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 spring of 2024.

More about Union Silos

Ar​tist

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

Minot's Monumen​t Mural

Minot's place in the Monuments Mural​ Project​

Th​e Process

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

How 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

It​’s Happening... **Heavy Breathing...**

79.3%

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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 METHODOLOGY

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

tourism.


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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