Prince fans are going to be able to celebrate his memory and commune with nature on a piece of private property where something special is being installed by an artist.

That’s all I know after talking Wednesday to Chanhassen City Manager Todd Gerhardt, who, in mischievous tones, told me, “Well … we’re workin’ on somethin.’ ”

Knowing how beloved Prince is, I told Gerhardt this would be the easiest statue for which anyone ever raised money. “It’s not going to be a statue, I can tell you that. Not right now,” said Gerhardt.

“There’s an individual working on something here in town, and you might hear more about it next week. It’s all private funded and private property. It’s a place he used to frequent. This artist is coming into town and donating his time and effort. We’re just kind of going to sit back and wait to see how he does.”

I called Gerhardt to ask if the city owned the grass outside Paisley Park’s fence on Audubon Road. What once was grass is now mostly dirt and when it rains, mud, thanks to the number of fans paying respects.

“That was a healthy lawn of grass,” said artist Dan Lacey, who had an idea about how to replace it: “I think if they just concrete it that would be the thing to do.”

Not Gerhardt. “We’ve talked about wood chips in the interim. We didn’t know how long the memorials would last. The crowds have died down a little bit. Everybody’s been so respectful it’s been surreal and somber.”

I also wanted to know if Gerhardt knew what Mayor Denny Laufenburger plans to do with the painting of Prince on his bicycle that Lacey is doing for him.

“Is that the pancake guy?” asked Gerhardt. Yep. On Twitter Lacey is @PainterPancakes.

“My mayor did mention it to me. We’ll probably put it in the council chambers.”

Lacey could be raking in the money on Prince portraits, but he won’t do that. He told me his factory job pays his bills; he paints as a hobby.

My favorite Lacey is his vibrant piece capturing Prince with his fingers below his pursed lips, just the right pink, and with blue sunglasses that look to be abstract wings.

Of course, the dominant background color is purple.

I’m not the only fan of this piece. Twitter’s @dark_cafes wrote that this portrait “is EVERYTHING … I’ve not had a piece of art move me this much in a very long time #Prince4ever.”

Lacey has painted at least three of those. He gave one version of the painting to Chanhassen Elementary music students, who were the beneficiaries of a piano Prince gave to them when he was alive. Here’s a photo link:

I last spoke to Lacey on what would’ve been Prince’s 58th birthday. In the works on that day was a painting of TMZ reporter Angela Kosteliz. It looked like Kosteliz because I recognized her later when she was getting out of her car at Paisley Park.

Approached by an intermediary by the name of Samantha, Lacey also was working on a portrait of Prince with his spiritual mentor Larry Graham. Lacey also said he was giving a Prince portrait to Bremer Trust. I strongly encouraged Lacey to charge the bank money because I am sure they are not handling the estate gratis.

While T-shirts with Prince’s image require the approval of his estate, due in part to the possibilities for mass production, painting Prince over and over again is permitted.

No love for Love?

After Game 5 of the NBA Finals LeBron James appeared to scold teammate Kevin Love, although the King of Cavaliers claimed he was only talking defensive strategy.

Nobody’s buying that. Not @RenaKARE11, (as in Rena Sarigianopoulos) who said “Riiiiiight” on #BTN, and not my boys on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.”

“Will Love be back in Cleveland?” Tony Kornheiser asked Mike Wilbon, who answered, “Maybe to go to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe.”

The Minnesotans who never forgive sport figures who leave here will love the first seven words to follow from Wilbon: “Kevin Love has been the whipping boy while in uniform while playing pretty darn well.”

Kornheiser noted that the Cavs won their two most important games this season with little or no input from Love, who scored two points in 33 minutes and missed the third game due to the NBA’s concussion protocol.


C.J. can be reached at and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show” and “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.