Mankatoans witnessed run-of-the-mill silos overlooking one of the city’s main entry points progress into towering artwork in late 2019.
Australian artist Guido van Helten began his much anticipated project on Ardent Mills’ 122-foot silos in the fall and continued into the winter.
His design, which steadily became evident to curious observers, drew inspiration from the Mahkato Wacipi.
“The concept is a summary of experiences, observations, and discoveries in color and culture in Mankato utilizing the Education Day at the Mahkato Pow Wow,” he stated in a release before the work began. ” … This design brings together the shared ideals of community, diversity, and inclusion; and it pays respect to history while encouraging a positive dialogue on the future identity of the Mankato area.”
He worked with local photographer Sara Hughes to capture imagines for the design. His previous work includes other silo murals in the Midwest, in Australia and numerous other countries.
The Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, City Center Partnership and Ardent Mills teamed up to bring van Helten to town. The organizers raised at least $250,000 for the project, reaching the goal in May to pave the way for him to begin painting in October.
“The movement and spirit of this piece speaks to unity and connection,” stated Twin Rivers Council Director Noelle Lawton ahead of the project’s start. “It’s a simple and beautiful message for today. Our hope is that it will spark conversation and invite people to see Mankato from a new perspective.”
After months of work performed high up on a lift during a cold fall and early winter, the northwestward side of the silo is largely complete. And the first portion is hard to miss upon entering Mankato’s city center from the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
The project is expected to be viewable from multiple points…