The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019

Wassenberg sets Art Park groundbreaking

VW independent/submitted information

Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert will host a special groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, to celebrate the new art park it will be constructing in a former parking lot behind the art center. The project was made possibly by funds obtained by the art center through the Ohio Facility Construction Commission, and local support from Central Mutual Insurance, First Federal Savings and Loan, The Kenn-Feld Group, Maumee Valley Watershed, and more than 65 individual contributors in and around Van Wert.

The Wassenberg Art Park will feature a large circular green entitled “Central Park”, which was funded by Central Mutual Insurance. A re-purposed agricultural grain bin will be turned into a concession stand with circular glow-in-the-dark serving counters. The grain bin renovation is being supported by The Kenn-Feld Group of Van Wert. First Federal Savings and Loan will fund a 15-foot high sculptural shade structure that will support a flowering vine and be up lit with color changing LED lights.

A life-size sculpture of a raccoon by Detroit artist David Tonnegato has been installed on the railing of the adjacent footbridge. Bandit the Thieving Raccoon was purchased for the Art Park by Michael and Joyce Cross of Van Wert.

This design plan shows features of the Wassenberg Art Park. artwork provided

More than 58 community members came forward to support the purchase of glow-in-the-dark aggregate that will be embedded into the main circular sidewalk surrounding the green space. This special aggregate will be laid out in a swirling pattern within the concrete and will glow throughout the night.

The art park is adjacent to Town Creek and its watershed area will be planted with tall grasses and native plants, and feature a winding walking path. The plantings are supported in part by the Maumee Valley Watershed.

The Wassenberg Art Park will provide improved space for annual festivals such as Town Creek Live, art openings, and outdoor events, and added atmosphere for art center rentals. The space will also add additional, enhanced walkability to Van Wert and connect the art center property to Van Wert’s historic downtown via a new art alley created by Main Street Van Wert and the Wassenberg Art Center, with support from a grant from Edward Jones.

Future components planned for the art park include an amphitheater created from a re-purposed shipping container and interactive and kinetic sculptures. Completion of the first phase of the art park is slated for the end of May.

The park was envisioned by Wassenberg Art Center staff and designed by Edge Design Group, Toledo. For more information on the Wassenberg Art Center, call 419.238.6837, email, or access Wassenberg’s website at

POSTED: 04/14/18 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: News