Play Time, a new exhibition opening May 22 at the Toledo Museum of Art, celebrates the art of diversion and the value of play to both refresh the human spirit and inspire creativity. Unlike “look but don’t touch” exhibitions, this interactive, family-friendly, hands-on exhibition enables visitors to immerse themselves in contemporary art as they may never have done before.
Some works in the show will be created as Museum visitors watch. Over the first three days of the exhibition, Detroit artist Kim Harty will create a mountain of glass outside the Glass Pavilion. She also will give a free presentation about her work, which is part sculpture, part installation and part performance art, at 7 p.m. May 22 in the GlasSalon.
“This show is not only about play in the traditional sense, but also the idea of being in the moment, of inspiring wonder, of invoking your natural curiosity,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, who is co-curating the exhibition with the Museum’s associate director Amy Gilman.
“It’s an experimental exhibition that aims to defy traditional ideas of viewing art by providing interactive experiences. The exhibition is not confined to a single gallery, and in fact, it will change throughout June, July and August so viewers will need to come more than once to see it all,” said Norton-Westbrook, who is the Museum’s Mellon Fellow and associate curator of contemporary art.
Major works in the exhibition include room-sized Harmonic Motion by artists Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam and Charles Richard MacAdam, which was initially commissioned by Enel Contemporenea in Rome. The colorful, multi-sensory installation allows children and adults to climb and play inside its hand-crocheted hanging nets.
Swing Space, a 2013 work by Jillian Mayer, creates a blissful immersive experience in a meeting of the virtual and the physical world. The installation, originally commissioned by Locust Projects with support from the Harpo Foundation, uses video projection and swings, enabling visitors to become part of a sublime performance.
Play Time continues through Sept. 6. The exhibition is sponsored in part by ProMedica and made possible with the support of Museum members and the sustainability grant program of the Ohio Arts Council. In addition to works of art being added and subtracted from the exhibition during its run, a wide range of exhibition-related programs is planned. A list of programs follows. For more information, visit http://playtime.toledomuseum.org/. The Museum is open every day except Monday and will be closed on Memorial Day and on Labor Day.
Free Special Events
June 13: 6-10 p.m., Museum Campus
The Toledo Museum of Art’s celebration of Play Time, its major summer exhibition, will take place across the Museum campus and Monroe Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic for the event. Enjoy a live spectacle by Redmoon Theater of Chicago, featuring their Drum Crane Tower, a 30-foot tall musical structure with three performance tiers and mounted drums for multiple percussionists. Redmoon will also perform June 11 and June 12 as part of the Play Time exhibition.
Free Related Exhibition
Toys! Toys! Toys!
May 22-Sept. 17, 2015
Toys are capable of evoking powerful memories – of childhood, of by-gone eras, of our collective cultural history. In this Community Gallery exhibition, local artists celebrate the fun and nostalgia of toys in a variety of mediums, from 3-D to installation work.
Artist Talk: Kim Harty
May 22: 7 p.m. Friday, GlasSalon
In her sculpture, installation and performance art, Kim Harty examines the alchemy between artist and raw material. During the opening weekend of the Play Time exhibition, Harty will make a mountain out of glass in front of a live audience throughout the day on May 22, 23 and 24. She will discuss this project, as well as her greater body of work and inspiration, during a free Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) public talk at 7 p.m. Friday, May 22 in the GlasSalon. A former resident of Chicago, Harty now heads the glass program at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
May 23: 2 p.m. Saturday, Meet in Libbey Court
Play Time co-curator Halona Norton Westbrook, the Museum’s Mellon Fellow and associate curator of contemporary art, will lead a tour of the exhibition.
Faesthetic Artists Panel Moderated by Dustin Hostetler
June 13: 2 p.m., Little Theater
Faesthetic, an art ‘zine created by Toledo native and Circle 2445 founding chair Dustin Hostetler, has devoted its summer issue to the Museum’s Play Time exhibition, inviting artists to riff on the theme in original work for the publication. Hostetler will moderate a panel of Faesthetic contributing artists for a discussion about the publication and the topic of play.
Marathon Reading: James Joyce’s “Ulysses”
June 16, 17, 20 and 21: Noon to 4 p.m., Various Museum galleries
June 18 and 19: Noon to 8 p.m., Various Museum galleries
This marathon reading will take 32 hours stretched over six days, and invites lovers of literature to enjoy James Joyce’s prose aloud in the galleries. The event begins on Bloomsday, the annual commemoration of the Irish writer’s life on June 16. The author’s “Ulysses,” considered a masterpiece of modernist literature, has endured as much insult as it has praise – labeled both “beautiful” and “blasphemous” in equal turns. But to the author, the stream-of-consciousness novel was merely a portrayal of the everyday. “If ‘Ulysses’ isn’t fit to read,” Joyce once said, “life isn’t fit to live.” Visit toledomuseum.org/calendar for specific reading locations.
Color Wheels Community Bike Ride: Bicycle Music
June 20: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Meet in the Community Garden
In the June edition of the Museum’s Color Wheels, a monthly community bike ride, participants can enjoy music while they pedal, thanks to the live tunes being performed on bicycle trailers and along the route. Space is limited and pre-registration is required; email email@example.com or call 419-255-8000 ext. 7453 for reservations.
Community Celebration: Summer Solstice Sunday
June 21: Noon to 3 p.m., Monroe Street Terrace
Celebrate the start of summer on the longest day of the year with hands-on art activities, safe viewing of the sun with solar-lensed telescopes, an artist workshop and music.
Hands-On Workshop with Artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam
June 21: 2-4 p.m., Monroe Street Terrace
Presented as part of the Toledo Museum of Art’s Summer Solstice Celebration, artists Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam will lead a free hands-on braiding workshop inspired by the artist’s textile sculpture Harmonic Motion, which is on view as part of Play Time. There will be four 30-minute sessions limited to 15 people each. Registration is required, and participants must be at least 8 years of age. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-255-8000 ext. 7453.
Artist Talk: Cameron Fuller
July 18: 2 p.m., GlasSalon and Glass Pavilion Courtyard
Artist Cameron Fuller explores the idea of space through his unique masking tape installations, where he creates new worlds on old surfaces. In the GlasSalon, Fuller will give a free illustrated talk on his work. The program will continue in the Glass Pavilion Courtyard for a conversation on his work-in-progress for the exhibition Play Time. Audience members will be invited to watch him continue the project until the Museum closes for the day at 5 p.m.
Color Wheels Community Bike Ride: Wheels of History
July 25: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Meet in Community Garden
Explore Toledo’s history on a guided bike ride, visiting the city’s historical markers in downtown and nearby neighborhoods. Pre-registration is required; email email@example.com or call 419-255-8000 ext. 7453.
Artist Talk and Panel: Kurt Perschke
Aug. 18: Noon, Promenade Park
Artist Kurt Perschke will be joined by Toledo architects Paul Hollenbeck and Robert Seyfang for an outdoor lunchtime conversation about his RedBall Project and its relationship with the built environment. The RedBall Project, a 15-foot tall ball Perschke wedges into interesting architectural spaces around the world to create an interactive performance/installation, will appear at the Museum and around the downtown Toledo area from Aug. 14 to 23. Visit redballproject.com/cities/toledo for times and locations.
Color Wheels Community Bike Ride: Neighborhoods
Saturday, Aug. 22: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Meet in Community Garden
Explore Toledo’s culinary and cultural diversity during this guided bike ride. Pre-registration is required; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-255-8000 ext. 7453.
Free Exhibition Tours
June 26: 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
July 10: 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
July 17: 8 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
July 31: 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
Aug. 21: 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
Aug. 28: 7 p.m., Meet in Libbey Court
The Golden Rod Puppets of Hobey Ford, “Migration”
July 30: 7 p.m. Peristyle
Puppeteer Hobey Ford performs in full view as storyteller, puppeteer and animator in an almost hypnotic dance between puppeteer, puppets and original artistic scenery. In “Migration,” Ford tells the story of Beatriz, a girl who journeys with her family from her home in Mexico to the United States. Ford turns to the natural world of animals to explore the wonders of migration as they are learned the through the eyes of a child making her own migratory journey. Free.
Music Marathon: “The Complete String Quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich”
Aug. 15: Noon to 9:30 p.m., GlasSalon
All 15 string quartets written by 20th-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich will be performed during this marathon concert. The Aeolus Festival Players, featuring the Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s principal second violinist Merwin Siu and 14 other TSO musicians, will present the quartets at noon, 2:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 419-255-8000 ext. 7448 or in person at the Information Desks during Museum hours.
TMA’s Historic Skinner Organ Performed by Members of the American Guild of Organists Toledo
Aug. 22: 2 p.m., Peristyle
The Toledo Museum of Art partners with the American Guild of Organists, Toledo Chapter, for this afternoon concert featuring Guild members performing on the Museum’s historic Skinner organ. Free.
Sunday Family Film Club: “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T”
June 14: 2 p.m., Little Theater
The Sunday Family Film Club features free screenings of kid-friendly movies, with film choices inspired by current exhibitions in the Museum. “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T,” a 1953 live-action film written by Dr. Seuss, sees protagonist Bart trapped in a fantastical musical dream. (92 minutes)
“A Brief History of Time” and “La Jetée”
June 25: 7 p.m., Little Theater
In A Brief History of Time (1991), learn about the life and work of physicist Stephen Hawking, who, despite near total paralysis, remains one of the world’s great minds. In the 1962 short film La Jetée (1962), explore time travel in a post-apocalyptic Paris set in the aftermath of World War III.
Film + Live Music: The Sound of Silents, “Safety Last”
July 16: 7 p.m., Peristyle
The 1923 film “Safety Last” cemented actor Harold Lloyd’s status as a major movie star of the silent film era. The comedy centers on Lloyd’s character as he tries to make it in the big city. Instead, he ends up at the center of a humorous (and dangerous) publicity stunt. Loyd’s stunts and the subsequent imagery they created are iconic. The film will be accompanied by Detroit organist Lance Luce. (70 minutes)
Sunday Family Film Club: Classic Shorts
July 19: 2 p.m., Little Theater
This edition of the Sunday Family Film Club, inspired by the Museum’s Play Time exhibition, features free screenings of child-friendly classic short films known for their arresting visuals and award-winning scripts. The first to be screened, called “The Red Balloon,” was released in 1956 and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. It tells the story of Pascal, a young Parisian schoolboy, and his adventures with a curious red balloon that seems to have a will of its own. The second short, “Paddle to the Sea,” is a 1966 film that won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. It explores environmental themes of water pollution, geography and commerce on the Great Lakes through the journey of a child’s hand-carved toy as it travels from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Finally, several short films by Ray and Charles Eames will be shown.
Jacques Tati French Film Festival
This four-day film festival (including an outdoor showing) on Aug. 6-9 presents the best works of famed director, writer and actor Jacques Tati. The triple threat – whose oeuvre is one of the most notable in French film history – created the endearingly befuddled character Monsieur Hulot. A former mime, Tati’s early experiences acting without words influenced not only his impeccable comedic timing, but also his penchant for creating films with little dialogue and perfectly composed visuals.
“Play Time” (1967)
Aug. 6: 7 p.m., Peristyle
A gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedy about confusion in an age of high technology (124 minutes)
“M. Hulot’s Holiday” (1953)
Aug. 7: 7 p.m., Little Theater
Monsieur Hulot takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. (87 minutes)
Aug. 8: 9 p.m., Parking Lot 3
The bumbling Monsieur Hulot takes to Paris’s highways and byways. (97 minutes)
“Mon Oncle“ (1958)
Aug. 9: 7 p.m., Little Theater
Slapstick prevails again when Monsieur Hulot is set loose in Villa Arpel, where he gets a job at an antiseptic plastic hose factory. (116 minutes)
“The Horse’s Mouth”
Aug. 20: 7 p.m., Little Theater
In this 1958 adaptation of Joyce Cary’s classic novel, actor Alec Guinness transforms himself into one of cinema’s most indelible comic figures: the lovably scruffy painter Gulley Jimson. As the ill-behaved Jimson searches for a perfect canvas, he determines to let nothing come between himself and the realization of his exalted vision. A perceptive examination of the struggle of artistic creation, “The Horse’s Mouth” is also director Ronald Neame’s comic masterpiece. (95 minutes)
Exhibition information and events are subject to change. Check the Museum’s online calendar at toledomuseum.org for updates.