Toledo Arts Commission Accelerator Grant

The Arts Commission of Toledo Ohio has a new and exciting program for local artist to help them advance their careers, The Accelerator Grant Program.

The Accelerator Grant is a competitive program offering financial support with quick turn-around for artists to advance their creative projects, thereby advancing their careers. Eligible categories of support for the pilot year of this program include: equipment, supplies, professional development and project support. Grant amounts are not to exceed $1500.

I applied in the fall and was awarded a grant to test a variety of glues and substrates for future outdoor installations.

The goal of this grant is to provide me the professional development needed to gain valuable technical insight into a variety of materials. I will be consulting with an engineer, and various industrial specialists on substrates and adhesives. The impact will result in a better understanding for me on how to proceed with a successful outdoor mosaic sculpture installation.

This knowledge and experience will in turn provide me with many more opportunities to apply for projects that require this technical and practical knowledge to be successful with future sculptures and outdoor installations.

I tried seven different glues on five substrates. I wanted my very favorite glue, Weld Bond to be a winner, however since it is a water-based glue, it did not hold up well in my test environment. (my back yard during snow and well below freezing weather). I could have guessed that end result, but was hopeful that I would be probed wrong.

I also tried a few 2-part epoxy glues and the problem with those is that they are not easy to work with, some of them had strong toxic smells and they just would not be practical for my community-based projects.

I tried a few construction adhesives, which had potential and held the glass through testing, but they were too goopy and hard to get an even amount with using a chalk gun.

Finally, my wonderful engineer, James Smolenski, researched a product that I think is the winner! Permabond – MS 359. It is designed to glue glass, it dries clear, yes it comes in a chalk tube which I do not love for community sessions, but it was easy to spread and not seep between the pieces of glass.

I had the good fortune of having a very cold test lab…outside in my backyard in December and January when we had temperatures well below 0 degrees for many days in a row. I had rain, snow, freezing and sun. The only test sample that I did not have was high heat and humidity. I will keep my panels and get them back out to see what happens this summer when we have the other extreme in weather.

Final analysis: Grant not only provided the opportunity to spend the money on the materials to test, but it actually motivated me to do the testing. There was no procrastinating any longer. I had a contract to hold up and use my Grant money in a timely manner.

Great little program for local artist, I recommend that you try it.

Thank you Toledo Arts Commission.

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