Urban Sight, along with partners, ADM and Tnemec Company, Inc., recently announced the completion of the Glass City River Wall (GCRW), described as 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 ft2 (15,793.5 m2) and requiring more than 2,864 gal (10,841.4 L) of paint.
Visible from Interstate 75, the Maumee River, and Toledo’s downtown, the Ohio Department of Transportation estimates that, on average, 82,365 vehicles pass the site daily.
Concept and Design
The massive mural, originally the idea of project organizers and board members Nicole LeBoutillier and Brandy Alexander-Wimberly, was concepted and designed by artist Gabe Gault after he was selected through an international qualifications process.
Known for his portraits and backgrounds using camouflage patterns, Gault completed the GCRW 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 portraying a Native American elder, mother, and child to honor the area’s indigenous peoples.
“It’s beyond exciting to announce the completion of the Glass City River Wall,” Christina Kasper, president of Urban Sight, Inc. and GCRW project manager, said in a joint statement with Nicole LeBoutillier, GCRW’s operations manager.
“The path to get here has been a truly transformative journey,” the joint statement reads. “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.”
Gault’s design was chosen to showcase Toledo’s past, present, and future while highlighting the historical importance of agriculture and the first farmers as the foundation of regional economic development. 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 still exist in vibrant communities today.
Mural Coating Choices
Tnemec supplied its specialized paint for the project, including Series 156 EnviroCrete, 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. “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.”
Meanwhile, ADM donated its silos, described as “the canvas” for the mural project. The company also accommodated nearly two years of GCRW staff, artists, equipment, media, and other visitors on its property.
For more information, contact: Tnemec, www.tnemec.com; GCRW, www.glasscityriverwall.org.