A community-based art project that seeks to connect communities through pulling up a chair and sharing stories of positivity about Strong Women of Toledo.

Artwork by Angie Baker

Story from Mary Mantey

When listening to Mary’s story I quickly became influenced by the ties she has to her family. Similar to railroad ties, her family’s history took her on a journey beginning in Mexico and ending up in Toledo, Ohio. I decided to use symbolism to tell Mary’s story. The rosary beads falling down from Toledo represent the Rosary prayer, laying emphasis on the life of Mary whose focus was Christ. The grain of wheat is a symbol of Christ. Just like the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies so as to bear fruit, so is the life of Christ a sacrifice. This also represents her family’s sacrifices that were made so that Mary could have the life she lives today. The three diamonds represent the front of the hotel that welcomed Mary’s grandparents with such kindness many years ago, and the symbol in the middle diamond represents the tunnel of longevity Mary’s family endures, most living well past 100 years old. The 11 bars running from the bottom to the top represent Mary’s family ties and love for the railroad. Finally, the colors represent the Catholic Faith that was the foundation of Mary’s story.

- Angie Baker, Artist

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