Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Glenwood Lutheran Church Announces “The Change Wall” Mural Project

The Glenwood Lutheran Church is pleased to announce that work on The Change
Wall, a new mural project executed by local muralist Dean Davis, has begun on an exterior wall at their 2545 Monroe St. location in Toledo. The mural image is inspired by an
illustration depicted in Amanda Gorman’s illustrated children’s anthem Change Sings.

The original illustration itself was created by renowned author and illustrator, Loren Long. In the book, a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, where they learn that they have the power to make changes big or small in the world, in their communities and most importantly in themselves.

John Eikost, a local arts supporter, says he felt compelled to bring the illustration in Gorman’s book to life on a real wall in his hometown of Toledo. “It’s such a striking image, and I thought it would be beautiful to have it on a mural here in Toledo,” Eikost said.

Thanks to the help of Pastor Chris Hanley, Glenwood Lutheran Church was identified as the
home for the new mural. “As a historic, inclusive and multicultural church located next to the Toledo Museum of Art, Glenwood Lutheran Church felt like an ideal fit for the mural,” Eikost said.


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Along with a portrait of Dr. King, the mural will feature action words that serve as conversation starters about how community members can turn their words into deeds. The project has been dubbed “The Change Wall” with the hope that the art and the messaging will inspire individuals to make necessary changes to improve lives for the community and beyond.

“We are excited about how this mural aligns with our vision and how it might inspire community members to connect and make a difference in their neighborhood, our hope with the Change Wall is that it will affect people like the mural in the children’s book ‘Change Sings,’ where in the book a young girl leads the characters on a journey in which they realize they have the ability to make change in their lives and their community. We hope the Change Wall can do the same for anyone who experiences it,” Pastor Hanley said.

Ruth Whittle, a longtime Glenwood member, said, “I’m excited about the mural because it’s now a teaching wall. Just like Dr. King taught about love, the church should be a place that teaches love and practices love.”

Initial support was secured through a micro-grant from the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the
ELCA, a Neighborhood Beautification and Improvement Grant from the Old West End
Association, a gift from Ascension Lutheran Church and many individual donations. In addition, attendees at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration held at Glenwood Lutheran Church in 2023, gave a significant gift to bring this mural to life to continue the legacy of Dr. King’s vision for church and for community.

Over time, many supporters and volunteers have contributed to the success of the project. Once the back wall of the church was restored, muralist Dean Davis was able to begin painting.

Work on the mural has concluded for the winter months, but a community participation component is currently being planned for Spring 2024.

To keep up with what is going on with the Change Wall Mural and to possibly even donate to the project you can go to the Glenwood Lutheran Church’s website. 

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