Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
1) How did this project come about?
While cruising along the Maumee River, a group of friends approached the ADM grain silos. Realizing this was the introduction to the city of Toledo for so many, they wondered why our vibrant city’s spirit had no representation on such a vast canvas. Over a year later, through countless hours of due diligence, we continue the process of creating a warm welcome and message of hope and positivity for the community and all those who pass through.
2) Are you working with The Arts Commission?
A 1977 Ordinance pioneered by Susan Reams set aside one percent of Toledo’s Capital improvement budget for the purchase, conservation and public education of art. Thus, continuing Toledo’s reputation as staunch supporters of the power of public art, bolstered by the tireless work of The Arts Commission.
Our mission is to align with the The Arts Commission’s vision to elevate the community with hope, intentionality and positive messaging. Throughout the development of The Glass City RIver Wall, the Arts Commission has supported and guided us, and we are grateful for their expertise. Both Susan Reams and Nathan Mattimoe (Art in Public Places coordinator) are invaluable members of our steering committee, and continually add to the forward movement of this project.
3) How is it a “public” arts project if the property is owned privately by ADM?
The Glass CIty River Wall is the definition of a Community Arts Project in that the spirit of the project is to include the community on every level. We are proud to collaborate with several educational professionals and local organizations to create an all-inclusive educational curriculum to offer the students of Toledo an opportunity to be a part of this monumental project. Not only will the GCRW further lift Toledo’s global reputation as a community dedicated to the arts, it will enhance quality of life, connecting the community through education and economic development.
We are delighted to partner with ADM, a Chicago-based corporation recognized as a global leader in nutrition. They are the world’s premier agricultural organization and processing company, with a focus on providing access to nutrition worldwide.
4) Are you a non-profit organization?
We have been approved as a non-profit entity by the Ohio Secretary of State, and have applied for 501(c)(3) status. In the meantime, we have partnered with the Toledo Community Foundation- a public charitable foundation which exists to improve the quality of life in the region. All donations made through this partnership are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law.
5) How is ADM involved?
We reached out in October 2019 to ADM corporate with the project concept, and were encouraged by their interest. We have since connected with their foundation, ADM Cares, as well as with the local facilities manager, Jason Boyer. Jason is a member of the Glass City River Wall Steering Committee, and has kept us connected on a local level, as well as enhanced our relationships with the corporation.
At this point, ADM is intrinsically involved. Not only have they agreed to donate the 160,000 square foot “canvas” for this project, but ADM Cares has further committed to the project with a grant to kick off the project. Overall, ADM’s commitment is valued at $125,000.
6) How did you choose the artist?
The Glass City River Wall extended a Call for Artists through an international Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Though we received remarkable submissions, it was ultimately the story our selected artist chose to relay through his art that drew us to him. Gabe Gault, of Los Angeles, tells us “My objective is to offer both an origin story, which honors the original farmers of the region, as well as providing an inspirational image for the future: a cornucopia of abundance and prosperity.” This message of hope and positivity aligned perfectly with our vision, and earned him the spot behind the brush.
7) How will an artist who is not from the area understand how to work within the elements of Northwest Ohio?
Artist Gabe Gault and his team from Los Angeles have gathered an impressive support team including Detroit Sign Painters and Ohio artist, Eric Henn. With a combined 45 years experience of working in the area, they are well qualified to support the installation of the Glass City River Wall and its challenges.
8) What is the intentional message you and the artist are sending to the community with this mural? And, how will the artist choose the subject matter for the mural?
It is the Steering Committee’s intention to bring urban renewal through hope and positive messaging. We recognize that there is a rich and vibrant cultural history of the Native North American Nations who resided in the area. We have connected with the Native American community associated with this area to further understand and honor their heritage, and highlight their role as the first farmers.
For artist Gabe Gault, it’s just as essential to create the kind of artwork that fits seamlessly into this space. “I want to tell a story that is colorful, bold, simple and readable. The installation must feel like it belongs.”, says Gault. The final product will be approved by the Steering Committee, and through an application filed with the Arts Commission. It will elevate the riverfront and the entire city of Toledo, both aesthetically and through its uplifting and powerful messaging.
9) How much is it going to cost?
The scale of the Glass City River Wall is unprecedented. The estimated budget is $750,000 for Phase 1 and will include preparation, production, communication and future maintenance. Should we raise more than our anticipated goal, we will carry over to Phase 2 which includes lighting the project to further elevate the mural.
10) Is there a maintenance and conservation plan for the mural?
We have included a preliminary maintenance budget in our forecast and are working with ADM and the Toledo Community Foundation. Our primary goal is to incorporate a long-term maintenance plan that has capital appreciation.
11) What is the projected timeline for the project?
Anticipated completion date for Phase 1 of the Mural is August 2021 in advance of the 2021 Solheim Cup.
12) How is the project being funded?
The project is being funded through a mix of private and public funding sources. To date, nearly half a million dollars have been raised from corporate sponsors. The Feb. 2021 launch marks the end of the ‘quiet phase’ of fundraising and the beginning of the general public fundraising initiative.
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