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Faces of Fort Dodge Coming to Life

Fort Dodge, Iowa Grain Silo Mural Project Happening This Month
August 3, 2018

The Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition is excited to announce that Guido van Helten will visit Fort Dodge near the end of August to install a mural on the 110’ grain silo located in the Northwest River District of Fort Dodge.

The project was devised out of the City’s Northwest River District Revitalization Plan and will feature a major public artwork by Guido van Helten.  The artist’s works celebrate the real citizens of rural communities, providing an honest representation of everyday life in these locations.  His monumental portraits are created using quality materials and unique techniques, with neutral colors chosen to blend well with the existing industrial architecture.

Guido expands on his approach; “My artworks focus on capturing people through portraiture; combining human elements with industrial or overlooked spaces.  I first visit places without any idea of what I’m going to do, as it’s inappropriate for me to make something without first seeing the place and space.  I find people and images to suit the space and use photography to capture that.”

Mr. van Helten will be in Fort Dodge beginning in late August to install his design created specifically for the community.  The initial stages of his time will consist of additional outreach to finalize details and photography for his design which will then lead to the installation of the artwork over the following weeks.  The visit and resulting public artwork was organized by the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition and is entirely funded by grants, donations and tourism sources.

Thank you to our Art Connoisseurs and Visionaries who sponsored this project: Catherine Vincent Deardorf Foundation, America’s Best Communities, Iowa Arts Council, Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust, Fort Dodge Community Foundation, Allers Architects, Walmart, Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau, Amigos Bar & Restaurant, Availa Bank, C&S Products, Citizens Community Credit Union, CJ Bio America, Fort Dodge Ford/Toyota, Gunderson Funeral Home, Kallin-Johnson Monument, New Cooperative, Northwest Bank, Steve Kersten, Susan Ahlers Leman and Rod Leman.

“This is an important project for Fort Dodge” states City Council Member Terry Moehnke, who is also a member of the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition. “As the largest mural in Iowa the project puts us on the map – that’s why the Public Art Coalition feels it’s so important to provide the public and media access and exposure to the process”.

The Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition has a Facebook page ‘Fort Dodge Public Art’ and website ( where project updates will be provided regularly.  These pages will also include a live video feed with time-lapse capability to track the exciting process of the mural installation.

In addition to the live video feed there will be media opportunities.  To inquire on these opportunities email the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition at or call (515) 576-4551 X1244.  For questions regarding Guido van Helten and his artworks contact Margot Strasburger at or call (803) 348-3794.

Faces of Fort Dodge Coming to Life: News
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