GLOUSTER NATIVE BRINGS ‘THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT’ 50 YEARS LATER WITH A NEW MURAL
‘The Spirit of Light’ mural is a reflection of community, opportunity, and connection.
Artist and advocate, Jim Cotter invites residents and visitors of the Village of Glouster to collaborate on a unique, living artwork more than 50 years in the making. In September of 2021, Cotter installed a new mural comprised of various shapes of an adhesive-backed, reflective, pressure-sensitive material called Scotchlite. Visitors to the Village of Glouster may claim their piece, write their name, date, hometown, and choose their place on the mural. Cotter has spearheaded several projects in his hometown of Glouster over the years after relocating to Dayton, Ohio. His newest contribution has a story 50+ years in the making. It tells of a young, small-town artist dreaming big, seizing opportunities, and giving back to the community.
A young Jim Cotter, having just graduated from high school, entered an advertising sign-making contest with 3M, the manufacturer of Scotchlite. He created the winning entry, a mural of a woman pouring milk for her child for United Dairy Farmers. 3M invited all of the winners to see their work on display in New York City. However, Cotter did not have the funds to attend. Years later, after establishing a successful sign-making company in Dayton, Ohio he finally got his chance to tour the 3M facility. During his tour, Cotter noticed scraps of Scotchlite being discarded. For the next 50 years, he pondered their potential use. Thus, The Spirit of Light was born.
“After thousands of pieces have been applied, a design of sorts will have been created. We have no idea what will come out of this pattern. (It will) be spectacular, beautiful, eye-catching, and very different. It will belong to the community of Glouster and you will all forever be a part of it!” says Jim Cotter.
Connection and community have played a role in the mural from its conception from sourcing materials to installation. 3M donated the scrap Scotchlite to Cotter in support of his vision. Metal panels from Dave Kasler, owner of ZONEZ, comprise the background. Bonnie’s Restaurant provides a home for the mural. The Volunteers of Glouster and the Village of Glouster workers hung the mural in place. Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) serves as the Mural Shepard making sure that The Spirit of Light continues to grow with the community.
“It just takes someone to make the first step,” says Cotter “It takes a body of people that have the same goal in mind. If you’re trying to develop a community… you get your heads together and try to come up with solutions, and enlist the people… to make it work.”
The Spirit of Light embodies Cotter’s dream for his hometown. He explained, “no one knows what the final picture will turn out to be. But It will be bright and interesting,” and we will have created it together. For those that wish to be a part of The Spirit of Light, you may visit Bonnie’s Restaurant or HAPCAP to choose a piece of Scotchlite and make your mark.
“Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it and have the spark to do something about it,” says Cotter.
For more information about The Spirit of Light or Hocking Athens Perry Community Action contact Valerie Keeney at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (740) 767 – 4500.