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Grain Silo Website Photo.JPG

Fort Dodge Grain Silo Mural

A project of the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition

The Project

The Grain Silo Mural project consists of the installation of a mural on a 110’ tall abandoned grain silo in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Once installed, this mural will be the largest in Iowa!  The Silo mural is a project commissioned and devised by the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition; and it is identified as a short term strategy of City’s 2016 Northwest River District Revitalization Plan.  Development of the project began in 2016 and installation by world-renowned artist, Guido van Helten began in autumn 2018 and was complete in winter of 2018.

The Artist

Guido van Helten uses photography and community as a focal point of his work.  His unique mural portraits are created from the photographs he captures of locals, celebrating the identities and personalities of those living in the communities he visits. His murals are painted with high-quality pigment paints in neutral colors chosen specifically to blend with the surface and bring out the existing industrial architecture of the structures. This approach not only ensures the artwork will weather well, but also complements these overlooked edifices that dominate the skylines of the communities where he paints.  To learn more about Mr. van Helten’s work visit his website:

The Design

Throughout the design process, Guido van Helten was provided support from the Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition, Iowa Central Community College’s Professional Photography Program, the Fort Museum and Frontier Village, and other various community members and organizations.  The portraits painted on the Silo are from images photographed by Mr. van Helten.

The Sponsors

The Silo mural was funded through various grants, generous donations, and with help from tourism funding sources. Along with more than 30 sponsors, the following Art Visionaries helped to make this project a reality:

Catherine Vincent Deardorf Charitable Foundation

Iowa Arts Council

America's Best Communities

What's Next

The Fort Dodge Public Art Coalition received a generous donation from the Catherine Vincent Deardorf Charitable to make some improvements on the Grain Silo site, which will include a trail loop, donor recognition site, and lighting.  The City also received a grant from the Wellmark Foundation to improve the trailhead parking near the Silo.

Fort Dodge Grain Silo Project History: About Us
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