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!