Visual art

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 his family’s new digital camera on manual. That helped him understand shutter speed, but the optics weren’t advanced enough to really vary the depth of field much. Then at about 16, a friend’s family gave him a film camera. It all clicked. The son of a carpenter, who worked with his father, he first attended BGSU to study construction management. “That lasted one day.” Then architecture. Then, since he liked making furniture, he decided to try the School of Art. Zeigler discovered he could take a photography class. That’s when his interest took off. It led him to the San Francisco Art Institute for a Master’s of Fine Arts. Though living on the West Coast the focus off his work remained rooted in Waterville. “The Route 24 bypass coming through Waterville took a significant portion of my parents’ property,” Zeigler said. “So there was this idea that I needed to visualize and preserve what it looked like before the road came through.” In essence, he…

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 wants to extend its programs into that 36 acres, and Plensa’s “Human Landscape” is the ideal vehicle to further that mission. So through Nov. 6, “Spiegel” will be joined by “Paula” and five more monumental Plensa sculptures spread around the grounds. The museum has a summer’s worth of outdoor activities planned, starting with the Community Block party today (Saturday, June 18) from 6 to 10 p.m. and continuing with outdoor poetry readings, flashlight tours of the sculptures, poetry readings, concerts, and a Play Space for children. “One of the things we’re really working on here is activating the entire campus,” Gilman said. The intention is to continue to engage the same caliber of artists as the museum has always exhibited “and work with them in unique and wonderful ways.” The installation of “Human Landscape” was a collaborative effort, explained Claude Fixler, exhibit designer for the museum. The artist himself visited to consult on the placement of the outside sculptures, as he had when Spiegel was…

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 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 needed to assist with the set up and take down of the event as well as gallery hosting during the exhibition. Artists who volunteer for the event will receive a registration discount. Contact Jacqueline Nathan at for more information about volunteering. Now OH hours are Thursday evenings, 6-8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The exhibit will continue until July 30. Show Sponsors include the Toledo Federation of Arts Societies, BGSU Arts Village, Bowling Green Kiwanis, Henry County Bank, Drs. Phipps, Levin and Hebeka, the Art Depo and The Ohio Arts Council. For more information regarding the exhibition visit the NOWOH website at Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Disability Services,, 419-372-8495 prior to the event.

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 television commercial. The one-act play cast light on a process where the best kind of authenticity is the totally fake variety. Horizon Youth Theatre offered up an excerpt from their upcoming musical “Honk!” The open air setting seemed quite fitting for the mother duckling played by Sky Frishman to sing about the trials and joys of being mother to a feathery brood. She lamented that her husband was largely absent. She might as well have mated with a decoy, she said. Not all the action was outside. Inside glass artist Gail Christofferson was guiding volunteers, young and old, in the creation of a stained glass mural. Participants glued small irregular pieces of glass onto 20-by-20-inch frames. The finished work will eventually hang in the lobby of the community center. Right now, the project has enough funds for 25 panels, Christofferson said, but she is hoping it can raise enough money for 50. The project is a collective effort. Some of the panel designs were done…

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 adaptation by Anthony Drewe of the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Ugly Duckling.” Musicians will be stationed and strolling throughout the garden. Performing will be the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp (GRÜBS) with Sheri Wells-Jensen, Jason Wells-Jensen, Anne Kidder and Geoff Howes and the Root Cellar Band featuring Lucy Long and friends. Also playing will be students from the Bowling Green State University’s Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music. Derek Emch, clarinet, and Michiko Saiki, vocal, will perform “Hmmm, Nah.” Performing solo will be Nick Zoulek, saxophone, and Aaron Hynds, tuba. Biggby’s and arts council members will provide refreshments. Nathan said that the event was scheduled for a Friday evening so “people could come after work and would be a nice evening stroll.” This event is sponsored by Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks and Recreation with additional support from Montessori School of Bowling Green and the BGSU Fine Arts Galleries and BGSU College of Music.