PEACH WEEKENDER

UT’s campus is Art on the Mall’s palette

Popular event draws up to 15,000 visitors; 107 artisans will be on hand

7/24/2014
BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Earring and a necklace from Amy Beeler’s seed pod series.
Earring and a necklace from Amy Beeler’s seed pod series.

A favorite among artists and visitors alike is Art on the Mall, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the midst of the University of Toledo’s main campus.

Booths will be filled with jewelry and garden art, ceramics, painting, fiber work and basketry, glass, and more. 

Among the pluses for this 22nd fund-raiser for the alumni association are continuous live music by students from the Toledo School for the Arts, food, a beer tent, and kids’ activities, along with free parking.

Amy Beeler appreciates its unique atmosphere.

“It’s like no other show that I’m a part of,” said Beeler, 37, a jeweler/​metalsmith and the show’s top awardee in 2013. “Patrons have a lot of energy and commitment to the show.”

Beeler has sold here for four years. Her silver necklaces, earrings, and bracelets (most in the $32 to $70 range) are inspired by seed pods such as milkweed, sweetgum, and lotus, and she uses the lost-wax process.

She sells at two dozen fairs including a handful in Florida. She was invited to display at a solo exhibit at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor from April to June. For it, she created several large, exhibition-style pieces that pushed the boundaries between wearable art and nonwearable sculpture. Her large “statement” necklaces are priced up to $2,000. Among four awards she’s won at recent shows was first place for jewelry at last month’s Crosby Festival of the Arts.

Another jeweler is Jaci Riley, 34, who cuts pieces of circuit boards into the shape of Ohio and transforms spent bullet casings into earrings. She also etches the skyline of Toledo (Detroit and Cleveland too) onto copper and inscribes Morse code messages onto pendants and bracelets. Most of Riley’s work is in the $25 to $60 range.

Booths will be set in a circular pattern, there are plenty of benches for resting, and nearby air-conditioned buildings will be open.

Circuit board jewelry pieces from jeweler Jaci Riley.
Circuit board jewelry pieces from jeweler Jaci Riley.

The 107 artisans were selected from a pool of 139 who applied, said Ansley Abrams-Frederick, UT’s director of alumni programming. Crowds average 12,000 to 15,000, depending on weather, and the alumni group nets $13,000 to $15,000 on the event.

There will be eight food vendors, a beer tent, and UT students and staff demonstrating how to throw clay pots on a wheel.

Enter from Bancroft Street and park in lots 1 South, 1 North, 13 and 10. Shuttles will transport people to the mall.

Information: toledoalumni.org and  419-530-2586.

Contact Tahree Lane at tlane@theblade.com or 419-724-6075.