CVA Explores Boundaries of Visual Territories (

CVA Explores Boundaries of Visual Territories

By: Nathan Elias
Published: 09/01/2010

Its what passes through our retinas and into our photoreceptors; its what we walk upon, create, destroy, or watch erode.

“Light and Landscape” is the current exhibit at the University of Toledo’s Center for the Visual Arts. The works of three renowned artists have been collected to represent this theme. Charles Matson Lume, Sage Dawson, and Ivan Fortushniak share a sense of vision pertaining to the potential of both light and landscape.

Last year, the CVA held a “Light and Mass” exhibit, however this year the focus is put on mass pertaining to earthly structures and the way light interacts and influences them. This year’s theme is in the same suit but open to a different interpretations and artistic explorations.

Charles Matson Lume is an artist who has studied across the world. His artwork and publications communicate the ideas of light, mass, and land. On Sept. 2, Matson Lume will give a discussion at 7 p.m. He will present the influence for his installations and give an understanding of the relationship to light and interior versus exterior landscapes.

“When I am making my best work, it transcends personality to something larger than me,” he said. “I am drawn to making art because I want, in part, to expand the language of art and to have experiences I couldn’t have otherwise.”

Matson Lume’s work is a combination of photography, artistic installations and breaks preconceptions of the potential of light and what it does to inanimate objects. In fact, the installations within the framing of Lume’s work become very animate and leap from the 2-Dimensional image.

“My installations are meant to be experienced, not seen via a photo or other mediated methods,” he said. “In a culture that is full of disembodied experiences, my work celebrates the sensual and the pleasures and difficulties of seeing and being alive.”

One reoccurring symbol in Matson Lume’s work is the image used to represent the human heart. There seems to be an obsession with what this image represents, and rightfully so. In pieces like “leaving,” there appear to be paper hearts, folded, and escalating into mid air, almost like an optical illusion. The hearts, in this case, linger between leaves of a tree and wings of butterflies. In the piece “wish,” Matson Lume draws our attention to the simple significance of the heart-shape drawn over fog on glass.

“I am drawn to making art because it is a powerful method of communication. My art states things I can’t. It goes places I can’t. It discovers things that are beyond my margins of personhood and understanding.”

He also shows the ability to manipulate light and cast shadows into certain symbols or graphs. A fascination with lighting designs led to a credible ability to experiment with various solid forms.

Regardless of the sentiment for things affiliated with childhood memories or symbols for tenderness, Matson Lume’s work transcends depth and often physics of light. If his work does not encourage you to look for multiple fields of dimensions in natural lighting and landscapes, then they will at least make you second guess the minute small details conjured from personal memories and experiences.

Closely investigating works of art that reflect light and landscape open up a broader interpretation of the world around us, explicating what we commonly perceive to be “real” or “normal.”

Sage Dawson, one of three artists on display for “Light and Landscape” will be hosting a discussion on Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. The University of Toledo’s Center for the Visual Arts will present the “Light and Landscape” exhibit until Oct. 3.

Charles Matson Lume will be giving a discussion at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the Center for the Visual Arts.

For more information, visit:

Posted in | Leave a comment

TMA Seeks Submissions for Winter Ball Film Festival (

TMA Seeks Submissions for Winter Ball Film Festival

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/30/2010

Filmmakers get your gear ready, its time to brainstorm what to create for the Toledo Museum of Art’s Winter Ball Film Festival. Whether you’re a student, an amateur, or a professional, your creative works are called upon for the entry window between October 11th – November 12th.

The Museum and Festival judges encourage films or videos of all genres, as long as they are winter-themed, four minutes or under, and of artful quality.

“We are looking for someone that has taken the time to think of the impact and aesthetics of the short experience,” said Rod Bigelow, TMA’s interim executive director and chief operating officer. “We’re asking artists to submit things that they have thought through.”

The motion pictures can range from animation, non-narrative, narrative, experimental, and documentary, to stop-motion, but may be as creative as possible. “Home movies” will not be accepted.

“We’re not treating them as an art acquisition,” he said. “When the media is evolving everyday, we’re trying to take one piece of the genre and say, ‘do what you can.”

Participants may enter up to three films, and the judges will choose a total of 15 films for the screening at the Winter Ball. The Festival chooses to stick with short film submissions for aesthetic and economic purposes.

“We’re saying to artists, ‘Do what you can in this time frame,’” Bigelow said. “We’re looking for a short experience that artists have really thought through with a message in this time period.”

The point of this film festival is to get artists and filmmakers in the area inspired to create surprising, engaging movies.

“We see some experiences around this community of active artists in film,” Bigelow said.

It is refreshing to have an open call for submissions during the winter. The Museum is bridging a gap and trying to bring more film events to the area.

“We see today other institutions doing competitions and asking for entries,” he said. “They accept and curate media that is becoming more active and recognized in museum environments.”

TMA is hosting the Winter Ball Film Festival and many other galleries this season to extend its out-reach programs. It is working hard to make their resources more available to the community.

That’s a little over six weeks to get your projects in the can and submitted to the festival, filmmakers. For more information and submission guidelines, visit:

Posted in | Leave a comment

Celebrating Ice Cream History in Old West End (

Celebrating Ice Cream History in Old West End

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/29/2010

If a free, four hour ice cream social in Toledo’s OWE doesn’t sound like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, it might be time for a change of priorities.

Saturday, September 11 from 2 – 6, Toft’s One Quality and Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop will be sponsoring the four hour free event in honor of the 75th anniversary of the invention of the Zeroll scoop, a revolutionary tool in creamery that was created right here in Toledo.

The social is all thanks to a strange chance occurrence. When OWE resident Jeff Nelson was shopping eBay for postcards, an avid connoisseur of ice cream scoops informed him that he resided where ice cream history changed forever.

“His passion for his collection and world of dairy stuff and ice cream scoops was very contagious,” Nelson said.
When Nelson wrote a neighborhood newsletter announcing the historic competence of the building, word spread to Toft’s and Zeroll and they offered to sponsor an ice cream social gathering by giving scoops and ice cream.
The event will take place 2410 Robinwood Avenue, the very building where Sherman L. Kelly created the device in his OWE home in 1935.

The Zeroll scoop went on to become the most well-known and widely used scoop in ice cream history. Its ability to compress ice cream while scooping makes the device more economical for creameries and vendors.
“When you hold a scoop horizontally and put an ice in the scoop it starts melting immediately,” he said. “The aluminum is conductive, the liquid is conductive, and it’s pretty amazing.”

The development of the Zeroll was a very intricate process.

“His first thought was to have this thing electrified, it turned out the to be too hot,” Nelson said. “Then he hit upon the idea of having the thing hollow with a liquid inside. There was a lot of experimentation of the shape of the scoop and the void inside and the exact thickness of the walls. The fluid is a proprietary mixture.”

Nelson has had this idea in his mind for two years after learning about the history of his home. For the past few months, he has spent most of his time planning the social.

“For a long time I’ve had this thought that the Old West End could use another fair weather event besides the OWE Festival,” he said. “

These historic ice cream scoop prototypes from will be on display and other scoops will be given out throughout the event.  The event will feature live music, a children’s play area, magicians, and other entertainment.

Nelson encourages anyone in an interest in volunteering to help scoop ice cream or with children’s activities to email him at

For more information, visit the event Facebook page (login first) at

Posted in | Leave a comment

Toledo Museum of Art Ranked One of America’s Favorites (

Toledo Museum of Art Ranked One of America’s Favorites

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/26/2010

Yesterday at 12 p.m. commenced the final stage of voting for Modern Art News’ poll, “America’s Favorite Art Museum.” Modern Art News, or MAN, is a blog run by Tyler Green, a well-known journalist and blogger for the arts. Green’s enthusiasm for the arts and journalistic works in art and art history has made America’s Favorite Art Museum a very big deal on the Internet with the Toledo community.

Similar to previous polls on Green’s blog, he utilized a MCAA-style competition that ranked 64 different museums in the United States. The Toledo Museum of Art and Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts have made it to the final two most popularly voted museums in the nation.

“If I owned an art museum I would be ecstatic,” Green said. “The overwhelming majority of Americans have their primary and most significant encounters with art at museums.”

He sparked the poll to help expose the historic artworks across the country.  It began as a way to figure out where people like to spend their time.

“August in the art world is really slow,” he said. “Hopefully the tournament has given something for people to appreciate.”

One of his significant interests in art journalism is the ability to spotlight museum collections. “One wonderful thing about art is that its one of the few things that has been progressing at a steady pace throughout the history of organized human society,” he said. “It’s a way of understanding the past and reading the past.”

Kelly Garrow, Director of Communications at TMA, stressed a sense of positivity on behalf of the Museum.
“Our team as a whole feels really engaged,” Garrow said. “The ‘old school’ museum thinking was that you don’t want too much PR or promotion, or that if something is popular it must not be that good or you’ve sold out.”
She stressed a need to change that way of thinking and try to reach out to the public.

“The more progressive museums are going toward this model that TMA has been doing for years, which is about real community engagement,” she said.  “We’re about scholarship and learning. We’ve always stood for ways to make it accessible to everybody. The quality has not changed; it’s about changing the way people access what we have. “

Voting for Tyler Green and Modern Art News’ poll, “America’s Favorite Art Museum” opened its final round yesterday at 12 p.m. To vote between the Toledo Museum of Art and Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, visit The voting window will end on Sunday, August 29 at 5 p.m.

For the remainder of the week, Green will be displaying the galleries from each museum via Twitter at

For more information, visit:

Posted in | Leave a comment

Spinning and Scratching in the Glass City (

Spinning and Scratching in the Glass City

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/24/2010

Hip-hop is composed of a few primary elements such as beats, words, and an entity to control the flow of sound. Emceeing and DJing, or spinning, sparked as a genre of performance and entertainment in the 70s and has grown to be a massive influence on our culture and daily lives.

DJ One X TyMe and DJ Folks are two DJs who both honor their opportunity to be active in hip-hop. They admire their position away from the spotlight to let the emcee shine. Dj One X TyMe, also known as “Your Hero for Hire,” hosts regular shows on The Juice 107.3 and frequently spins at The Omni.

“The best place would be The Omni,” Dj One X TyMe said. “They have screens, it’s a huge show set up with a warehouse vibe going on.”

Dj One X TyMe has been a radio personality in the area for over 15 years. He has noticed a change in the area from an appreciation in underground hip-hop to commercial hip-hop.

“The commercial artists of today were once underground, like Jay-Z and Nas,” he said. “Hip-hop has changed as far as labels more than the music has changed. They’re still putting out the same type of records. They were in the mainstream and it was called underground. Top 40 is hip hop now.”

DJ Folks spins at bars such as Wesley’s where they host Old School Fridays from 10 p.m. – close. Folks testified to hip-hop’s ability to help merge subcultures of artists, expressionists, and activists.

“There would be no emcee without the DJ,” Folks said. “The culture has shifted into a form of independent production. There are all these elements to make something fresh and new. The DJ always has something new to the music. For the local audience you have to build a relationship with the bar and restaurant for if you have a vision for it,” he said. “If you want to make it you’ve got to build your credibility up.”

Hip-hop, as an active and popular tool of influence, it can have a great affect on the youth of this culture, either beneficial or disastrous depending on the mind behind the microphone or sound system. Folks agrees that the power of hip-hop as factor of influence in society.

“It’s important to youth culture. People travel to experience these types of things,” he said. “Develop a population and shift the reputation. There’s a component of the community that understand the linking.”

Hip-hop has found its place in Toledo as a culture and is growing rapidly. Venues like Wesley’s, Easy Street Café, The Ottawa Tavern, The Peacock Lounge, and Frankie’s Inner City are good places to look for hip-hop and active DJing. As the voice of the streets, hip-hop in Toledo is currently in state of innovation and growth.

Other DJs in the area include DJ Rob Sample, DJ Dan-E, DJ Manny, and DJ AK.

DJ Manny spins at bars like Chasers for Ladies Night Tuesdays, Eclipse, and at Clazel “Club Encore” in Bowling Green. DJ Manny is also an active DJ for Tower 98.3. He DJS on Tuesday and Wednesday at Chasers, Eclipse on Thursday, and Clazel on Friday and Saturday.

DJ AK, unofficially dubbed “Toledo’s King of Nightlife,” also spins at Chasers, Clazel, and Eclipse.

DJ Rob Sample DJs regularly at Bigz Bar and Grill, Avalon, and The Omni. He often posts mash-ups and mixes for people to sample on his website. Sample has been fueling Toledo’s nightlife for years and was voted “Best Club DJ 2009” by the Toledo City Paper.

Sample also does video DJing, or VDJing with DJ Dan-E at Avalon on Thursdays and Fridays. They use Optoma Projector with the Dual Vision screen to produce a party-collage of video and beats.

For more information, visit:

Posted in | Leave a comment

Legal vandalizing meets picnic/party for artist community (

Legal vandalizing meets picnic/party for artist community

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/17/2010

This is a cordial invitation for all artists, musicians, poets, performers, emcees, activists, break dancers, or entertainers in the Toledo area and Northwest Ohio to informally share creative talents. “All City Elements” is a picnic-like all day event from Aug. 20 – 21 where urban underground artists may present their work to the community. There will be approximately 200 ft. of wall space which artists are urged to cover with their work. Entertainers are encouraged to come to the event and share talents.

This is a bring-your-own-food type of event; grills will be provided for outdoor cooking. This “family picnic” is open for people to bring food and beverages while enjoying the atmosphere or contributing to the artwork. In the spirit of sharing creative minds and space, “All City Elements” is a meet and greet for artists in the area who may not be accustomed to seeing other local art. With a closing performance by the electronic hip-hop group Blue Midnight Highway there will also be DJs playing music. The event aims to be a two-day block of fun and entertainment.

“I want to fuel it,” said Gregory Lukasik of Rogueworks, a local entrepreneurship for art supplies and art development. “I want to be able to supply tools and inspiration. As much inspiration as I can put out there. Everyone has these different ideas of what underground art is. If we were all to band together, we could bring attention to it. I want to show people that it’s right here at home.”

The wall is a canvas open to artists of all styles and genres. Whether you’re a graffiti artist, fine artist, or someone interested in painting for the first time, you’re welcome to come out and paint this wall. This event is completely legal and open for creative expression.

“’All City Elements’ was something to be known,” Lukasik said. “All the people doing artwork are not getting the as much reach they can. By meeting these people, everyone can try to get where they want to be.”

“The main focus of this is to shed light on the underground scene in Toledo,” he said.  “People think there are only four or five guys in the area responsible for street art, but there are hundreds. I know of one guy painting skateboard decks broken and half drilling them into posts. With ‘All City Elements’, we have all this art, it doesn’t have to be graffiti. There’s this giant movement in the community lately.”

Lukasik hopes ‘All City Elements’ will be big enough to become an annual event. The widespread of urban and street art in the Toledo area sheds a light on the morale of the community.

“It will be very relaxed, nothing is scheduled,” he said. “Just come out bring food, drinks, and have a good time.”

The event will be held at 3810 W. Alexis Roadd between Harvest Lane and Clover Lane across the street from the House of Meats near the store strip with Replay Records next door to Calvary Bible Chapel.

Friday Aug. 20 is the opening event focusing with an art gallery show and sales of merchandise music from 2:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. On Saturday Aug. 21 the main event will start around 12:00 with a performance around 4:00 p.m. People are encouraged to stick around and enjoy the evening with lots of entertainment.

Bring some food and drinks, have a cook out, listen to music, dance, watch art being made, and participate in making art. The latest the event will be held is until 2:00 a.m.

For more information visit

Posted in | Leave a comment

Toledo Takes the Mic (

Toledo Takes the Mic

By: Nathan Elias

Published: 08/17/2010

As far as poetry is concerned, the Midwest is responsible for some of the most influential movements in American literature and poetic style.

In the 50s and 60s, Cleveland was ripe with free verse and confessional poetries at the hand of d.a. levy, a rogue poet who printed his own works as well as the works of poets like Charles Bukowski and Ed Sanders using a mimeograph. Levy was a soldier in the early wars of free speech, and with his poetries he fought for an individual’s right to language.

In the mid 80s, Chicago was experimenting with free verse which led to slam poetry; a sensation of lyrical performance inspired a new wave of poetic expression. Poets like Marc Smith organized poetry readings at various venues where poets would compete with their ability to improvise verse.

Decades later, cities like Cleveland, Chicago, and Toledo are thriving with active venues for poetry readings and publishing. The community of poets, writers, and literary performers in the Toledo area are finding more venues of expression with the help of a few smaller local businesses opening their doors and providing microphones.

For the past few years, the poets Michael Grover and John Dorsey have humbly hosted their open poetry series at the Collingwood Arts Center on Tuesday nights with featured poets every second Tuesday. They have now decided to pass the torch onto another community activist and writer for but will continue hosting readings at The Ground Level coffee house. “Rebels Without Applause” will be held every third Thursday.

The Ground Level also hosts many other weekly events including open mic. Every Thursday is dedicated to celebrating the spoken word, including poetry, literary events, and theatrical readings.

“Originally we were focusing on poetry,” said Imani Lateef, co-owner of The Ground Level. “But poetry has recently blossomed into an overall arts scene. We try to support the poetry scene here and bring in more young people.”

The venue is very accessible, located near the corner of Douglas Road and Central Avenue. It is a big contributor in people becoming more comfortable with going out to events and finding the courage to read in front of a crowd. It is very friendly for first time readers and performers and welcoming for families.

“I think that Toledo has turned a corner so to speak,” Lateef said. “As far as contributing to the arts, I think it started with surge of downtown galleries. That community contributed to the overall reception for the arts. Events like the art walk and Artomatic 419. The visual art events increase the value of the arts in general, and that helps contribute to our success as a venue for poetry.”

Brooklyn’s Daily Grind, located on Airport Highway in Holland, is a newer café and a growing hub for local arts.  The venue also hosts music and poetry events weekly. They host “Simply Poetry” once a week, usually on Wednesday.

“I didn’t get into poetry until it started here,” said Larry Humphries, owner of Brooklyn’s Daily Grind. “I fell in love it. I’ve learned how important poetry, art, and music are.”

Before opening Brooklyn’s Daily Grind, Humphries came from manufacturing and aerospace technologies.

“My way of putting value on things was based on time and materials,” he said.  “I appreciate more, incredibly talented artists. Anything the artist creates with mind rather than paint what they see. I’ve learned that art is more than the canvas and the oil and mediums.”

With the efforts of Lorraine Cipriano, a writer for Toledo Poetry Examiner, poets and writers have been encouraged to share their work with the community. Cipriano has keeping a catalogue of the literary activity in Toledo and Northwest Ohio by interviewing local writers and community activists.

“Right now, the poetry scene in Toledo is vibrant,” Cipriano said. “There are a few different venues to read at, some of which have live stream poetry going on, and there is an energy flowing that is contagious. While there are not many places that host regular readings, most are at high quality locations such as the Original Sub Shop, the Ground Level Coffeehouse, and the Brooklyn Daily Grind. Of course, the Collingwood Arts Center is without rival when you think about the eclectic mix of wonderful poets and artists that reside there.”

According to Cipriano, the widespread of internet and blogging as well as the open venues in town allow for poets to have a larger audience. With cafes, coffee houses, and restaurants opening their doors for literary and theatrical events, the community has an affordable way to have a fun evening.

“Even though Toledo is not considered a big city, there are enough outlets available for Toledoans of any age, race, or gender to express themselves poetically,” she said. “I think what Toledo lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. As I mentioned above, the internet and live stream blogging has allowed local poets to reach a much broader audience and gain prominence without leaving the Toledo area. This is important because I think that is necessary to help sustain and improve Toledo’s poetic culture.”

To view schedules for poetry readings and open mic events in the Toledo area, visit:

Posted in | Leave a comment