Outline the Sky

A public art project for cementing Minot's Skyline

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About the Process​

About the Project​

About the project

Union Silos is a public art project designed to turn the downtown ​Farmer's Union Co-op grain silos at 318 1st ave NE into North ​Dakota's largest mural and artistic backdrop for downtown Minot.

Work on this project will begin in the summer of 2023.

More about Union Silos


Learn about Guido van Helten and the ​Monuments Mural Pro​ject

Minot's Monumen​t Mural

Minot's place In the Monuments Mural ​Pr​oject

Th​e Process

What to expect, how we get there, and ​the ​role of the Minot community

Ho​w Do We Start?

There are many ways to help move the North Dakota Union Silo ​Project forward. The most impactful way is through small​ monetary donations. ​

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The Progress

Th​ings are getting pretty serious...


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About ​the Artist

Guido van ​Helten

Guido van Helten (b. 1986) is an Australian-born visual

artist and photographer. He is recognized ​internationally for creating large-scale mural ​installations and street art underpinned by his ​exploration of community identity generated through ​photography and public engagement. 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 ​early introduction to aerosol. After graduating with ​a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Printmaking ​at Southern Cross University, Guido began the ​development of his contemporary work closely ​aligned with the movement of large-scale ​muralism across the world. His practice has ​developed out of his keen interests in travel, ​photography, and architecture, as well as learning ​about cultures in connection with their landscapes.

The artist’s work in regional communities across ​Australia has attracted international attention and ​earned him a nomination for the Sir John Sulman prize ​at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2016 for his work in the ​community of Brim, Victoria. Van Helten’s interests ​and his ability to work on large-scale projects have ​spurred commissions across the world throughout ​Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and ​Australia.


Since 2013, my practice has ​evolved into an exploration

of identity in connection with ​the urban environment

inspired by an interest in ​architectural sociology. With

this approach, my mural ​projects use photography and

community engagement to ​uncover human stories with a

strong connection to place.


Mo​re about the Artist

Why (not) Minot?

Situated north of Bismarck, south of the Canadian ​border, and a relatively short drive away from Faulkton, ​SD surrounded by major US highways 83 and 2, Minot ​has the potential as the location of prominent art and ​cultural draw in North Dakota.

This project will connect to the ongoing Monuments ​series created by Guido van Helten, encompassing ​large-scale murals, storytelling, and photography. ​Incorporating small to mid-sized cities, these works ​showcase the cultural values of the regional United ​States.

The works generate interest from the contemporary

public art movement and its audience in larger metro

areas; and they garner attention due to their ​prominence, scale, craftsmanship, and detail. The ​underpinning element of the artist’s community ​engagement make​s the project especially unique.

Monuments li​nks regional communities through

commonalities in t​heir industrial architecture and stories in common, crea​ting a tourism opportunity for a pathway of large-scal​e, socially focused artworks. As the project grows, it​ will become ever more connected and accessible to ​tourists and spontaneous viewers alike. Large-scale visual​ art can align with a conscience development and revit​alization strategy, honoring the past while bringi​ng the activation of the present narr​ative identity to the forefront.

The final project

The final mural outcome will form an eye-catching visual ​welcome statement to the Minot downtown as you cross the ​river over both the 3rd Street and Broadway bridges, ​bringing activation and a sense of revitalization to the town ​center while honoring the industrial past, bringing a cultural ​future to the forefront through public art.

Once the mural design is formulated by the artist, it is ​presented to the commissioner and will be in line with ​current artistic direction and style.

The Process of the ​Project


The design for the mural artwork is achieved through consultation with ​commissioning partners and local cultural influences in dialogue with ​community leaders. By documenting the engagement with the ​community through selected media including photography or video, the ​outcome will be an artwork design utilizing themes relevant to place.

Key aspects of the design process include:

  • Photography
  • Audio documentation of oral history and storytelling
  • Video
  • Community workshops
  • Collaboration with local creatives

Project Outcomes

Guido van Helten’s artworks utilize industrial architecture ​as an element of urban revitalization. His projects have ​helped facilitate meaningful collaborative partnerships ​between developers, governments, local community ​groups, and other stakeholders through his consultative ​and inclusive process.

Completed works have attracted considerable ​international interest and inspired local investment ​opportunities while also establishing regional cultural


The artist will engage the selected representative ​organizations from Minot including manufacturing ​businesses, schools, and nominated community-based ​programs. Ideas for the large-scale mural will be developed ​through a consultative engagement strategy resulting in ​the development of a documentary photographic series on ​which the artwork concept is based.

Outcomes will aim to document the unique character of the ​town and inform a mural design that focuses on people, ​places, and culture-specific to Minot and North Dakota.

Some examples of community engagement strategies ​include:

  • Photography workshops - secondary and tertiary levels ​in the US and Australia
  • Lectures/Talks at universities
  • Creative movement + Connecting Art and Sport ​workshop introduced in rural Australian community
  • Murals + Public Art basics - workshops with primary ​school aged kids in the US and Australia
  • Meet and Greets - informal discussions with the artist ​themes
  • Cultural heritage
  • Regional, community-focused identity

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