Visual art

Toledo Museum of Art Names Halona Norton-Westbrook Director of Collections

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART TOLEDO – The Toledo Museum of Art has named associate curator of contemporary art Halona Norton-Westbrook to the newly created position of director of collections. In this role Norton-Westbrook is responsible for overseeing the Museum’s curatorial staff, exhibitions and art conservation. A native of California, Norton-Westbrook became a Mellon Fellow at TMA in 2013. The fellowship program, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, enables participants to gain first-hand experience in institutional management and affords them the opportunity to take a leading role in curatorial endeavors. “We considered Halona’s experience and research background as uniquely preparing her for a successful career in the art museum world when we chose her for a Mellon Fellowship. She has proven us right through her leadership of innovative curatorial projects and programming. We are delighted that she has accepted our offer to become director of collections,” said Toledo Museum of Art Director Brian Kennedy. Norton-Westbrook became associate curator of contemporary art and head of visitor engagement at TMA in 2015. As such she oversaw exhibitions and hundreds of art activities, among them a new monthly program created in partnership with Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Called EAR | EYE: Listening and Looking at Contemporary Art, the performance and discussion series explores the relationship between contemporary music and art through music performances in response to specific works of art in the Museum’s collection. Norton-Westbrook also co-curated last summer’s popular Play Time exhibition that included the Red Ball Project and served as point curator for two touring American Federation of…


Jaume Plensa’s sculptures are in just the right place at Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For sculptor Jaume Plensa, the placement of one of his sculptures is as important as the work itself. That’s especially true of his outdoor works. Still he described his visit to Toledo to consult about where to situate the work on the grounds of Toledo Museum of Art almost as a play date. He walked around with a few friends and two gardeners carrying flags. “I loved those guys with the flags.” Amy Gilman, the museum’s associate director and one of those in the group, asked him Thursday night why he decided to place one work, “The Heart of Trees,” up on a hill, instead of on the flat, where the museum had suggested. The world renowned artist said: “A kid loves to change things. If you say ‘down,’ then I say ‘up,’ and it’s not more complicated than that.” “You know my son,” Gilman quipped. The exchange was part of a public conversation held Thursday at the museum as part of the ongoing exhibit Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape, which continues outdoors and in the Levis Galleries through Nov. 6. In his introduction, Museum Director Brian Kennedy called Plensa “a most distinguished art practitioner in our world today.” “A very significant part of Jaume’s practice is public sculpture, creating moments for public engagement,” he said. Plensa’s work is on display around the world, including “the most extraordinary work he’s made,” the Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Plena said, in placing a work: “You are not thinking about the object in itself but what…


The cosmos is ready for its close up in Eric Zeigler’s exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The universe is on view in downtown Toledo. Or at least photographer Eric Zeigler’s vision of the universe, which includes: Galaxies of 100,000 stars, compressed into one small frame the size of a computer monitor. One of Pluto’s moons, the smear of light as good as anyone will likely ever see it. The rust on a meteorite in an image blown up 36-times its natural size. A computer image of neutrinos – subatomic particles so small 65 billion of them fit into a square centimeter – interacting. The exhibit “Under Lying” is now on view at River House Arts, 425 Jefferson St. The exhibit is open through July 30. For hours call 419-441-4025. The show will be part of Art Loop on July 21. The work, Zeigler explained, comes from his interest in astronomy that was sparked by a class he took at Bowling Green State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography in 2008. He’d been taking photos since his early teens, inspired by his grandfather. Above the television in his grandparents’ home was a landscape photo his grandfather had taken. And scattered around the house were copies of Popular Photography magazine. His grandfather, Zeigler said, was interested in optics, and during World War II maintained sights on bombers that flew missions over Germany. Young Eric was fascinated by the data included in Popular Photography. What did the shutter speeds and aperture opening numbers mean? “I was totally addicted to figuring all this stuff out,” he said. He set…


Plensa’s mythic monoliths invite visitors to explore Toledo Museum’s grounds

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For the next six months “Paula” will preside at the Monroe Street entrance of the Toledo Museum of Art. The sculpted head stands 22 feet tall, weighs 35,000 pounds, and if you listen closely enough she may whisper to you. Jaume Plensa’s work needs room to speak to viewers. Space for viewers to stroll around and quietly commune with the large structures. The human forms reflect back to viewers something, maybe secrets, about themselves. The Toledo Museum of Art has given the Plensa’s art the room it needs both inside in the Levis Gallery and spread across the museum’s 36-acre campus. The Spanish artist’s work has already found a home here. At a recent press preview, the museum’s associate director Amy Gilman said that when Plensa’s “Spiegel (Mirror)” was installed at the intersection of Collingwood and Monroe a few years ago, museum officials weren’t sure what the response would be. “We didn’t know what would happen when we put something at such a prominent intersection of the museum and the city. … The public doesn’t always like the public part of public sculpture.” Even before the installation was complete, she said, “it became beloved. It became a touchstone.” Since then people have picnicked, played, and wed near the sculpture. So when the opportunity to bring this show, which was organized by the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, to Toledo, “we didn’t hesitate.” The installation of “Spiegel” also made people realize how far the museum’s campus stretched. Gilman said the museum…


Now OH show open to all regional artists

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University Art Galleries is hosting the Ninth Annual Northwest Ohio (Now OH) Community Art Exhibition. Now OH celebrates the talents of regional artists in a professional setting. The show will open on Friday, July 15 at 7 p.m. with a gallery talk by the award juror Sarah Rose Sharp, followed by the opening reception with light refreshments. Located at the BGSU Fine Arts Center, the exhibition is free and open to the public. A Detroit-based writer, activist, photographer and multimedia artist, Sharp writes about art and culture for Art in America, Hyperallergic, FlashArt, Knight Arts, and others. She was named a 2015 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow for Arts Criticism, and was a 2016 participant in the Art Writer’s Grant Mentorship Program. Artists who display their work at the exhibition are eligible to win up to $1,500 in cash prizes and gift certificates. Among these awards, are a Best of Show award, the Kiwanis Young Artist Awards, Toledo Federation of Arts Societies Award and a People’s Choice Award. Artists of all skill levels 16 years of age and older are encouraged to enter. Online registration is open until July 1. Further information regarding how to enter can be found atwww.NowohArtShow.org Artists from the following counties are eligible: Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood. For artists ages 16-18 the entry fees are $15, and for artists 19 and older entry fees are $30. All entrants are able to submit up to three entries. Volunteers are…


Sun sets the stage for Art in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News All kinds of artists turned out for Bowling Green’s second annual Art in the Park in Simpson Garden Park. Artists were drawing, painting, doing needle work. Adult and budding actors staged shows. Performer Nick Zoulek blew saxophone; Michiko Saiki blew bubbles. And, of course, there were those who expressed their artistic inclinations by snapping photos with their smart phones. Jacqueline Nathan, president of the Bowling Green Arts Council, said the Art in the Park was a success, drawing at least as many attendees as last year’s inaugural event. Sunny weather in the 80s certainly helped. Aaron Pickens, of Grand Rapids, was painting a line of arbor vitae. Painting outdoors is way of taking a break from his highly detailed and realistic paintings of toys. Those can take 500 hours to complete. But if painting outdoors is fun, it’s serious fun. Painting outdoors is a challenge. There’s so much detail, he said. “You have to learn what to leave out. The landscape taught me how to paint.” Denise Carter was working on a rag rug that will serve as a wall hanging. She pulled brightly colored fabric through the weave of a coffee bean sack. The fabric became flowers, but Carter wasn’t depicting the blossoms in front of her. For her working outside was enjoyable because the colors were so much brighter in the full sun. Nearby in the amphitheater the sun served as stage lighting for theater. The Black Swamp Players offered the all-too-topical political satire “The Spot” about the filming of a candidate’s…


Simpson Garden site for open air celebration of the arts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green Arts Council is hoping to establish a new event on the city’s arts calendar. Friday, June 10, the council along with Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Ave., from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is the event’s second year. Art in the Park is intended as a low key summer night’s excursion, said Jacqueline Nathan, president of the arts council. “The original thought was it’d be plein air (open air) painting and music in the park. “The arts council wanted to have some signature event and work with the community.” Paintings will set up their easels throughout the park, capturing the early summer beauty in paint. In its second year, the event has added elements. This year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Montessori School and the Parks and Recreation Department, there will be interactive activities for children organized by the Montessori staff. Adults will also have a chance to work on a community stain glass project with the guidance of noted stained glass artist Gail Christofferson. The finished work will be displayed at the community center. Theater will be presented in the amphitheater. The Black Swamp Players will present a short one-act play, “The Spot,” by Steven Dietz at 5 and 6 p.m. “The Spot” is a satirical look at how political campaign managers approach their candidates’ TV commercials. Horizon Youth Theatre will present an excerpt from its upcoming musical production “Honk!” at 5:30 and 6:30. The show is a modern…