TOLEDO, Ohio — Kevin Salinas, owner of Salinas Roofing Company in Toledo, is making the best of the COVID-19 pandemic by not only hiring local talent, but inspiring his community.
In a story from NBC-affiliated WNWO-TV, Salinas shares that he wanted to have his workplace bring a positive message to others. With tattoo parlors temporarily shut down due to the state’s stay-at-home orders, he tapped the readily-available talent pool and contacted Kodi Klocinski, owner of Toledo Tattoo Company.
"Kevin came to me and wanted a specific subject. So we collaborated back and forth, came up with a design, and showed him,” Klocinski told WNWO. “He loved it, so we went further.”
The colorful design features a woman praying, roses, and an eagle grasping a shield decorated in the U.S. flag’s colors. Above the eagle reads the message “Toledo Strong.”
"I love the feedback we're getting from everybody,” Salinas said. “I enjoy that people are stopping by, taking pictures, and I hope when they do, they can sit, look at the mural for a little bit and just enjoy it."
WNWO reports that Klocinski and his co-worker, Curtis Ely, finished the mural in just under a week, saying they went back to their “fine art” roots and were glad to be working again. Salinas said he hopes the message inspires his fellow Toledoans to stay strong during tough times.
"The mural means something to me personally, as well as I tried to do something for the community that will mean something for everybody," said Salinas.
The Toledo Blade also highlighted the mural as an example of how public art is flourishing during the pandemic since it allows for social distancing. Specifically, Toledo has seen an increase in public art in recent years, with more and more business owners like Salinas embracing the movement.
“Beautifying the community with artwork lifts up the area and gives people a great visual, and most of the time brings people together,” Klocinski told the Toledo Blade.