Banksy’s Brother, also known as the mysterious White Bear Lake sign artist Mark Schwartz, has been quite active this spring and summer.
Overnight this spring, a replacement appeared for the weathered sign placed in the Press Publications’ front yard in downtown White Bear Lake in 2016. The sign, which reads “A good newspaper is never nearly good enough but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever. — Garrison Keillor” first appeared in August 2016; the Press found other similar signs around town that summer and traced the artwork to Mark Schwartz. Although he has never formerly identified himself, the Press received a letter with no return address from “Banksy’s Brother” that summer congratulating the reporter on her detective work.
Schwartz calls his artwork of sayings etched in wood “markboards.” He places clever sayings near community businesses and organizations.
This summer, a markboard that says, “If it wasn’t for plumbers we would have no place to go” was seen at Vadnais Plumbing on Fourth Street. At Lake Country Booksellers on Fourth Street, there is a new markboard that says “When you read a book, a tree smiles knowing there is life after death.” At Washington Square is posted “These flowers aren’t made for walking.”
On the Kellerman’s Event Center garden path, a new-looking sign says, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. — Celine.”
At Kowalski’s near the White Bear docks, a markboard reads “Grocery list: Coffee, Stuff to eat with coffee.” Outside White Bear Tire and Auto on Highway 96 is a markboard that says “Road Trip! The more you get out of the car the more you’ll get out of the trip.” A markboard with “I tend to wine a lot” is posted near 7 Vines Winery.
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” popped up in the planter near Cup and Cone.