Prizm Presents Breaking Ground: A Retrospective of Progress

Eye On Art  |  03/17/2017 3:00 pm

PRIZM Creative Community is pleased to announce a FREE Historic Cultural Exhibition with several events for the general public designed to celebrate the heritage of art in Northwest Ohio. The exhibit will feature the talents of nearly ninety NW Ohio historic, current and emerging artists, past and present, with over 350 entries produced in the last 160 plus years. This memorable exhibition called “BREAKING GROUND: A Retrospective of Progress,” will accomplish several objectives. First we will celebrate the legendary vision of the the early residents of NW Ohio who established education, culture, and creative expression in our region. Second, we will applaud the success and accomplishment of many or our current creative professionals who live in our community by showcasing their work. Third we will look forward to the future with optimism as we acknowledge and reward the accomplishments of many up and coming creative talents associated with PRIZM many who have professional aspirations, and some who create simply for the joy of creating.  Additionally the exhibit and the events planned around it will provide the local creative community the opportunity to come together with potential for networking, support, and a general discussion of the present needs of our region.  Many years ago, on the occasion of the dedication of the Toledo Museum of Art, Edward Drummond Libbey said what sounded like a toast to his fellow celebrants when he said,  "To the memory of the past, to an understanding of the needs and conditions of the present, and to a future of increasing understanding."  It is in that same spirit, that this exhibition is offered for the enjoyment and benefit of the community.    

This historic exhibit will provide the public with a rich and diverse cultural experience, as they examine over 160 years of Northwest Ohio history.  Many will be delighted to find quality works available for purchase including many works direct from artists, collectors, and from the holdings of The Library House Gallery in Grand Rapids, OH.  Many works not for sale will be enjoyed due to the generosity of private owners and collectors.  Labels for all works of art will indicate whether the work is for sale. An Opening Reception for the “BREAKING GROUND:  A Retrospective of Progress” collection will be held on Saturday March the 25th, from 3-6 p.m. in the afternoon at the 5/3 Building at One Seagate (550 N. Summit Street in Toledo.)  Parking will be available in the Vistula Garage on Superior Street. The Opening event will include great food, an enticing raffle with original artworks, live entertainment by the Toledo School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble, and a celebration of the many PRIZM member volunteers who have made this event possible.  Providing a media sponsorship for the event is The Blade with funding provided by Library House Galleries in Grand Rapids, Buckeye Broadband,  The Ohio Arts Council and many private PRIZM supporters. Details on the event can be found at    

The exhibition will remain on display at the 5/3 Bank Building at One Seagate for two months through Thursday May the 25th. Viewing hours are Monday-Fridays from 8 a.m.- 7p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 12-6 p.m. Two additional events at the exhibition are planned for the 3rd Thursday evening in April and May to coincide with the Arts Commission’s Art Loop evenings. In addition to the chance to view the over 350  piece fine art and literature exhibition, refreshments and entertainment will be provided each evening. On April the 20th, Delta Blues Guitarist Jimmy Lambert, AKA Light Brown Jimmy will delight audiences with his classic guitar favorites. On Thursday May the 18th,   at 6:30 p.m.  PRIZM will feature an “Open Mic in the Glass City event,” facilitated by author Jonie McIntire as the facilitator. Local authors who would like to be placed on the schedule to read that evening should contact Jonie at [email protected]  Each night promises to be a cultural celebration of local talent.  

In addition to its education program, The Art-A-Fair program by PRIZM Creative Community now in its 11th year was developed as a missing cultural link for the Northwest Ohio Area.   In the Art world with its natural inclination toward exclusivity, competition, and sometimes subjective acclaim, many worthy works which for various reasons would not otherwise be viewed or enjoyed have been given a professional space to be enjoyed and appreciated.  Even artists who may lack resources, experience or time for complicated procedures like marketing, or who may fall in the category of talented hobbyist  have been given an opportunity to be seen and enjoyed. Because the emphasis has always been on bringing forward your best work to be seen, without the usual requirement that the item be for sale, Art-A-Fair collections in the past have generally been very professional looking collections participated in by both professionals and  hobbyist alike. Using the best gallery spaces in the area, PRIZM has organized and presented to the public well received collections of local talent combined with exciting events. These rich cultural experiences have celebrated local talent in both visual and literary arts.  In the past PRIZM has also sponsored the Salon des Refuses Exhibition for works of Art refused entry into the Toledo Area Artist Exhibition traditionally a juried exhibit held at The Toledo Museum of Art.  Both professional and beginning talent has been enjoyed and “discovered” at the opportunities that PRIZM has provided. These opportunities have been available because of the volunteer work of PRIZM Creative Community and the many participating volunteers who raise funds, contribute professional labor, and organize the labor intensive job of organizing a professional exhibition. Without the passion and leadership to make these opportunities happen, and the financial backing often required, these professional but inclusive opportunities will cease to exist in our community.   

Due to the natural constraints of exhibit space, the “BREAKING GROUND, A Retrospective of Progress,” exhibit is necessarily selective but surprisingly comprehensive in its reflection of Northwest Ohio history using featured artists in three distinct categories; Historic Artist, Current Professional Artists, and New and Upcoming Artists. Among the historic artists featured are about thirty notables from the 1850’s down to the recent past. Early favorites of the era included Wilder Darling, Karl Kappes, George Jensen, and Israel Abramofsky. Biographies on location at the exhibit will explain who these artists were and what they accomplished including others such as John Noble Richards, Earl North, Ruskin Stone, Earnest W. Spring and Dominick Labino who was involved in the birth of the studio glass movement. A diptych, two piece set by BGSU’s Bob Mazur who recently passed away in 2015 will be offered for sale, one of the few remaining originals available. The proceeds from the sale of the large size canvas set by Mazur will help to fund a scholarship at BGSU for an Art student. The historic area of the exhibit also includes works by recent regional favorite artists such as Edith Franklin, Adam Grant, Wil Clay, Bernadine Stetzel, Walter Chapman, Pete Beckman and Michael McWhorter. 

Current successful artists are also represented with beautiful glass submissions by Matt Paskiet, Shawn Messenger, and Jack Schmidt.   Museum quality metal works by Tom Muir and Amy Beeler will be on view as well as oils by David Eichenberg, Dennis Wojtkiewicz, Emanuel Enriquez, and Michael Sheets.  Leslie Adams and Denise Declercq will show outstanding graphite drawings while Mary Jane Erard will share one of her Vibrant Pastels landscapes. Outstanding ceramics will be on view by Robert Garcia, Lindsay Scypta, and William G. Petruzzi.  Works by the founders and Early Presidents of the The Toledo Area Sculptors Guild will be on display including works by Pat Wagenman (who did many sculptures at The Toledo Zoo), Rose Reder, Carol Keister, Darlene Krohn, Pat Robinson, and Jim Havens.

In addition awards will be presented for the most deserving entries by new and upcoming artists and authors in the PRIZM Creative Community Members section of the exhibition. A brief awards assembly will be presented in the auditorium at One Seagate starting at 3:30 p.m. The Literary Judge for this year’s Creative Writing submissions will be William McMillen, Ph.D., Author, and Former Provost at The University of Toledo. Professional Artists Shawn Messenger and Jack Schmidt, will judge the art submissions.   Over $1500 in prizes and ribbons will be awarded. The public is invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award during the reception on March 25th between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m.

PRIZM Creative Community is a 501 (c.) (3) Nonprofit organization which supports education, service, and collaboration in the literary and visual arts. PRIZM has received partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, The Toledo Community Foundation, local businesses, and many generous individuals. For more information on upcoming PRIZM educational workshops in the visual and literary arts visit the PRIZM website, email [email protected],  or call 419-931-8732.