Athena Art Society is having their 2013 Juried Exhibition October 11 – November 8 in the Main Gallery of the Center for Visual Arts, The University of Toledo Department of Art’s home. The award winners, shown above are: Susan Dolder, Best of Show, watercolor pencil; Kay Weprin, 1st place, handmade paper; Sue Stewart, 2nd place, acrylic ink & colored pencil; Inga Reynolds, 3rd place, printmaking; Nancy Beeman, Honorable Mention, ceramic/textile; Claire Wilson, Honorable Mention, watercolor collage. Included above in the banner are 20 additional artists’ work exhibited in the show. The juror for the exhibit was Carolyn Putney, Chief Curator, Toledo Museum of Art.
The Athena Art Society was established in 1903 in Toledo, Ohio by Nina Spaulding Stevens and 18 local women artists on the opening day of the present location of the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Nina was a professionally-trained artist married to the director of TMA, George Stevens, and held the active position of assistant director after her marriage. The group rapidly grew to 59 charter members and included artists, writers, and musicians. In the early years, the members met weekly in Nina’s studio to discuss art, draw from a live model, listen to music and writings, and critique each other’s work.
Because of Nina’s involvement with the museum, the organization has enjoyed a close relationship with TMA. Athena members held their first exhibit at the museum the month following the group’s formation, and continued to have an annual exhibit there for four decades. Athena was instrumental in starting the Toledo Museum of Art School in 1909, and in the early 1920s they established the museum’s docent program. Over the years, Athena has also contributed to the fine collection of the museum’s library.
In 1917 Athena, along with two other art organizations, formed the Toledo Federation of Art Societies and gives an Athena Art Award in the Federation’s annual exhibit. In 1967 an art fund to award scholarships to area women art students was established by Athena. The organization continues to play an important role in the cultural scene of the community which includes activities linked to the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo.
The University of Toledo’s Department of Art provides instruction to about 250 undergraduate majors in studio art, art education and art history, and graduate instruction to master’s degree students in art education. The Center for the Visual Arts (CVA) is a four-story building designed by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry and dedicated in 1993. Physically attached to the ground floor of the Toledo Museum of Art, the CVA provides students and faculty direct access to the Museum’s world-class art collection.
Key features of the CVA’s design are its collage of glass and metal, boldly sculptural forms. Interior spaces feature exposed structural beams, columns, and steel decking, all of which are painted white. The glass curtain wall surrounding the gravel courtyard, large windows and skylights provide the interior with intensely dramatic lighting. The windows also provide exciting views across exterior vistas to other portions of the building and to the Museum. No two spaces inside, or outside of the building are alike, each having a unique combination of plan footprint, elevation, lighting, and external view. The building’s sky-lit studios and extensive darkrooms are home to the photography, painting, drawing, new media, foundation, and printmaking classes. Sculpture and metal studios are housed in the Center for Sculptural Studies, another Gehry building, and ceramic classes are housed in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Crafts’ Building.