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City Council approves funding for Iowa mural project

June 12, 2018

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in central Iowa are moving forward with a large mural that will transform gray grain silos into scenes featuring local people.

The Fort Dodge City Council unanimously approved the first $130,000 payment for the project on Monday, The Messenger reported . The project will be funded by grants and donations, not local property taxes.

“This provides Fort Dodge with the opportunity to not only clean up an abandoned structure, but to turn this unique place into a creative place, adding to the mix of quality of life features in our community,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said in a written statement.

Australian artist Guido van Helten will begin working on the mural in August or September. The Public Art Coalition selected van Helten’s design last year from a group of submissions.

Images of five local people will be painted on the silos, said Carissa Harvey, the senior city planner. Van Helten took photographs of residents when he visited the city last year.

“It’s important for me to create a piece that is accurate and honest, serving as a real representation of the community,” van Helten said in a written statement. “This piece and many others I create are a social message in promoting the everyday person.”

The silos are about 110 feet (33.5 meters) tall, Harvey said. It will take the artist about a month to complete the project, she said.

The Iowa Arts Council, Fort Dodge Community Foundation, Walmart and Fort Dodge Ford Toyota are among the organizations that have contributed funds to the project.

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Information from: The Messenger, http://www.messengernews.net

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