TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Grain elevators may not be the first place to see artwork, but that’s exactly what will happen in Toledo. 28 ADM Silos along the Maumee River will soon house a mural. It’s called that Glass City River Wall.
“Sometimes I pinch myself that this is really happening,” says Nicole LeBoutillier, who was part of a group of friends who drove past the silos on a boat in 2019. Then the idea for the project was born.
“What an opportunity to change your community for the better. That changes my life, ”says Christina Kasper, who was also involved in the project from the start.
The silos provide a 160,000 square foot blank canvas that tens of thousands will see every day.
“More than 82,000 vehicles pass by there every day, so we get over 30 million views a year,” says Kasper.
Gabe Gault, a well-known Californian artist, created the mural. He is working on his final version, but an early depiction included a field of sunflowers, blue skies, and a Native American woman representing the region’s first farmers.
“There will be little surprises that remind us of what makes this space and this community so special,” says Kasper.
How do you paint a mural on silos? The final design is projected onto the silos and the crews then use a paint-by-number technique. Work will begin in June and the project is expected to be completed in August. But it’s about more than just art.
“We have included a curriculum that also brings economic development with it,” says LeBoutillier. “It’s so much bigger than a makeover project.”
The project is priced at approximately $ 750,000. Around $ 500,000 has already been raised and everyone has a chance to be part of the goal.
“We want the community to be involved,” says LeBoutillier. “You can donate $ 1, $ 5, or $ 5,000.”
“I think this will be an opportunity for Toledo to be recognized as it deserves. Period, ”says Kasper.
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