Faulkton Elevator Mural Nearing Completion


Grain elevators are commonplace in KELOLAND.  But there’s one in north central South Dakota that is anything but ordinary. 

It’s hard to miss when you head into town. 

A larger-than-life painting on the prairie. 

Judy Oliver lives in nearby Cresbard. She and a friend stopped to gaze up at the girl covering one side of the elevator. 

“I would drive many more miles than 18 to come and see this,” Judy Oliver said. 

The work, which also includes a picture of a young boy, sprawls across much of the towering building. 

The man behind this mural: Australian artist Guido Van Helten. 

He’s been creating murals for close to a decade. 

“They’ve progressively got larger and progressively I’ve pushed more interesting sort of buildings or places to work,” Artist Guido Van Helten said. 

This is his first one in this region of the United States. 

Kelli Volk: What’s your first reaction when you look at it?
Bartholomew: Actually tears come to my eyes I’m so proud of it.

Linda Bartholomew is a committee member of the Faulkton Area Arts Council. 

“We really do have a young thinking community and very progressive so it was really great to see children portrayed in this mural,” Lina Bartholomew said. 

“This mural and this project, it does focus on this town, but I think this town is a good example of a small community in South Dakota,” Van Helten said. 

A community where agriculture and art meet. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It just blows your mind,” Oliver said. 

Van Helten hopes to finish the mural on the Agtegra elevator sometime this week. 

He says he has an upcoming project in Iowa, but he couldn’t give any specifics. 

Now if you’re wondering how he ended up working in Faulkton…a fellow Australian who now lives in the town encouraged him to come and do the mural. 

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