ANSONIA — A group of people, calling themselves Ansonia Community Pride, has formed for the purpose of beautifying the village.
To prove that point, Michael Glass of Palestine was hired to paint the front windows of one of the buildings on South Main Street on October 23, and he had it finished the next day.
“It was around 20 hours,” he said. “This includes design, large drawing production and paint.”
Each of the panes of glass that were painted were symbolic of the village and was inspired by the history of Ansonia. They included a steam engine, bicycle shop, the image of a clock and a horse team pulling a wheat thresher.
“Steam engines used to stop at the town,” Glass explained. “A while ago there was a bicycle shop; the clock image inspired the name change from Dallas to Ansonia; and the horse team pulling the wheat thresher speaks about Ansonia deep roots in agriculture.”
Glass said he didn’t run into any serious problems during his assignment in Ansonia.
“If my paint misbehaves, I try to work the mistake into the window mural and, if that fails, I start over,” he said.
How long has he been painting?
“I think I’m going on my fifth season,” he said. “Funny thing is that the season is stretching to more of a yearly event. I find myself painting window murals in the spring and summer. Many folks in Greenville are familiar with the window paintings I create at the Coffee Pot every Christmas season. Now my window work can be found in Piqua, Sidney, Celina and Bellefontaine. Every year I drive a little bit further. It was Rob and Amber Garrett that first invited me to paint the Coffee Pot windows five years ago. Those two are wonderful people who love the Greenville Community. Those two gave me my break. The night before I started that project, I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, I had background in commercial illustration and took years of drawing and painting classes. I graduated Columbus College of Art and Design. But nothing prepared me to paint on windows. Its an unforgiving surface.”
His main career focus has been creating digital content for marketing.
“I design for print, web and video,” he said. “My fine arts background is extensive. I produce paintings for commercial and residential environments. There are a few collectors out there who have sponsored my paints on canvas. Best way to know more is Facebook: Art By Michael Glass.”
Glass said he appreciates the Ansonia Community Pride committee for its efforts in beautifying the town.
Crystal Reier, who was instrumental in forming the group, said it meets once a month.
“Sometimes we have people who come in and help but can’t make it the next month,” she said.
Among those who have helped her include Erica Wentworth, Sarah Edwards, Abby Turner Evers, Jessica Riffle, Amber Gelhaus, Jill Beam, Sara Prescott Smith, Mayor Jerry Koverman and wife Ruth, Jeff Gariety and Ted Adkins and wife Stephanie.
“We’ve had several others stop in at meetings with great ideas and ready to help,” she said. “All are welcome to join.”
She went on, “Our goal is to put pride back in the community. We meet once a month and discuss things we can do to help our community. So far, we have planted flowers twice summer and fall.; painted tiger paws on streets with the help of the Athletic Boosters; put a float together for 4th of July parade; passed out homemade cotton candy at trick-or-treat; and our greatest project is the windows.”
She said the windows project was made possible through the support of local businesses, AG Protect I, Whistle Stop, Ansonia Medical Center, Ansonia Lumber Co., R.B. Cox Insurance and Ansonia Auto Parts.
“The support of the local businesses made that project possible and we really appreciate all the sponsors and Cassie Sleppy for allowing us to use her property,” Reier said. “Cassie said next year she is in hopes of putting a store in there called the Bargain Depot. That’s great; more businesses coming to town.”
Additional things the group have plans for are vertical hometown hero flags, Santa and a holiday fest downtown, farmers markets and football tailgate gatherings.
“And, just to make Ansonia great, we’re hoping the buzz catches on,” she said. “All are welcome to help. We need the support of the community. We will be planning on painting the council building windows, too, but it will just take a little time. Be watching, we have huge plans. Follow us [Ansonia Community Pride] on Facebook.”
She said the paintings for the windows were done as a tribute to Ansonia back in the day.
“We called it ‘A Past to Remember a Future to Mold’,” she said.
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