Vessel - CODAworx

Client: The Arts Commission for the City of Toledo

Location: Toledo, OH, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team


Matt Niebuhr and David Dahlquist

The Art Studio at RDG Planning & Design

Public Art Program Management

Arts Commission

Art in Public Places Program, City of Toledo

Lighting Design


RDG Planning & Design

Structural Engineering


Raker Rhodes Engineering, LLC

Metals Fabrication


Johnson Machine Works, Inc.

Color Finishes


Allied Construction Services., Inc.



C. Green Contractor, Inc.


The sculpture “Vessel” celebrates community through forms and colors that are rooted in history and place. A new commission by The Arts Commission’s “Art in Public Places Program” partnering with Mercy Health, “Vessel” serves as a site specific public artwork and an iconic anchoring element located in the Cherry Street Corridor Roundabout in Toledo, Ohio.


Anchoring the Cherry Street Corridor, forms and colors are rooted in history and place. A base of gray slate relates to the "black swamp" that was drained by settlers of Toledo. A matte silver finish in stainless steel honors the Grey Nuns who selflessly cared for early Toledo residents, and a bold yellow interior is inspired by the Marguerite daisy. Toledo’s glassmaking heritage is evoked by silhouettes suggesting vessels while other ever-changing shapes suggest petal forms. The patterns on the form are derived from the surrounding neighborhood building footprints and celebrate the community creating a colorful everchanging figure/ground play of light and shadow.


Site-specific research, artistic fact finding, stakeholder interviews, community interactions & site visits, were critical to the conceptual development of "Vessel". Community open house meetings and dialogue about the conceptual idea created an opportunity to engage with residents and to share insights about elements of history of Toledo and the texture of the surrounding neighborhood leading to the inspiration for the patterning on the steel forms reflecting the many homes and public spaces dear to the community.

Additional Information

An anchoring element to the corridor, the cheerful color and every subtly changing reflections on the surfaces of hand finished, laser cut stainless steel create a welcoming beacon for visitor and residents alike along the daily commute.