MINOT, ND (KXNET) — Local residents have launched a campaign to turn downtown Minot into a wonder of the Midwest.

The Union Silos Public Art Project campaign has launched an effort to create a community self-portrait. The project will be a painted mural, with the potential to be a tourist attraction.

“We have an old, kind of, inactivated, unused set of grain silos in Downtown Minot. And we’re working with a world-renowned muralist and large format painter to come in and make a mural on the structure,” said Tim Baumann, a community organizer.

The artist that will be painting the mural, is Australian artist, Guido Van Helten.

He specializes in large-format mural paintings and this will be a part of his multi-state Monuments series.

“The artist has already done a work in Minnesota, a work in Iowa, one in South Dakota, one in Kansas, he just completed one in Texas, and is slated to do one I believe Wisconsin in the coming year or two. And so this kind of creates this network, similar to people who travel to national parks or maybe want to see all different things in a person’s history or life,” said Baumann.

The mural is expected to be painted starting in the summer of 2023 and is estimated to be finished by the end of summer or the beginning of fall.

The project is $350,000 and that covers the costs of things like paint, housing for the artist, and lift rentals.

“The artist, the way that he works is that he doesn’t just come in and paint something. he interacts with the community over a series of several different events throughout the year. And he wants to learn a little bit more about what makes the culture of Minot, what kind of makes all tick, and our strong industrial backdrop and background is something that was really attractive to him,” said Baumann.

Baumann says this mural is a perfect fit for Minot.

And he says the community is always supporting the arts.

“Minot is definitely a community that punches above its weight when it comes to supporting the arts and having a vibrant arts culture scene. And that’s something that’s really apparent to a lot of people when they come to our community. So it seems like this is a pretty natural fit,” said Baumann.

Baumann says the campaign for the project was launched on Thursday and nearly 2 thousand dollars has already been raised.

Donations and financial support can be made through the Minot Area Council of the Arts with “silo donation” written in the donation note.

Online donations can be made at www.ndunionsilos.com.