Mankato grain silos to be area’s largest mural

There’s not much a community can do with abandoned, concrete silos, the kind that dot Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Avenue and the Prospect Park area. Or is there?

Mankato, Minn., has the right idea. An artist is going to treat them like the canvas they are and make art, the Mankato Free Press says.

The Twin Rivers Council for the Arts and two partner organizations have just passed the $200,000 mark on the way to a $250,000 goal to bring Australian artist Guido van Helten to the city to do his thing with Ardent Mills’ silos in Old Town.

His thing is pretty cool.

He’s finished a project in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that cost about $130,000. He said it was his most challenging project yet because of Iowa’s cold weather. That distinction won’t likely switch to Mankato because he would start on its project in September and finish it in a month, before bad weather hits.

“I’m interested in bringing this art form, which is already popular in big cities, to smaller places,” he told the Des Moines Register, “particularly to the Midwest, which isn’t looked at as a creative place.”

The Mankato project differs from the artist’s previous work because the silos are still in use. The company that owns them matched donations because the artwork will be a nod to area agriculture.

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