Magnificent mural on the Maumee River will be finished this week
The Glass City River Wall is the largest mural in the United States.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Glass City River Wall is in the home stretch. The statement piece is painted on dozens of ADM grain silos along the Maumee River near the DiSalle Bridge. After more than a year of painting, it will be finished this week.
The mural has truly changed the landscape of our city. The massive project took more than a year and more than 2,800 gallons of paint to finish. It also changed a lot of lives along the way.
It’s one of those projects that changes a place. It’s the largest mural in the United States. Christina Kasper is the Project Manager.
“There is so much energy infused in this. I always say it is not just a project, it’s a movement, really,” Kasper said. “So many people see themselves in this in a thousand different ways. It’s magical.”
So many people helped make it possible. Donations big and small funded the project. The masterpiece is the creation of artist Gabe Gault, and a lot of local artists helped bring it to life.
“I often think to myself that no one will ever pass by this space again without knowing where they are. That is powerful,” Kasper said. “The mural sits in the bend in the river. You can see one mile in both directions. There is something symbolic in that. We didn’t know the half of it when we started.”
28 silos provided a blank canvas covering 170,000-square-feet. The sky blue background is highlighted by 15 sunflowers and three portraits. The portraits are of three living Native Americans -- an homage to the first farmers of our region.
“We’re all connected and what a beautiful way to illustrate that,” Kasper said.
The multi-year project will be finished in a matter of days.
“We will deliver this unbelievable gift to the City of Toledo by Friday of this week,” Kasper said. “I am so, so proud to be in this space.”
Kasper said the mural has truly been life-changing.
“I’ve learned so much about the world, people, boating, grain, Native Americans,” Kasper said. “I’ve also learned about hardship, hard work, and joy. Honestly, I think it’s changed my DNA, it’s changed every cell of my body.”
Thinking about the impact this project will have on our city for generations is emotional for Kasper.
“It’s just transformational. For the city, for all of us involved, our team, the artists, the Native Americans. It’s been an honor to be at the helm of this.”
The plan is to eventually light the massive mural with sustainable lighting.
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