Art Corner Toledo wants to improve Toledo’s imageWritten by Michael Stainbrook | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A shrinking population and high unemployment rate give Toledo a negative image, but local artists are hoping to photograph, sculpt and paint a prettier picture of the Glass City.
Art Corner Toledo is a local startup that pairs artists with agencies for the purpose of creating a positive image for Toledo.
The initiative began in March at Bozarts Fine Art and Music Gallery, where local activist Rachel Richardson saw artist Har Simrit Singh’s graffiti. Richardson approached Singh and Michael Szuberla of Toledo GROWs, a community gardening initiative of Toledo Botanical Garden.
“There is a need for positive things to be brought to light and positive things to be made,” Richardson said. “People think Toledo is a dying city. I refuse to accept that.”
Singh and Szuberla are partnering for Art Corner Toledo’s first project: a mural at the community garden behind Manhattan’s Restaurant in Downtown Toledo. The aerosol mural will be Mother Earth-themed. Hearts and silhouettes of animals such as fish, bees, goats and chickens, as well as more urban elements such as a water tower, highlight the mural.
“I just think it’s an opportunity to bring some of the ideas and goals that Toledo GROWs is trying to accomplish to the forefront of the conscience,” said Singh, who attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He is also known as Doug Curtis.
Toledo GROWs often works with the animals to be featured in the mural, Singh said.
“We bring Toledo Botanical Garden right to people where they live,” Szuberla said. “We use gardens, art and nature to make people’s lives better.”
Szuberla said the gardens bring fresh vegetables straight to the community and also offer a source of exercise for caretakers. He said the mural will add to the beauty of the garden, especially when the vegetables are not in season.
“It’ll give four-season appeal to the garden,” Szuberla said.
Singh will not be paid for his work. Three other projects are in the planning stage between artists and local rights and advocacy groups.
To learn more, visit the group’s website at http://artcornertoledo.com/.