Athena Spring Art Festival 2022
Athena artists are exhibiting in an exciting new venue for their Spring Art Festival. This non-juried show will run from March 7 to April 24 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church’s HeART Gallery in downtown Toledo, Ohio. A sample of the 40 participating women’s art is represented above in the banner and below in the gallery.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has a rich 165-year history of innovative worship and outreach to meet the changing needs of its congregation and surrounding community. Many landmark events, including the formation of the American Lutheran Church (1930), took place in its sanctuary, which features 20-foot magnificent art glass windows. It remains an exquisite example of Gothic architecture in the heart of Toledo. There is a 1960s German-made Reuter pipe organ and grand piano for use. It is a breathtaking wedding venue and has the reception facilities of the HeART Gallery. A European-style parlor features a high, vaulted wood ceiling and stone fireplace. Its leaded glass windows overlook the city Courthouse and Government Center. This parlor was part of the Parish Hall, which was built in 1927 and also included an auditorium, a gymnasium, a commercial-sized kitchen, and beautifully adorned meeting spaces. This Hall was later renovated to become what is now called the HeART Gallery, a historic event center with three floors.
HeART Gallery is a ministry of St. Paul’s. By 1967, much of the Toledo residential population had moved to the suburbs. Despite this, the congregation chose to remain downtown, rather than relocate, remaining steadfast in its commitment to serve the “heart” of Toledo and its population. From this decision emerged the formation of the HeART Gallery ministry, a place of inclusion regardless of age, gender, income, race, beliefs, or life circumstance. Through collaboration with downtown agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and local arts groups, HeART Gallery reaches out to bring people together through the arts.
This new venue engages many people through monthly exhibits, participation in Toledo Art Loop activities, monthly Lunch & Learn events, a creative legacy writing group for seniors, and other art, music, and food events planned around the unique interests of those living in the Toledo area. Events vary and can be missional, entertaining, reflective, or healing. As its dynamic director, Kate Philabaum, expresses it, “We believe visual art creates discussion for spiritual thought and inspiration for daily life. We strive to create a community where all can belong, grow, and become better equipped as caring citizens of the world.”
The Athena concluding reception on April 24 (see details under Current Events to the right) will be a “Sip and Stroll” event over all three floors, which will include a chef demonstration, a wine tasting, a Cocktails and Cookies station with a demo, and a classical guitar music performance. Seventy art pieces will be on display. Most will be for sale, with many artists on-site to meet and greet.