NDFU Member Relations Specialist Molly McLain grouts the donor wall. Chris Aarhus / NDFU

A new donor wall has been created for the North Dakota Farmers Union state office.

The wall, which will highlight individuals and families giving gifts to the NDFU Foundation, is a mosaic-glass piece by NDFU Member Relations Specialist Molly McLain. She was assisted in large part by Education Development Specialist Jennifer Sundeen as well as other staff members including insurance.

“We were able to use Molly, our MRS, to do the wall, and she involved many of the staff in gluing the glass,” NDFU President Mark Watne said. “It really looks nice. A very talented staff we have.”

The wall depicts standing wheat in which donors’ names will be engraved onto the heads. The beauty of the landscape, sun and sky may elicit a smile from viewers, but its roots stem from tragedy.

After beloved NDFU member Ron Erickson of Esmond died from injuries sustained in a plane crash in May 2009, his family made a substantial donation to the NDFU Foundation.

Watne said the wall’s roots are in the Erickson donation, and he’s hoping it catches on.

“We’re hoping this will kick off and get more people to donate to help us continue the leadership in the cooperative education program,” Watne said.

McLain said Erickson is the inspiration for the piece.

“I feel honored to be able to lend my creativity in honoring NDFU and Ron Erickson’s legacy and memory,” McLain said.

The process took two weeks to complete, with the glass work mostly being done the first week. It involved drawing the art, cutting the glass, gluing the glass down and letting it dry. McLain came back the next week to grout the gaps.

“I’m pretty happy with it — I really love collaborating with people,” said McLain, who was very appreciative of the staff, especially Sundeen for helping cut glass. “Mosaic is something anyone can really do. It’s just a matter of learning the tools.”

More of McLain’s work can be found at trademosaics.com.

— Chris Aarhus, NDFU