one in Atlanta] from the ground up,” reopening them in November 2020. Recently, reporter Michael Tracey highlighted how the rebuilt Minneapolis Target now features a mural that appears to celebrate burning buildings.
One panel of the mural, which reads “we stand together,” shows four protesters standing triumphantly before a blaze. “The figures in the piece symbolize protesters, who could be any of us,” said an artist who worked on the display, per a report from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Inspiring corporate-sponsored art now adorning the Target in Minneapolis that was looted last year pic.twitter.com/jlXZ79tVaM
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 27, 2021
The same day Target announced its Minneapolis location would reopen, Bloomberg published an article explaining how the renovations to the store were intended to appeal to black customers. The retail giant also pledged to reduce its brand’s association with a primary customer demographic: suburban white women.
At reopening, Target claimed the mural was only “temporary,” although it can still be seen on the building today.
The piece was created by Minneapolis-based nonprofit Juxtaposition Arts, which goes by JXTA. The multi-million dollar organization seeks to empower black youth to create activist art. This apparently includes teaching kids how to write graffiti during a three week summer camp, printing Black Lives Matter T-shirts and more.
The Star Tribune gushed over JXTA and its mural in December 2020, describing the group as a “resourceful North Side nonprofit” whose co-founder explained “the need for BIPOC artists to be centered in the story — to be in charge of the narrative.”