Glass City River Wall Mural: Educational Toledo Landmark

On October 15, the Glass City River Wall mural was revealed and officially announced as complete, marking an exciting, culturally significant moment for Toledo. 

The Glass City River Wall project was born from a collaboration between Urban Sight, a Toledo-based nonprofit that helps connect the community through art; ADM, an agricultural processing company that donated its silos as a surface for the mural; and Tnemec Company, which provided paint for the project. The mural idea was initially proposed by project organizers and board members Nicole LeBoutillier and Brandy Alexander-Wimberly. Mural design and content were developed by artist Gabe Gault; his designs were later executed through the help of local artists and renowned muralist, Eric Henn.

The Glass City River Wall mural’s reveal on October 15 was accompanied by a celebration that recognized Indigenous culture. The celebration featured visits from the Indigenous models in the mural, tribal blessings from the Dakota Tribe, remarks from the Shawnee Tribe, and traditional Bear, Buffalo, and Eagle dancers.

 

Gault and colleagues’ mural depicts sunflowers and three Indigenous individuals, a Native American elder, mother, and child. The Indigenous models in the mural are from three different tribes — the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Dakota Tribe. Gault chose living models for the mural to indicate that Native American individuals are active and vibrant members of our communities, not people of the past. 

In addition to its recognition of Native American culture, the mural’s significance also extends to its educational component. An accompanying set of free supplemental curriculum is available as an opportunity for students everywhere to get involved in the mural project. 

Reflecting on this landmark in Toledo and platform for education, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, stated that the mural highlights Toledo’s commitment “to the arts, and igniting conversations around hope, positivity and inclusion that will carry us forward into the future.” Now the biggest mural in the country, the Glass City River Wall mural is a must see. Visit the mural at the ADM grain facility, located on the east bank of the Maumee River. 

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