David Witt's cool Stillwater PBR mural painted over just before completion [PHOTOS]


"The HPC was very much in favor of a mural in this location but this mural, especially because it had been [pretty much] completed between the time the application had been submitted and the HPC meeting -- the [HPC's rationale] was that the mural contains an advertisement for a specific product which as outlined in the [city] manual is not appropriate, and it features historic western themes and vegetation that is uncharacteristic of eastern Minnesota," Wittman explained. "They concluded it's not suited for downtown."

The HPC's ruling left Freight House management with two options -- appeal the decision to the City Council, or cover up the mural. They opted for the latter, but did so without informing Witt, who mainly worked with Pabst representatives. (Witt says he still plans to complete a PBR painting for installation inside the establishment.)

"All of this is news to me," Witt tells us. "I was kept completely out of the loop about things that happened back in May. I think the PBR rep was as surprised as I was."

"I've never had to deal with city stuff before," he continues. "It's the Freight House's property, so they should've kept me in the loop for guidelines so it wouldn't be painted over. It's all-around bad communication, just finding out they painted over it via a Twitter photo from somebody else."

But Witt says he learned a valuable lesson, at least.

"Be in touch with everybody all the time."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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28 comments
tjreiter2001
tjreiter2001

Tell the artist to go to Hudson Wisconsin. Not only will his artwork be appreciated, but the people there are TRUE beer drinkers.I'm sure it would be seen as an asset to their community verses, an eye sore, like it sounds it was viewed in Stillwater.  THEIR LOSS

Deb Odenwald Woyke
Deb Odenwald Woyke

Okay, so everyone isn't into beer-can chic. It might look good in Texas.

Eleventh-Wundr Art
Eleventh-Wundr Art

what a bummer! government wins again, lame. (Don't worry, I got a permit to post this comment)

Matt Vangsgard
Matt Vangsgard

That's what happens when you paint stillwater bro.

PWT55
PWT55

I don't think this is an issue of money as some here have suggested. The mural looked like a cartoon depicting the Old West. I can see why Stillwater feels it is not suited for downtown. Had the permit been applied for prior to painting the mural, Witt and Freight House would have known this and could have changed the design. Still, it's sad to see all of his hard work be covered up and his time wasted like that.

eatereater
eatereater

Poor Dwitt.  I'm not going to be sad that a cruddy ad of sorts for GMO enhanced PBR got painted over though.  Don't be promoting the crud that is SABMiller, Dwitt. Same company that avoided paying $20 million in corporate tax in Africa among many, many, many other faults.  Use your brain! 

Lori White
Lori White

Thanks Stillwater, how did the mural on Len's and the mural on the corner of Main and Myrtle get approved? Had he had enough money he could have just paid some people off and finished it. But because someone with more money complained, they shut him down. Let's not forget to thank the Freight House...

Stacy Olson
Stacy Olson

wow. the art is incredible. and im so sorry to hear how the city & the business handled it. they could have had good publicity from this. instead they got "bad". have no desire to go to stillwater to see a brown freight car at whatever the name of that place is. used to be one of my fav. places downtown, too.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

6th. District.



Don't tread on me, my ass.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

Common sense rule of thumb-Is it ok to do this? If not, what needs to be obtained to make it ok

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

Art, like fame, is fleeting. He'll likely get more notice (and commissions) now then if the mural had been allowed.

KungFuPunch
KungFuPunch

@atrupar I'm a fan of Dwitt and heard about this on his Instagram. Total bullshit

Chillyo
Chillyo

Stupid bureaucrats getting in the way of something fun.  

lonesomedrifter666
lonesomedrifter666

Stillwater caters to people with money willing to spend their day in town shopping, eating and antiquing. They have a reputation to uphold. Which I find sickening that someone as creative as you can't paint a mural on privately owned property without the city telling you what can be painted and not painted. Fascists!

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