Glass City River Wall

October 20, 2022  18:11  |  News

Urban Sight, along with partners, ADM and Tnemec Company, Inc., announced today the completion of the Glass City River Wall (GCRW), making it the largest mural in the United States and a stunning and welcoming visual to the gateway of Toledo.

Glass City River Wall

Photo – courtesy of Glass City River Wall ©

Located at the ADM grain facility on the east bank of the Maumee River, the mural was created across a canvas of 28 silos measuring approximately 170,000 square feet and requiring more than 2,864 gallons of paint. 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.

The massive mural, originally the idea of project organizers and board members Nicole LeBoutillier and Brandy Alexander-Wimberly, was concepted and designed by artist Gabe Gault after he was selected through an international Request for Qualifications process.


Known for his portraits and backgrounds using camouflage patterns, Gault completed the project with the help of a crew of local artists and renowned muralist, Eric Henn. It depicts a wide swath of sunflowers and three portraits portraying a Native American elder, mother, and child – honouring the indigenous peoples of the area.

“It’s beyond exciting to announce the completion of the Glass City River Wall,” said Christina Kasper, president of Urban Sight, Inc. and GCRW project manager, and Nicole LeBoutillier, GCRW operations manager. “The path to get here has been a truly transformative journey! It went from the idea of a couple of friends while boating down the Maumee River, to creating an art installation to beautify our city to a community-wide movement that has brought so many people and organizations together around a common goal,” they said.


“Together, we have made history with the largest mural in the country, underscoring Toledo’s reputation as a community dedicated to the arts, and igniting conversations around hope, positivity and inclusion that will carry us forward into the future,” said Toledo Mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz.


Gault’s design was chosen 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 models used for the portraits are from three different Tribes – the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe and the Dakota Tribe. Living models were used to reinforce the fact that Native Americans are not people of the past but exist in vibrant communities today. In addition, leaders from The Myaamia Center at Miami University were available as expert guides and educational consultants throughout the process.


In addition to the mural itself, which will live on as a new Toledo landmark, a key aspect of the GCRW movement has been a focus on education and creating an opportunity for students everywhere to be a part of this monumental project. As such, in collaboration with educational professionals and local organizations, an educational component has been developed, including a free curriculum.


The supporting materials are available and accessible to anyone at no cost. They are interactive and multidisciplinary, allowing students of all ages the opportunity to explore and celebrate the history of Toledo and recognize the value of storytelling and of sharing their own stories. The mural will continue to serve as the impetus for these lessons going forward.


To take this project from concept to reality, two essential partners have been ADM and Tnemec Company.

ADM generously donated its silos or “the canvas” for the project and accommodated nearly two years of GCRW staff, artists, equipment, media and other visitors on its property.


Tnemec Company supplied its specialized paint for the project, including Series 156 Enviro-Crete, a flexible, breathable acrylate coating for concrete, and Series 1026 Enduratone, a versatile and durable, water-based acrylic coating, in a variety of colours.

In addition, over $1 million has been raised from corporate sponsors and public fundraising initiatives, encompassing nearly 800 total donors. Special thanks go to ProMedica, Hollywood Casino and the City of Toledo for their generous support, without which GCRW would likely not be a reality.

Throughout the process, the dedicated GCRW steering committee has donated its time and resources, including Susan Reams, Art in Public Places (APP) board member and pioneer in Toledo’s art community.


In addition, the GCRW has garnered widespread media attention, including national coverage by CBS Sunday Morning and People Magazine.

Saturday, October 15, 2022, marked the official completion and “unveiling” of the Glass City River Wall. To commemorate the day, a cultural celebration was held with the Dakota and Shawnee Tribes, including visits from the models used for two of the portraits: the “elder” portrait, Mary Louise Defender Wilson, 92, and the “child” portrait, Orontondi Greyhat. Also attending were GCRW artist Gabe Gault, mural artist Eric Henn, and the local and regional artists and GCRW team that helped it all come to life. There were also Tribal blessings led by Gerald Ironshield, Citizen of the Dakota Tribe, and remarks by Lee Blue Jacket, Citizen of the Shawnee Tribe, as well as traditional Bear, Buffalo and Eagle dancers.


Phase two of the GCRW will include lighting, continued educational opportunities, maintenance and other exciting possibilities.

For more information, updates on phase two, as well as a complete list of the GCRW steering committee, artists and supporters, visit