Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum to host National Geographic Live speaker series

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART National Geographic Live, National Geographic’s touring speaker series, and the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) are proud to announce an inaugural three-part speaker series that will take place the Peristyle Theater throughout 2019.   “We are excited to see the Peristyle stage come alive through a combination of first-hand accounts from National Geographic Explorers and their amazing imagery,” said Brian Kennedy, the Museum’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “We believe the National Geographic Live series provides an engaging format for the community to learn about the world around them.” The three events for the inaugural series are: Birds of Paradise Revealed Saturday, April 27: 7 p.m., Peristyle Tim Laman, a renowned photographer and forest canopy researcher, and ornithologist Ed Scholes, authors of the major National Geographic book, “Birds of Paradise Revealed,” will take visitors deep into New Guinea to observe these astonishing avian creatures. Evolved to attract mates with their extraordinarily colorful feathers, which they display in dances executed with ballerina-like grace, these birds are a living laboratory of evolution. Meet all 39 species and enjoy their secret lives, bizarre displays, and dazzling courtship antics in breathtaking visuals. When Women Ruled the World Thursday, May 30: 7 p.m., Peristyle Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, explores the reigns of powerful ancient queens to illuminate a time when women ruled the world. Often neglected in the history books, these strong female leaders were considered exceptions to the rule, but their power and influence is undeniable. Standing at Water’s Edge Saturday, July 27: 7 p.m., Peristyle Cristina Mittermeier learned the concept of responsible earth stewardship from her indigenous nanny as a child growing up in Mexico, and she explores that calling through the ways of life of four communities and their individual relationships with water—the Kayapó in the Amazon, the Inuit of Greenland, the First Nations people of British Columbia, and native Hawaiians. “We are thrilled to be bringing some of National Geographic’s most dynamic and entertaining explorers to TMA,” said Yulia Petrossian Boyle, Senior Vice President for Global Media and Experiences at National Geographic….


Arts beat: Rebecca Law looks back at ‘Community,’ & ahead to birth of a new installation

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Flower artist Rebecca Louise Law isn’t quite done with Toledo yet. “Community,” her installation at the Toledo Museum of Art, closed Jan. 13 and has now been taken down. The English artist was on hand for the disassembling — the first time she’s been able to participate in the removal of one of her installations. It’s sad to see the piece, which was in place since June, come down, Law said. “But it’s amazing doing the derig and realizing how precious each of these pieces is, to take it down and pack it up and treasure it as it ought to be treasured to go on to the next place.” Laws wastes nothing, not even the dust that is the fate of dried flowers. “Community” in the Canaday Gallery. This was swept up. Working in the museum’s glass hot shop that dust will be encased in four large panels donated by Pilkington. Law is also using her Guest Artist Pavilion Project  residency at the museum to create work for her next installation, scheduled to go up at the Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan in September. Law admitted she’s relying on the skills of the technicians in the hot shop. Her abilities as a glass blower she said are “rubbish,” though she hopes to improve them in the last week of her residency.  She has been more focused on encapsulating flowers, and that got her thinking about how humans are themselves embedded in nature, “the cocoon experience.” So she started considering wombs and “where we come from.” So she will be creating glass wombs of all sizes, from gestation until just before birth. Though not a trained glass blower, she inspired by their work.“It’s like watching a dance,” Law said. “It’s like performance art because they are working with such a dangerous material yet they are moving so gracefully and creating such beautiful objects.” Those will be incorporated into the next show. That show will be more intimate than “Community.” The viewer will walk into an enclosed space. This idea…


Family Reunion nearing end of run at Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART There is less than a week left to see the internationally acclaimed exhibition, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion, which closes Sunday, Jan. 6.  Following its time at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), the exhibition will travel to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and then to the Foundation Custodia Frits Lugt in Paris, France. Admission to Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion is for $10 for adults, $7 for senior/military/students, and $5 for youth ages 5-17. Children under 4 are free. Admission to the exhibition is free for Museum members. Admission to the exhibition is free this Thursday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Frans Hals Portraits exhibition, which reunited three known sections of Hals Van Campen family portrait for the first time since the painting was separated over 200 years ago, also explores how the definition of family has changed over time and includes the photo contributions of hundreds of area families. “The reunion of these 17th-century masterworks served as the perfect platform to explore more broadly and deeply how family is defined and what the concept of family means to us in the 21st–century,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “As part of the exploration, more than 500 families submitted photographs depicting their view of family. Some of those were included in the exhibition and others were used in a digital display in Libbey Court.” One of the greatest portraitists in the history of Western European painting, Frans Hals (1582/83-1666) is renowned for his revolutionary candid style of capturing sitters in seemingly


Toledo Museum ends year with Great Art Escape

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ARTS Celebrate the season with a diverse array of activities, events, and performances during the Great Art Escape, which returns to the Museum Dec. 26 through 30, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019. Activities include Peristyle performances, Dutch organ concerts, glassblowing demonstrations, glass art workshops, Family Center activities, drawing in the galleries, family studio workshops, and more. Peristyle performances include the infectious Southeast Asian experience provided by Aha! Indian Dance, El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folkorico, JP Dynasty, the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance, and the Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra. Dutch organ concerts will take place at 1 p.m. in Gallery 24 each day. The Great Art Escape is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac.  Demos, Activities & Entertainment PERISTYLE PERFORMANCES: 2 p.m., Peristyle Stage Wednesday, Dec. 26: Ardan Academy of Irish DanceThursday, Dec. 27: JP DynastyFriday, Dec. 28: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet FolkloricoSaturday, Dec. 29: Dancers of Aha! Indian DanceSunday, Dec. 30: Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra DUTCH ORGAN CONCERTS: 1 p.m., Gallery 24 Wednesday, Dec. 26, Dennis JohnsThursday, Dec. 27, Nancy RusselFriday, Dec. 28, Martha EsbinSaturday, Dec. 29, Pamela Stover,Sunday, Dec. 30, Dennis BlubaughTuesday, Jan. 1, Charlotte Mariasy MUSIC PERFORMANCES: Thursday, Dec. 27: Frans Hals Community Program: Family Band Showcase, 7-9 p.m., Levis Gallery SNOW GLOBE SOCIAL: Friday, Dec. 28, 7-10 p.m., GlasSalon Add the Museum’s Snow Globe Social to your holiday plans! Stay warm with seasonal drinks, test your knowledge at trivia, and shake off the winter blues with dancing and live music. Gather your friends for some holiday fun in the Glass Pavilion. Admission is free; cash bar available. (Re)New Year’s Day Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2-4 p.m., GlasSalon Celebrate (Re)New Year’s Day by participating in a one-of-a-kind experience inspired by art, yoga, movement, and meditation. Then, meet and mingle in the GlasSalon to enjoy refreshing, locally-sourced beverages and design your own Vision Board. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. Registration is encouraged*. (Re)New Year’s Day is presented by Circle, the Toledo Museum of Art’s affinity group dedicated to inclusive and innovative programming that engages new audiences with the Museum. GLASSBLOWING DEMOS: Glass Pavilion Hot Shop Wednesday, Dec. 26: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 27: 1, 2, 3, and 8 p.m.Friday, Dec. 28: 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 p.m.Saturday, Dec. 29: 1, 2,…


Toledo museum concerts feature Larry Fuller’s jazz trio, tubas & Messiaen’s reflections on the Infant Jesus

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art will present three music programs this weekend. Jazz pianist Larry Fuller will return to his hometown with his trio for an evening of jazz Friday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., in the GlasSalon as part of It’ Friday activities. A free Merry TubaChristmas performance will be held Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m., in the Peristyle Theater. TubaChristmas is a music concert held in cities worldwide that celebrates those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family. Merry TubaChristmas is presented by The University of Toledo Department of Music and Toledo Museum of Art. Four pianist will present Olivier Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus, “also Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., in the GlasSalon. The concert is part of the museum’s Great Performances series. Organized by pianist Isabelle O’Connell (Grand Band), this concert features O’Connell, Blair McMillen, Laura Melton, and Stephanie Titus performing Olivier Messiaen’s complete “Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus (Twenty Contemplations on the infant Jesus)” a two-hour, 20-movement work that Messiaen completed in 1944. Tickets are  $15 and $10 for museum members.  


Toledo Museum of Art is in a family way

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Van Campen Family is having a reunion at the Toledo Museum of Art. Other 17th Century Dutch families have joined as well as families, biological and social, from across time and the globe. That includes the museum’s neighbors. Even I’m invited. The international exhibit “Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion” is now at the Toledo Museum of Art.  The centerpiece is a reunification of three parts of the “Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape,” a painting from around 1623-25. Over the years this family portrait of the Van Campens and their 14 children has been cut apart. Two parts, the larger portrait and a smaller fragment “Children of the Van Campen Family with a Goat-Cart” first appeared on an auction list in 1810 as separate works. In 2011 the Toledo Museum acquired the main section, knowing there was another part to the painting owned by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels.   It has since been discovered that there was indeed a third part, and when set side by side there is likely at least one more fragment.  Lawrence Nichols, the senior curator at the Toledo Museum who oversaw the exhibit, holds out faint hope that remainder may be discovered. He speculates that the painting probably was damaged, maybe in a fire, and that was the reason it was disassembled. Other theories are posited, including it no longer fit in a smaller house. None will likely ever be proven. The exhibit also brings together the four other family portraits by Hals, who was known mostly as a portrait painter of individuals.  That and other related works form the core of the exhibit. That’s what will travel to Brussels and then Paris after the exhibit closes Jan. 6 in Toledo. The Toledo Museum, though, is using these works to reflect on the meaning of family as an ever changing concept.  So the viewer will find in the first of the exhibit’s four galleries  a Yoruba mask, “The Mother of Twins,” next to a Albrecht Durer’s 15th century print of Adam and…


Composer Harold Budd comes to call on his area fans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer Harold Budd is a humble sort of icon. During his visit to Northwest Ohio, he was surrounded by fans. When Scott Boberg of the Toledo Museum of Art, asked those gathered Saturday night in the Peristyle to hear his pre-concert talk, how many owned more than five Budd albums, scores of hands went up. And not the least of those fans was Boberg himself, who coordinated the visit. He knew exactly where and when as a teenager he purchased his copy of Budd’s seminal work, “Pavilion of Dreams.”  Kurt Doles, the director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University, also started to listen to the California composer’s work in his teens. In a telephone interview with BG Independent,  and then in public conversations with Boberg and Doles at separate events, Budd leaves the impression that they listen to his music far more than he does. When asked at BGSU about the state of music and what it bodes for the future, Budd allowed he doesn’t really listen to much music.  Asked about issues of his own compositions — how he develops his music from titles, or the music’s relationship painting, or how pieces grow from improvisations — he didn’t elaborate much. Talking about improvisation, he said: “What you hear is what I ended up getting. I didn’t plan on it.” Still, he said, it is what he “intended,” and then “I worked hard at it.” At the Peristyle on Saturday, he premiered a new piece, “Petits Souffles.” He was asked before the performance what inspired it. Well, he explained, his companion, an artist, was busy painting, upstairs in the home in the Mojave Desert where they were staying. Downstairs “I was just sitting on my ass,” he said. So he decided to compose the piece. It was inspired mostly by 20th century paintings he admired, created by artists too little admired by others. Then for the final movement, he turned to a contemporary American artist. In a telephone interview with BG Independent, he said: “It doesn’t fit with…


Toledo Museum to celebrate Family Reunion for Frans Hals’ portrait

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Organized by the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion was prompted by TMA’s acquisition in 2011 of Frans Hals’s Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape, as well as the recent conservation of Brussels’ Three Children of the Van Campen Family. These two works originally formed one composition, separated for unknown reasons likely in the late 18th century or early 19th century. The exhibition reunites the sections of the Toledo/Brussels painting and a third fragment from a European private collection, where they will be shown with the three other family portraits painted by the artist and related works. Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunionincludes loans from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Cincinnati Art Museum and other distinguished collections. The exhibition will travel to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, and Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, France following its Toledo debut. A scholarly publication accompanies the exhibition. Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion is supported in part by Taylor Cadillac, KeyBank, and the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2018 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica. Museum members are invited to a special members-only preview of the exhibition Friday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion is free for Toledo Museum of Art members and children under 5. Tickets are $10 for adult nonmembers; $7 for seniors, college students and military personnel; and $5 for youth ages 5-17. From 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, visitors can enjoy free admission to the exhibition. A wide range of programs will be offered around the exhibition’s theme of the evolving nature of families today. Among the planned events will be genealogy workshops, a TV situation comedy festival, a Baroque music concert, family storytelling and film series, a special Masters Series presentation featuring Toledo family stories, family-centered tours, art-making activities and more. Frans Hals Portraits: A Family Reunion Related Programs Special Events and…


Composer Harold Budd riffs on the changes in a life of art & music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer Harold Budd said he was surprised when told his visit to Toledo would include a side trip to Bowling Green State University to talk with students. He said he’s looking forward to the master class Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. in Kobacker Hall. Asked what he’ll tell students, he replied: “The real truth is, it’s going to change. Whatever it is, wherever you are,  it’ll change, and it’ll be better. Enjoy the ride.” That optimism arises, the 82-year-old added, “against all odds, I would say.” Budd, who has been active as a composer and performer for more than 50 years, will be in residence at the Toledo Museum of Art through Sunday, Oct. 7.   The highlight will be a premiere performance of his chamber piece “Petits Souffles” for string quartet including Brian Snow of the BGSU faculty on cello and the composer on celeste. The performance will be 8 p.m. Saturday in the Peristyle.  “I don’t really perform very often, in fact, at all,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “This will be kind of a new experience for me.” Budd said that while the other parts of the ensemble are composed, his contributions will be improvised. He described his role as “modest … an occasional burst.” The “Petits Souffles” like so much of his work is inspired by paintings. A turning point for Budd came when he discovered in the 1960s the work of the color field painters Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell.  That’s when what would be considered his style “blossomed inside of me.” Yet, he said, he’s gone through various experiences musically and artistically, and “I gave them all up.” He’s abandoned composition on two occasions, only to return. As he tells it, he has no choice. He’s not a performer, so this is what he does. One enduring influence, Budd said, is the 19th century writer and illustrator Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose work he reveres for being “overly romantic, overly decorative.” “It can’t be too vulgar for me,” he said. That from a musician whose work is…


Bandleader Ken Thomson finds inspiration between the musical lines

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer and bandleader Ken Thomson admits to having “a tortured relationship” with jazz. Thomson, who plays clarinet and saxophone, loves jazz and wants to play music that reflects its aesthetics. He’s not, though interested in recording a session devoted to jazz with a capital “J.” Instead he straddles the line between the contemporary art music and jazz with his quintet Slow/Fast, brass band Gutbucket and his involvement with the new music super group the Bang on a Can All Stars. He’ll bring his newest project, the Ken Thomson Sextet to Toledo Thursday, Oct. 4,  at 8 p.m. in the Toledo museum of Art’s GlasSalon.  The album “Sextet” was released in September, and it represents further development from his work with Slow/Fast. “There’s definitely a through line from the last couple records,” Thomson said in a recent telephone interview. “My idea was to challenge myself, and to have an expanded canvas to work with.” To that end, he dropped the guitar from the five-piece Slow/Fast line up, to “buy” himself a couple more horns. He created the sextet by adding another reed player, Anna Webber on saxophone, and a trombone — Alan Ferber on the recording, but Nick Finzer for this 10-day tour. Adam Armstrong plays bass and Daniel Dor is the bassist. The plumped up wind section has significant implications. Now Thomson has a larger palette to work with and explore. The horns, including Thomson on alto saxophone and Russ Johnson on trumpet, take on some of the harmonic duties of the guitar.  The band’s debut session wore its duel allegiances on its sleeve. The cover art is a kid’s wagon, evoking the cover of jazz composer Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Music” album. Like that album Thomson starts with a chorale — in his case an orchestration of Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Passacaglia ungherese.” These are apt guideposts. Both composers wrote knotty, difficult music that nevertheless sings. Thomson’s music takes up that challenge.  Most of the music is written out, melodies that twist and soar, dart and dash, all with a distinct, yet subtle sense of swing….


New Toledo Museum gallery sheds light on contemporary art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Toledo Museum of Arts has transformed storage space for light bulbs into a clean, well-lighted place for some of its most cutting edge art. “Sights & Sounds: Art, Nature, and the Senses” is the inaugural exhibit in the New Media and Video Gallery. “Some of these works … we haven’t been able to show because we haven’t had enough space,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, the museum’s director of collections who curated the exhibit. Takashi Ishida’s “Walk of the Sea” is a prime example.  Purchased in 2013, the three-screen high definition video has been in storage since. Now the museum has the space to do justice to its mesmerizing expanse. “Sights & Sounds”, Norton-Westbrook said, explores human’s interaction with the world. That’s evident in another recently purchased work David Hockney’s “Woldgate Woods, Winter, 2010” that toys with the viewer’s concept of perspective with a grid of nine screens. The black and white piece is a “personal meditation” on a place in England near where the British artist grew up, Norton-Westbrook said. It unfolds slowly over 49 minutes. Hockney’s road provides a contrast to fellow British artist James Nares’ “Street.” While Hockney plays with perspective, Nares plays with time. He filmed 16 hours of footage in his adopted home of New York City out of the back of an SUV. He then edited down to 61 minutes video that has been radically slowed down – if shown at natural speed, it’d last only three minutes. In speaking to staff, Museum Director Brian Kennedy noted that “Street’ shows the link between anthropology and art. “Street” captures people going about their day-to-day routines, living out the stories of their lives that are only hinted at in their brief appearances on film. Still they pique interest. What is up with the youngster shown running down the street with a smile on his face? The exhibit features an international cast of artists. Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is represented by “Aram (Convertible Series).” The cut-glass mirrored construction reflects the influence of American artist Frank Stella. Norton-Westbrook noted the floral images…


Toledo Museum of Art recruiting docents

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is opening recruitment for its docent program. Those who have a passion for teaching and sharing the arts with children are encouraged to apply to the upcoming docent training class. Docents are trained Museum volunteers who engage with visitors to facilitate enriched experiences with works of art and create a warm and welcoming Museum environment. These “gallery teachers” encourage visitor inquiry and enjoyment of the arts. The 2019 docent class will include: A calendar year worth of training Becoming a docent gives the opportunity to participate in a thorough training process. Training will take place from January through December 2019 and will include mentorship from experienced docent peers. Training for specific groups Participants will attend classroom and gallery training sessions to become familiar with the TMA collection and gain skills to connect PreK-8 students with works of art. The training program includes specific training for the PreK-8 school tour program. Convenient training hours Training sessions will be held weekdays to coincide when school tours take place. For further information, please visit www.toledomuseum.org and attend an information session on Aug. 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Applications are now being accepted and interviews will take place late August and early September. Classes will officially begin January 2019.


Law’s exhibit celebrates nature & the flowering of community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Painting wasn’t enough for Rebecca Louise Law when she was an art student. As much as she loved the richness of painting, she longed for something more immersive. She tried installations, including some horrendous efforts involving food. Law found what she was looking for in her father’s garden – dahlias. Fifteen years after that first flower-based installation, “Dahlias,” the English artist has created an installation that she said most fully realizes her vision. Law’s “Community” opened Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. The site specific work was created over the past several weeks by Law, her four-member team, and more than 400 local volunteers. It uses 520,000 dried flowers. Of those 10,000 were harvested locally, including some from the museum’s grounds. The rest are the flowers used in her previous 51 installations. She saves everything. After an installation’s run, everything is boxed up for future use, even the dust that the flowers eventually become. These are encased in glass. She will return to Toledo in September for a residency at the Glass Pavilion working with that dust. On Saturday, Law discussed the evolution of her work with the museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Norton-Westbrook who curated “Community.” Growing up in the countryside near Cambridge, England, she spent her time in the fields and fens. If it wasn’t raining her mother sent her and her siblings out to play. If they were inside often it was among the dried flowers in the attic. Law went on to study painting. “I felt incredibly frustrated. I wanted to work outside the canvas. I couldn’t figure out how to paint in the air.” Then she had her epiphany. Law started to “paint” with flowers. That led her to discover and study a whole new world of botany. “Personally I’m blown away by nature,” Law said. “That’s my ultimate inspiration. The more I know, the less I know.” The flowers are draped across the Canaday’s ceiling and hang down to the floor. From the entry the effect is a shimmering tableau. Then the viewer walks…


Toledo Federation of Art Societies celebrates its tradition & looks to the future

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Doug Adams-Arman remembers attending the “May” Show, the once annual Toledo Area Artists exhibition. Presented by the Toledo Federation of Arts Societies at the Toledo Museum of Art, it showcased the work of the best regional artists, from the elders who helped put Toledo on the artistic map to students from Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo. “To know that Toledo art could be in the museum was fantastic,” Adams-Arman, who has just be elected to his second term as the TFAS president, said recently. “It just gave me a sense of that I was living in a city with living artists. It was very exciting.” Now that show is history. Its tradition is celebrated in the current exhibit “Decades in the Making: Highlights from the Toledo Federation of Art Societies” at the museum through June 24. The show features more than 20 works, from the about 300 that the TFAS purchased from those shown in the area show. That collection is now being housed at the Toledo School for the Arts, where Adams-Arman works as a major gifts officer. The work spans almost 70 years of the show from early representational paintings, “Still Life with Pheasant” by Jeannette Doak Martin and “Spanish Girl” by Miriam Silverman to the most recent purchase, “Slaughter of the Innocents” by K.A. Letts, an Ann Arbor-based painter. Letts, Adams-Arman said, has a rising reputation in the art world and “it’s privilege” for TFAS to own one of her works. “Slaughter” was exhibited in the 95th annual show, and the last one presented. Change was afoot in 2014. The boundaries for entries were expanded, but fewer artists, just 28, were included. Those exhibiting got to show more work. The painting mixes Letts’ concern with current issues expressed through myth and primordial iconography. Religious iconography plays an understated role in Sister Jane Catherine Lauer’s 1952 painting “Afternoon Collation.” With its use of straight lines and geometric blocks of color, it evokes a stain glass window. Yet the scene it depicts is a slice of everyday life in…


Artist going ‘to paint in the air’ to create installation for Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART British installation artist Rebecca Louise Law uses flowers and natural materials as her medium to “paint in the air.” The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has commissioned this vanguard contemporary artist to design and implement her largest site-specific installation to date exploring the relationship between humanity and nature. Sourcing approximately 150,000 plants and flowers native to the Toledo region and requiring 4,000 volunteer hours of assistance from community members over 15 days, Law will create an immersive environment that will thematically and literally represent northwest Ohio. A proponent of sustainability, Law also plans to reuse flowers from her previous installations around the world for the TMA project. Curated by TMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Horton-Westbrook, Rebecca Louise Law: Community will be on view exclusively in Toledo from June 16, 2018, through Jan. 13, 2019. “We hope this installation will offer visitors a sensory experience, evocative of the people and places, natural history and landscapes of northwest Ohio,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “Law’s transporting vision wonderfully reflects the spirit and textures of our local and global communities.” Law uses both dried and fresh flowers in her work, and the process of decay is part of her time-based installations. Inspired by the dried flowers that hung in her attic as a child, Law’s “sculptures” are suspended from above and held together with copper wire. Drawing on the theme of community, the coordinated volunteer effort will begin in May, with local residents assisting with stringing together garlands of plants and flowers and taking some ownership over the ambitious installation, an aspect of the project that the artist feels passionate about. “I started out studying printmaking and painting, but I’ve always enjoyed nature. I come from seven generations of artists on my mum’s side, and seven generations of gardeners on my dad’s,” said Law. “My intention was to get others to physically experience a painting. I soon began to realize that color wasn’t what mattered as much; it’s about nature and preservation, processes of life and decay.” Based in London, Law has been commissioned to…