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A boost of murals

Art Corner Toledo turns activism into artistry in the UpTown District

In early June local artist Mede wanted to bring some life to his beloved city by creating a mural everybody could see and enjoy. He'd heard through friends that the person to contact was Rachel Richardson and Art Corner Toledo (ACT). So he posted on ACT's Facebook page "I understand you get walls" and Richardson replied with excitement, "Yes, I do."

ACT started in March of 2010 with a lofty goal — "to change the world through art and activism." The organization would serve as a facilitator to form partnerships between local social service organizations, artists and the community. ACT hopes that creating public works of art will be the catalyst for further revitalization in Toledo’s downtown and UpTown districts.
The organization’s first completed project is the mural at Manos Community Garden, 1441 Jackson by artist Har Simrit-Singh and Toledo Grows.

"Toledo is a city full of artists and activists, so there's no better way to promote the city," Richardson says.
    Mede's goal was to simply beautify Toledo — Rachel took the next step and chose a cause for him. Richardson’s best friend was marrying the friend’s female partner, so Rachel encouraged Mede to create a wall that would promote marriage equality.
    "What's a cooler wedding present than that?" Rachel said.

 Manos again donated the wall, and after taking monetary contributions and discounted materials from the Art Supply Depo, the project was set to begin. Mede teamed up with another local artist, Mr. Taylor, whom he had admired but never worked with, and the two decided to let their ideas flow. Mede would do a portion of the wall mural in his whimsical style of bubbles in rainbow colors representing LGBT rights, while Mr. Taylor added sharp, straight designs in black & white. The mural represents two sides coming together — old & new, change & status quo — into something more beautiful twisted together instead of standing alone. Eventually the mural will read: TOLEDO LOVES LOVE between the unique designs to convey a connecting sentiment.

 The "Toledo Loves Love" mural has really lit a fuse as other property owners in the UpTown District have requested murals for their buildings. There are plans for an upcoming mural partnering Planned Pethood with artist Richard Reed. The wall on the 11th Street side of Glass City Cafe's building has a planned photo installation with artist Robin Charney and 1Matters.org. Richardson says there are more murals in the works for the future.

To donate to Art Corner Toledo, or for information on how to get a mural on your property email Rachel Richardson at artcornertoledo@gmail.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Corner-Toledo-ACT.

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