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Telling a Story of Greater Mankato

Video by MegaMatt Productions


In 2018, international artist Guido van Helten was commissioned to complete a mural on the Ardent Mills silos in downtown Mankato by CityArt—a joint venture of Twin Rivers Council for the Arts and the City Center Partnership. CityArt works to enhance the quantity, quality and prominence of public art in the City Centers of Mankato and North Mankato. For almost a decade, CityArt had been strategizing about ways to incorporate artwork onto the silos and thanks to van Helten and a group of generous donors, Silo Art is now telling a story of Greater Mankato.

Artist Statement 

This artwork specifically addresses the existing diversity as a source of pride for the Mankato community. The concept was derived from a summary of experiences and discoveries in colour and culture as part of the Mahkato Powwow and Education Days in 2018 and 2019.

This mural brings together the shared ideals of community, diversity, inclusion, and participation. In consultation with various  Native and non-Native community representatives, the artwork took shape and allows for an open interpretation as the viewer takes in all angles in one of the largest murals completed by the artist to date. The artwork is part of a growing trail of monumental murals painted by the artist throughout the Midwest including works in Faulkton, South Dakota and Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Official Silo Art Viewing Areas

Download map for viewing areas and parking.

Silo Art Facts

FACT #1: The artwork spans eight silos.

FACT #2: This installation is van Helten’s largest to date.

FACT #3: Each silo is 135 feet tall

FACT #4: Over $300,000 was raised to fund Silo Art.


About the Artist: Guido van Helten

Guido van Helten is an internationally recognized artist creating contemporary street art throughout the world which is underpinned by his exploration of community and identity generated through photography and large-scale mural installations. Born in Canberra and growing up in inner city Melbourne, Australia, the artist was influenced at a young age by traditional graffiti movements, leading to an introduction to aerosol at a young age. After graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Printmaking at Southern Cross University, Guido began the development of his contemporary work, now closely aligned with the movement of large-scale muralism across the world.

His work has developed out of his keen interests in travel, photography, architecture and learning about cultures in connection with their landscapes. Receiving attention for his work in regional communities around Australia, Guido was nominated for the Sir John Sulman prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2016 for his work in the community of Brim, Victoria. These interests and his ability to work on large-scale projects have spurred commissions across the world throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the United States and Australia.

“Since 2013, my practice has evolved into an exploration of identity in connection with our urban environment or a sort of architectural sociology. Through this, I approach mural projects using photography and community engagement to uncover the human stories and site-specific nature and connections to place. My work explores this relationship through images and it is designed to align with the architectural sites.” Learn more about Guido

Silo Art Project, work in progress, Photo Credit Sarah Hughes

Thank You to the Donors Who Made It Happen

Thank you to all the donors who are making Silo Art possible. View the full list of businesses, individuals and organizations who have contributed to Silo Art. Donor List >>

GIVE –  Make a tax-deductible donation to the Silo Art Project today!

In the Press:

Australian artist using concrete as his canvas across the world – (7News Sydney, Feb. 15, 2020)

Master muralist will transform Mankato silos with realistic, giant images – (Star Tribune, Oct. 26, 2019)

Silo mural beginning with artist citing inspiration from Mahkato Pow Wow (Free Press)

Silos will be canvas for giant Old Town mural (Free Press)

Read up on the Top Eight Questions about the Silo Art Project.

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