Art Hounds: Mankato silos come alive in public art project

Plus, Art Hounds recommend Dakota Dave Hull's livestreamed concerts and Philip Carlton's plein air paintings

large silos painted with images of young children dancing
For the past two years, artist Guido Van Helten has been creating a mural on the exterior of the Ardent Mills silos in Mankato, Minn. The silos are located adjacent to the site of the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862.
Courtesy of Twin Rivers Arts

Painter and Minnesota State University, Mankato art professor Brian Frink is thrilled with how a large public art mural is coming to life. The Ardent Mills silos are impossible to miss on the north side of town; over the past two years artist Guido Van Helten has been painting the exterior, and is set to complete the mural this summer. Inspired by the history of the mass hanging of the Dakota 38 in 1862, Van Helten photographed young children learning traditional Dakota dances at a pow wow. They now dance larger than life, overlooking the city.

painting of a truck pulled over by a "no parking" sign
Since the statewide stay-at-home order, plein air painter Philip Carlton has turned his gaze to subjects near his home in the Hamline Midway neighborhood.
Courtesy of Philip Carlton

Jennifer Bowen, founder of the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, was delighted to discover the work of plein air painter Philip Alexander Carlton. Plein air painters are known for painting out of doors, usually capturing gorgeous natural landscapes. But since Minnesota began its stay-at-home order, Carlton has been keeping close to home and painting what he sees in his neighborhood. Bowen says the results are beautifully rendered paintings of humble scenes that normally would go unnoticed.

Guitarist Matt Sowell is enjoying regular livestreamed concerts by local music legend Dakota Dave Hull. Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10 a.m., Hull plays a three-song acoustic set that features a mix of blues, jazz and folk. Sowell says he enjoys the intimacy of the performance, which often includes Hull talking about the guitars he’s playing and the history of the music.

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