Measuring 500 square feet on the side of the Ultimate Appearance Salon building in Downtown Ashtabula, “Our River of Many Fish” was designed by Minneapolis-based artist Greta McLain. McLain, with her brother and lead assistant Eammon, led heavily-attended community painting parties in the parking lot next to the salon, and completed and installed the mural in just eight days in September 2017. The project was a collaboration between McLain’s business, Goodspace Murals, and the Ashtabula Arts Center.
McLain painted the mural on separate panels of polytab material which were then applied to the building with an adhesive gel. The final layer of overpainting was done once the mural was up, with McClain adding details and camouflaging the seams between panels. This process allows community members to participate in the painting process on the ground, sharing in the creation of the mural. McLain led a two-day workshop at the Arts Center in which she taught the technique to local artists. The Ohio Arts Council gave the Arts Center an $8000 grant for the project, with additional funding provided by the Ashtabula Foundation, the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association, and AAC donor Christine Lovejoy.