Urban Sight, along with partners, ADM and Tnemec Company, Inc., announced the completion of the Glass City River Wall (GCRW), making it the largest mural in the United States and a stunning and welcoming visual to the gateway of Toledo, Ohio. Located at the ADM grain facility on the east bank of the Maumee River, the mural was created across a canvas of 28 silos measuring approximately 170,000 square feet and requiring more than 2,864 gallons of paint.
The massive mural, originally the idea of project organizers and board members Nicole LeBoutillier and Brandy Alexander-Wimberly, was conceptualized and designed by artist Gabe Gault after he was selected through an international Request for Qualifications process. Known for his portraits and backgrounds using camouflage patterns, Gault completed the project with the help of a crew of local artists and renowned muralist, Eric Henn. It depicts a wide swath of sunflowers and three portraits: a Native American elder, mother, and child – honoring the indigenous peoples of the area.
“It’s beyond exciting to announce the completion of the Glass City River Wall,” said Christina Kasper, president of Urban Sight, Inc. and GCRW project manager, and Nicole LeBoutillier, GCRW operations manager. “The path to get here has been a truly transformative journey! It went from the idea of a couple friends, while boating down the Maumee River, to creating an art installation to beautify our city to a community-wide movement that has brought so many people and organizations together around a common goal,” they said.
“Together, we have made history with the largest mural in the country, underscoring Toledo’s reputation as a community dedicated to the arts, and igniting conversations around hope, positivity and inclusion that will carry us forward into the future,” said Toledo Mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Gault’s design was chosen to showcase Toledo’s past, present, and future, the historical importance of agriculture, and the first farmers as the foundation of economic development in the region. The models used for the portraits are from three different Tribes – the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Dakota Tribe. Living models were used to reinforce the fact that Native Americans are not people of the past, but exist in vibrant communities today. In addition, leaders from The Myaamia Center at Miami University were available as expert guides and educational consultants throughout the process.
ADM generously donated its silos for the project, and accommodated nearly two years of GCRW staff, artists, equipment, media, and other visitors on its property.
“We are proud to see the Glass City River Wall project come to life and serve as a strong representation of our thriving community and city’s vibrant spirit,” said Jason Boyer, superintendent, ADM Toledo facility.
“Through ADM and ADM Cares, we work to sustain and strengthen the communities where our colleagues work and live by driving meaningful change, and supporting projects such as this. We are thrilled to support Toledo through this partnership, which will make larger-than-life art a focal point of Glass City,” Boyer said.
Tnmec Company supplied its specialized paint for the project, including Series 156 Enviro Crete, a flexible, breathable acrylate coating for concrete, and Series 1026 Enduratone, a versatile and durable, water-based acrylic coating, in a variety of colors.
“Tnemec is so fortunate to be involved with this project,” said Chase Bean, president and CEO of Tnemec Company. “We are grateful for the community spirit and energetic efforts from so many people dedicated to transforming this structure into a beautiful work of art,” he said.
For more information, visit: glasscityriverwall.org.