Mural Planning

Many steps have been taken to plan the mural so far! Look below to see the effort made so far.


June-December 2016

After hearing comments from residents much discussion was had over the course of a few months over what we (WGNO) could do to help facilitate either a maintenance plan or complete redo of the mural with the owners of The Shade Shop, the Westside CID, West Leonard Business Association and the Stockbridge Business Associton. It was decided that asking the community would be the best way to see what the residents and other stakeholders envisioned for it.


January 2017

  • The Shadeshop Inc. wrote a letter to our community asking for input on the mural and it was distributed to many different groups. Additionally, WGNO put out a survey to accompany the letter for residents and posted it for anyone to take. It was shared widely. In the survey we asked three key questions:

1.) Would you like to see the mural redone?

2.) Would you be interested in helping plan it?

3.) Would you be interested in helping to fund the project?

Lastly we asked the community what their thoughts/or ideas on the mural were.

Results of the survey:

We had a number of responses in person, by phone/email and through the survey online. What became clear is that most people who responded wanted to see something new and representative of our diverse community.

  • Additionally, due to the excitement over the project we received our first donation from a resident within days of putting up the survey to help fund the project! This is before we had even officially announced a fundraiser!
  • WGNO began the task of identifying and trying to get into touch with Speedway in order to receive permission to put equipment on their lot so the work could be done. The project hinges on this approval.

February 2017

  • We began that task of trying to get an artist/artists that could help create a vision for the mural. the goal was to get a local artist.
  • First one and then two local artists are teaming up for the project. George Eberhardt will be working with another artist to create the mural. We are excited to see what they come up with!
  • After seeing input from the community a concept sketch by the artists received approval from those involved with planning the mural.
  • A photographer for the project plan was retained.


March 2017


  • After initially asking how they could help with the project, a resident applied for the Neighborhood Fund Match Grant with the help of WGNO to help the mural project become reality. This is truly a community project!

April 2017

  • WGNO officially received an okay from Speedway's Corporate Office to put equipment in their parking lot for a specific amount of time for the project to be completed.
  • The resident who applied for the Neighborhood Match Fund was informed that the grant was approved!
  • The Shadeshop Inc. applied as a ArtPrize Venue with the help of WGNO to see if they could get a venue grant through ArtPrize.
  • Launch of the official West Leonard Mural Fundraiser & webpages.

May 2017

  • The Community Photo Session was held on May 6, 2017. Many community members came to West Grand Neighborhood Organization to get their picture taken by Dennis Grantz from WMCAT and one of our staff members. Residents who were there also got to meet the artist George Eberhardt and see the plan for the mural (See Mural Concept Art). We had a great time meeting people and were treated to a Native American hoop dance by one of our talented young residents! It was inspiring! Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be a part of the mural! Steve VanHolstyn from Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging also stopped by for the session and to have a little fun! Check this out:
  • Fundraising continues for the mural!

June 2017

  • The project was approved by the City of Grand Rapids Art Advisory Committee.
  • The wall was prepped for the new mural. The old paint that was chipping was scraped and a fresh coat was put up.
  • Fris Downtown helped us with the paint.
  • The Boom Lift was donated by MacAllister Rentals.

July 2017

  • Mural has been started, currently the outline work that has to be done at night with a projector. Fundraising is still occuring.

More to Come!


Mural Progress


In total it is expected that we will need to raise $20,000 for the mural.

This cost includes payment to the artists, large equipment, painting supplies, tools, maintenance costs and more!

While there are currently grants being sought for this effort by residents and businesses towards the community goal, it is imperative that we raise the additional needed funds. We are asking you the community, to help us do this.

We have already had a few donations from residents and businesses. If you have questions, please take a second to contact WGNO about it! We will be happy to answer any questions!

Even if you can only give $25 every bit helps!

Any amount will be appreciated! For your support you will be listed on our Mural Supporters page:

Thank you so much for your support of this effort! Learn about the different donation methods below!

How much until goal?

There are Many Ways to Give:

In-Office Donations


You are welcome to come into our office during regular business hours and make a donation.

Mail-In Donations


Send a donation in the mail, use the form at the button below and print it to send it in:

On-Line Donations


You can make a donation online of any amount by clicking on the following button:


West Leonard Mural Supporters

We want to thank those of you who have pledged support to the West Leonard Mural. It is with your help that this idea came to fruition.


The Benedict Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Dan & Barb Grinwis
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Roberta Sherwood
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Marcella Lewis
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

The Verduin Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Alex & Sarah Caceres
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Isabel Garcia
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Krystine Noble & Steve Harpe
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Verduin Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Mary Cornish
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Devin Rittenhouse
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Josh Webb
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Vandenberg Family
Grand Rapids, MI

Ronaldo Vallejo
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Krasinski Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Danielle Williams
Grand Rapids, MI

The Boucher Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Burnett Family
Grand Rapids, MI 49504



Oasis of Hope Center GR
522 Leonard St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Westside CID
Grand Rapids, MI 49504




Belden Brick & Supply
620 Leonard St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Shade Shop Inc.
Leonard St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Holland Litho Printing Service
900 Muskegon NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Westside Garage
756 7th St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

ChoiceOne Bank
109 East Division
Sparta, MI 49345

Brann's Steakhouse & Grill
401 Leonard St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

MacAllister Rentals

Fris Downtown
30 W 8th St.
Holland, MI 49423

Kitchen 67
1977 E. Beltline Ave. 
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Micron Manufacturing
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Contact Us

If you have questions about the mural, please take a moment to contact us using the form below.

Name *


Our Office

415 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49504
Phone: 616-451-0150


Community Photo Session - Sign Up

Saturday, May 6, 2017 11 AM-3 PM

The project plan is to have our Westside residents sign up for a community photo session that will be done at our office on May 6th from 11 AM-3 PM. We do need volunteers to have their photo taken to be potentially used as caricatures in the mural. We would like to include residents of all ages, gender and race to represent our diverse community in this project. Please sign up below if you would like to be included in the Community Photo Session. Kids are welcome to participate, let us know if you plan to bring them and include them into the photo shoot! Please RSVP below! The day of the photo shoot we will have a community meetup for those that participate!


Thank you for your interest but the event has passed!


We would also like to thank those that made it out to the Community Photo Session!

Want to know more about the mural? 


Our Office

415 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49504
Phone: 616-451-0150


Mural Concept & Artist Statement

Below is the preliminary concept art our artists have come up with. NOTE: As the project evolves it will look different.

More info will be added at a later date.


Artist Statement by george

The intention of this mural is to show a diverse community in every way. Trying to capture the spirit of the Westside with all ages backgrounds, professions, and all social classes. With showing this community all-together they are bound by a concept which is represented by the person in the center.


Mural Color Test

by George

The person in the center represents a concept that is shared all around the Westside. A community uplifts and supports all people. With love and positivity. Shining a light on all in the community no matter what race, religion, gender, or background. This is how a community survives and progresses, with each other and respecting our differences and working for positive change.

A light will be shining from the figure in the center that would touch the faces of all people represented in the mural. The center is the light source. Insuring that the concept of community affects all people.


Character Art

by George

The ladies on the sides represent the gatekeepers of the Westside.  The gatekeepers would look like Positive female role models from the community or from the history of the Westside. 



I work as a character and cartooning artist. My specialty is portrait work. The image I have sent is a rough draft. But if my mural layout is selected I would like to Stage a photo-shoot with members of the community to recreate this layout.

After the photo is taken I will draw a portrait of each person to then be painted in the mural.

The selection of people in the mural can be a call to the community to see who would want to be involved or the CID and other community organizations can select people that they would like to have in the painting.

Color Concept

By George

Are you a Westsider? Would you like to be a part of the mural? Click the button below and sign up for the Community Photo Session:

Please consider supporting this effort by donating any amount to the project!

The Artists

Example of George's work.

Example of George's work.



To be announced


George's work has been seen on the Westside in numerous places, his most recent work is on the J & L Building on Seward. He teaches drawing, painting, illustration and other design classes at WMCAT, where he has worked since 2006. George has worked with young people at UICA’s Artworks, the Cook Arts Center and City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation. As a professional artist George is a founding member of GR8, an art collective, a founder of Rouge Syndicate studio and gallery, and a member of Sleeping Giant Inc. He has exhibited throughout Michigan including ArtPrize and the Detroit Art Battle. See more examples of his work here:

Coming soon!

Please consider supporting this effort by donating any amount to the project!

Steve VanHolstyn from  Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging  at the Community Photo Session.

Steve VanHolstyn from Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging at the Community Photo Session.

Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging

Steve VanHolstyn from Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging stopped by for the Community Photo Session and to have a little fun! Steve told our staff that he plans on documenting the work on the mural as it progresses and has been kind enough to share some of the photo's he took that day with us! These are used with permission from him.

Thank you Steve!