The Glass City River Wall — A Community Arts Project — Officially Launches
Local Group Partners with ADM to Bring Silo Mural Project to Life
TOLEDO, Ohio, Feb. 2, 2021 — A group of local community advocates, business leaders and design professionals are collaborating to bring a unique, large-scale art installation to a ‘wall’ of silos in metro Toledo. The Glass City River Wall (GCRW) will be located at the ADM grain facility on the east bank of the Maumee River, and will include 28 silos measuring approximately 160,000 square feet.
The facility, which ADM has agreed to offer as a canvas for the purpose of this community-focused initiative, is 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.
It is the GCRW’s steering committee’s intention to bring urban renewal through hope and positive messaging with this momentous art project. The original concept team, consisting of Christina Kasper, Nicole LeBoutillier and Brandy Wimberly, recognized that there is a rich and vibrant cultural history in Toledo. It is their goal to showcase Toledo’s past, present and future and highlight the historical importance of agriculture and the first farmers as the foundation of economic development in the region.
The GCRW steering committee has been guided by The Arts Commission throughout the process. Nathan Mattimoe, The Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places (APP) coordinator, and Susan Reams, APP board member and pioneer in Toledo’s art community, are both active committee members.
The GCRW will further lift Toledo’s global reputation as a community dedicated to the arts. In response to the project, Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica Health System and visionary community advocate, stated, “We are a city of art and ProMedica is proud to support this project that will continue to showcase this, especially on such a large scale for all to enjoy.”
Additionally, a collaboration with educational professionals and local organizations is underway to create an inclusive educational curriculum for Toledo students. It will create an opportunity for them to be a part of this monumental project that aims to enhance quality of life and economic development for all Toledoans.
For the design and creation of the mural itself, a Call for Artists was extended through an international Request for Qualifications, and Gabe Gault, of Los Angeles, was selected. When it came to the Glass City River Wall project, Gault knew that his art could tell a powerful story for Toledo.
“I want to tell a story that is colorful, bold, simple and readable,” Gault said. “My objective is to offer both an origin story that honors the original farmers of the region, as well as provide an inspirational image for the future — a cornucopia of abundance and prosperity, which speaks to ADM’s purpose of unlocking the power of nature to enrich the quality of life.”
ADM, headquartered in Chicago, is a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. ADM Cares, the philanthropic arm of ADM, is supporting the GCRW with a grant and is a lead sponsor.
The site of the ADM Silos on the Maumee River was first recognized for its value by the Native Americans and continues to be one of the driving forces of Toledo’s economic prosperity.
“Our goal is to provide a stunning and welcoming visual to the gateway of our city with a universal and inclusive message,” said Christina Kasper, GCRW project manager and Urban Sight, Inc., president. “We also want to acknowledge ADM’s purpose of providing access to nutrition worldwide, which is more important than ever.”
Design concepts are currently underway and will be approved by Urban Sight, ADM and the Arts Commission. The GCRW steering committee anticipates sharing the final design with the community in early spring.
The total budget for the project is an estimated $750,000, which will include preparation, the creation of the mural and future maintenance. With nearly half a million dollars raised from corporate sponsors, the GCRW committee is now looking for support from the broader community to take the funding for the project to the finish line. Today marks the beginning of the public fundraising initiative.
The anticipated completion date for the mural is August 2021, in advance of the 2021 Solheim Cup. Should the committee raise more than the anticipated goal, the funds will carry over into Phase 2, which will include lighting the mural.
The Glass City River Wall has established a nonprofit entity called Urban Sight, Inc. It has been approved by the State of Ohio and has filed for 501(c)3 status. In the meantime, the GCRW is partnering with the Greater Toledo Community Foundation to accept tax deductible donations on its behalf.
For more information as well as a list of supporters, visit glasscityriverwall.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow us @GlassCityRiverWall on Instagram and Facebook as well as on Twitter @ToledoRiverWall. To make a donation click here or visit glasscityriverwall.org.
About the Artist, Gabe Gault
A Southern California native, Gabe Gault spent his formative years in Venice Beach, where creativity, popular culture, and its colorful residents made a lasting impression. A reading disability caused him to turn his full attention to art as a way to express himself and explore his identity as a Black American.
His current work employs classical painting techniques with modern subjects, with a particular focus on individuals dedicated to making a positive difference in our culture. His works often feature backgrounds with juxtaposing urban camouflage pattern and classical flora used as a storytelling device.
Notable works of Gabe Gault include: murals for the legendary Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Complex magazine, Nike and Nike Air. Commissions for the NAACP, Will and Jada Smith Foundation, UCLA’s Centennial “100 Years of Activism,” AMEND (13th Amendment) for Netflix, The Tommie Smith Youth Athletics Foundation, and ACLU of Southern California.
For more information on Gault and his work, visit www.gabegault.com or find him @gabegault on Instagram.
At ADM, we unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. We’re a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. Our breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give us unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we enrich the quality of life the world over. Learn more at www.adm.com.