The exhibit, “America,” is open to the public at the recently updated Toledo Artist’s Club Gallery Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1 to 4 pm through Aug. 15. “America” features 56 works of art created by 32 local artists and is the first in-person exhibit to be held since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. The exhibition is also available for viewing online. Two additional shows are planned for later in the year.
While COVID-19 impeded live art shows and other activities, the downtime allowed members of the Toledo Artists Club the opportunity to develop and implement a plan to redo its facility located in Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr.
According to President Joe Rudski, the club moved to TBG in 1978 and expanded in 1998. “Our space was worn and torn. It was time to do something about it and we had the time to make it happen,” he reported.
Rudski researched, applied for and received a Toledo Lucas County Arts Relief Grant from the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, providing the financing for the club’s renovations.
A committee was formed, headed by Shelby Stoots, director of the Owens Community College Gallery. She visited four local galleries including Hudson Gallery and Fuller Art House in Sylvania along with 20 North Gallery and The American Frame Gallery to gather information and ideas about successful gallery management. Armed with information, Stoots and her committee oversaw the building’s new look, which included sizing and painting the walls a neutral grey and adding an accent wall of charcoal grey. New lighting and hanging systems were also installed.
“Thanks to the grant, we were also able to update our website, allowing us to offer online exhibits while the pandemic mandated the gallery be closed,” Rudski said. “We were happy with the positive feedback we received and continue to offer our shows online along with hosting in person exhibits.” Club members Rudski, Paul Brand, and Joe Fisher are maintaining the website and Facebook sites.
New look outside
Muralist and club member Carol Sicha proposed creating a new look outdoors as well. “But before that could be done, we collaborated with the Metroparks to have the building exterior painted,” Rudski stated. Sicha and a team of volunteers including Rudski, Trisha Koelsch, Elaine Scarvelis, Janet Wharry, and Jane Williams got to work completing the muralist’s design on the exterior of the building.
“Thanks to the Ohio Arts Council, Metroparks and our members, we now have a beautiful facility in and out,” Rudski offered.
About the Toledo Artists’ Club
The origins of the Toledo Artists’ Club date back to 1943. Its move to TBG in 1978 provided the club the opportunity to be part of a larger arts community. The TBG facility provided gallery and studio space, which allowed the club the opportunity to offer classes to children and adults. The club is also affiliated with and offers space for several studio groups comprised of noted local artists.
The Toledo Artists’ Club is committed to providing northwest Ohio area novice and experienced artists access to quality classroom and workshop opportunities. Current classroom offerings include Elaine’s Little Picassos, children’s classes taught by Elaine Scarvelis, along with oil, watercolor, acrylic or pastel painting by Paul Brand, and pastels by Mary Jane Brand. Elaine Scarvelis also instructs a “Fun Art Party.”
Toledo Artists’ Club receives $5,000 Grant
The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo awarded more than 200 pandemic relief grants to 14 small cultural organizations and 190 individual artists.The Toledo and Lucas County Arts Relief Grant Program was set up by the arts organization and funded by the City of Toledo and the Lucas County Commissioners.