Art stimulates the senses and soothes the spirit.
It s long been a major-league player in Toledo, with a renowned museum and the One Percent for Art program that has funded 30 years of sculpture throughout the city.
Best of all, nearly all of it is free. Here are the must-sees:
The Toledo Museum of Art s exhibit May 24 through Sept. 7 is a terrific 300-piece collection of 17th, 18th, and 19th-century decorative arts originally owned by a member of an illustrious Delaware family.
Collecting at Winterthur: Henry Francis du Pont s American Vision includes masterpieces of furniture, textiles, paintings, prints, and drawings, ceramics, glass, and metalwork made or used in America between 1640 and 1860. In other galleries the museum will show Exactitudes: Ones of a Kind, the photographs of Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek about styles of dress within social groups, and A Place to Call Home: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Fair Housing, photographs by Bernie Kleina, through June 22.
The popular Juneteenth Celebration of works by local African-American artists is June 21, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Featured guest will be television actress and author Victoria Rowell. Information: 419-255-8000; toledomuseum.org.
Just outside the museum: Stroll among the 22 pieces in the museum s outdoor sculpture garden along Monroe Street. It s landscaped, and offers places to sit (check out the marble polar bear bench). Get your picture taken at the charming Paris Metro entrance designed more than 100 years ago by Hector Guimard. If you ve got kids, let them clamber on Blubber, the giant tire swing on the lawn. And don t forget to stop in the Glass Pavilion across the street. The museum offers many short glass-making sessions for the novice.
Play ball! Take a walk about Fifth Third Field. Try to find the 22 baseball-themed manhole covers, check out the so-fun main gates (lots of bronze mitts and six giant wooden bats), and four bronzed statues of kids (no actual children were harmed in the making of these bronzes) peeking through a knothole into right field on the sidewalk along North St. Clair Street. In the ballpark visible from Monroe Street is I ve Got It!, a sculpture of three boys leaping to catch a fly ball. On a turnstile, this sculpture can move to face the street or the field.
More than a bridge: The Veterans Glass City Skyway carrying I-280 traffic over the Maumee River is a thing of beauty. At night, a 200-foot section of its 400-foot-tall central pylon glows with color, one of millions of patterns the 13,824 points of light are capable of being programmed into. So as not to distract drivers, the colors morph slooowly enough to inspire comparisons with a lethargic lava lamp. From downtown, look north.
Schedel Arboretum and Gardens is set on 17 lovingly tended acres of flora and art. The estate s gates and winding drive lead to an 1888 vintage, 11-room home on a bluff. Nearly 20,000 annuals are planted in the spring. There s an ornamental kitchen garden with dozens of peppers, stunted bonsai, stunning dahlias, 100 varieties of roses, and unusual trees. A waterfall, two lakes, and a Japanese garden grace the floodplain below.
Set hither and yon are 15 sculptures that will remain on view until the Oct. 31 close date. The compact Trellis Gallery behind the Schedel home rotates exhibits through the summer. Open 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and AAA cardholders, and $6 for children. The garden is is in Elmore at 19255 West Portage River South Rd., Information: 419-862-3182; schedel-gardens.org.
Toledo Botanical Garden: These 56 acres of beauty include intriguing sculptures, cottages for art guilds, as well as the nifty Blair Museum of Lithophanes. Made during the Victorian era, lithophanes are delicate transparent porcelain plaques that reveal exquisite detail when illuminated from behind. The late Laurel Blair collected more than 2,000, the best of which are displayed here.
Garden sculptures of note include Woman with Birds among the herbs and a grouping of wooden arches, a popular spot for weddings. Adorning the Bancroft Street entrance are several sculptures by Toledoan Tom Lingeman. The garden s main entrance is at 5403 Elmer Drive. Information: 419-936-2986.
Mixing art and appetite: An exquisite gift from the Spanish sister city that shares our name, a 17-foot-long mural of carved, glazed tiles depicts the two Toledos side by side. It s in the lobby of the Real Seafood restaurant at The Docks on the east side of the Maumee River, where, by the way, there s no better way to enjoy the cityscape and sundown.
In the park: Eight sculptures join three permanent pieces installed in Ottawa Hills Arrowhead Park at Bancroft and Indian streets. Note the tall, red obelisk, Temple XVIII, by Father Austin Collins of the University of Notre Dame. Through April 30, 2009.
Aesthetics of higher education: Just down Bancroft Street from the Ottawa Hills park is an outdoor exhibit of 11 sculptures at the University of Toledo. Most are near the central mall, considered one of the loveliest campus malls in the country.
A theatrical touch: The new 68-foot by 10-foot mural in downtown s 1895-era Valentine Theatre will be unveiled June 3, 4, and 5. Toledoan Paul Geiger researched and painted images of 46 people who performed in the Valentine s early days, including Houdini, the Barrymores, Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Al Jolson, and Bill Mr. Bojangles Robinson. The mural can be viewed to some degree from the North Superior Street-facing plaza and during events in the theater at 410 Adams St.
Contact Tahree Lane at:firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6075.