• About the Mural

    More Information About the Vision and the Team Behind the Mural

    IMAGERY

    The artist Gabe Gault is best known for his portraits and trademark backgrounds using camouflage patterns. His motto is "blending in and standing out".

     

    Gabe often utilizes flora and fauna in his paintings as a narrative or symbolic device. Sunflowers are a particular favorite of his. In classic literature and art sunflowers represent hope, faith and good fortune. Just as the sun moves across the sky each day - the sunflower follows it faithfully and diligently.

    THE WILD SUNFLOWER OR SUN CHOKE

    In addition to its symbolic meaning, the sunflower also has historical significance. The wild sunflower or Sun Choke was one of the key crops for indigenous people of the region.

     

    Gabe was raised in a matriarchal family unit. He appreciates the strong female role his sister, mother and grandmother played in his upbringing. That is recognized in the portraiture on the silos, and also honors the “first farmers” of the region- Native American women and children.

    IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MYAAMIA CENTER

    The Glass City River Wall is deeply grateful to the Native American community, particularly the Myaamia Center in Oxford, Ohio (www.myaamiacenter.org). The recognition that the Indigenous people of our area are a part of Toledo’s past, present and future is reflected in the model’s modern-day clothing mixed with identifiable jewelry reflective of Native American cultures. Each of the models are living today, and a testament to our true history.

    THANK YOU TO OUR CREW

    A crew of local artists were responsible for installing the vibrant imagery created by Gabe Gault. Each of the artists were chosen based on recommendation, interest in the project, or just sheer luck. We are proud to help support and promote our local art scene and are indebted to the team that came together to create the country’s largest mural:

    Will “WC” Bevan (local artist- Detroit Michigan)

    Connor “ConTron” Degnan (local artist- Toledo Ohio)

    Kelly Golden (local artist- Detroit Michigan)

    Craig Hejka (local artist –Detroit Michigan)

    Shaina Kasztelan (local artist- Detroit Michigan)

    Kodi Kolinski (local artist- Toledo Ohio)

    Yusuf Lateef (local artist- Toledo, Ohio)

    Tayler Meinen (local artist- Toledo Ohio)

    Chris “Chilly” Rodriguez (local artist- Toledo Ohio)

    Zac Warmann (Phase 1 Coordinator- Detroit Michigan)

    THANK YOU TO OUR CREW CHIEF – DEAN DAVIS

    Local artist Dean Davis is the heart and force behind the installation of the Glass City River Wall. He is a notable muralist, tattoo and airbrush artist and has expertise in architectural restoration.

    THANK YOU TO OUR LEAD MURALIST – ERIC HENN

    Ohio based, award winning international muralist Eric Henn has over 30 years of experience and specializes in large scale realistic murals. Much of his expertise is in painting conical surfaces such as water towers and now grain silos.

    WHY TNEMEC PAINT FOR THIS PROJECT

    • Tnemec is a privately-owned company and is heavily invested in developing innovative technologies for coating projects that require extra protection. 
    • Tnemec manufactures over 250 different coatings for a variety of substrates, conditions and environments. Its products are trusted by specifiers and applicators all over the world.  
    • By focusing on performance testing and using top-of-the-line equipment, Tnemec ensures its products are suited to withstand the environmental elements. 
    • Tnemec tests and retests each product to qualify each coating’s ability to resist corrosion, UV light, abrasion and other causes of coating degradation. 
    • Both Tnemec products used in this project are low VOC and water-based, making them safer and easier to apply, while still showcasing excellent performance. 
    • With local representatives all across the United States, Tnemec has provided us with technical and customer support throughout all stages of this project. 
    Established in 1921, and celebrating its 100th year in business, Tnemec Company, Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Mo, manufactures more than 250 architectural and industrial coating products at facilities in Kansas City, Baltimore, Dallas, and Shanghai, China.

    About The Portraits

    Gabe appreciates the strong female role his sister, mother, and grandmother played in his upbringing, and this comes through in the portraiture on the silos. The portraits represent the original agriculturalists from this region - the Native American women and children who played a significant role in planting and maintaining the vast corn fields that historically lined the banks of the Maumee river from Toledo to Fort Wayne, IN.

     

    The models used for these images are from three different Tribes - The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, The Shawnee Tribe, and Lakota Tribe. We chose living models from tribes to reinforce the fact that Native Americans are not a people from the past but exist in vibrant communities today. Many of the tribes who considered this region home were forcibly relocated in the mid 19th century and reside west of the Mississippi today.

    About The Portraits

    As a reference to the groups Indigenous to the lower Great Lakes, the portraits depict the models wearing jewelry common to these people both in the past and present. The mix of modern-day clothing with identifiable jewelry demonstrates that these people represent living communities, each with connections to their community’s history and ancestors.. Each of the models in the portraits is a citizen of a Tribal Nation today, and their modern-day appearance and depiction is a testament to the fact that Native American people are not people of the past, but a living people with a past.

     

    The Glass City River Wall team is deeply grateful to our Native American collaborators, and the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for their wisdom, input, and support.