The Great Art Escape, a week of free performances, art activities and after-hours flashlight tours, returns to the Toledo Museum of Art Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac, the week of special events has become a holiday tradition for bringing together family, friends and holiday guests.
Explore the galleries with the debut of the Toledo Museum of Art’s new app. During the Great Art Escape visitors are invited to play a treasure hunt throughout the galleries.
Three temporary exhibitions organized by the Museum’s curators are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Gabriel Dawe: Plexus no. 35, on view in the Great Gallery, is an ethereal indoor rainbow created especially for the space it occupies. Mexican-born artist Gabriel Dawe’s textile installations have been seen in galleries around the world, most recently as part of an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. The installation in the Great Gallery is sponsored in part by the TMA Ambassadors, a group of volunteer fundraisers.
The Libbey Dolls: Fashioning the Story in Gallery 18features 78 fashion figures depicting French styles from 1493 to 1915. The Libbey Dolls, formerly known as the Doucet Dolls, were the product of the World War I aid effort. Purchased in 1917 by Toledo Museum of Art founder Edward Drummond Libbey, the dolls’ clothing was created by Jacques Doucet. Art by great French artists like Nicolas Lancret and Louis-Léopold Boilly, as well as drawings and engravings from late 19th-century fashion publications, inspired his creations.
Shakespeare’s Characters: Playing the Part in Gallery 6 marks the 400-year anniversary of the great playwright’s death. The exhibition explores The Bard’s band of characters, from the comedic to the tragic. Approximately 30 paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs bring the beloved writer’s works to life.
Here’s a list of other free activities planned during the Great Art Escape:
Make a Puppet, Tell a Story!
Dec. 27 and 29: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Family Center
Dec. 30: 3:30-8 p.m., Family Center
Make a puppet in the Family Center and perform your own improvisational theater with it in the Cloister Gallery.
Ask Me Hours
Dec. 27-30: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Main Museum
Dec. 31-Jan. 1: Noon to 4 p.m., Main Museum
Look for docents wearing a red “Ask Me” button as they travel the galleries answering questions and engaging visitors in discussion about the art on view.
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: 1, 2 and 3 p.m., Hot Shop
Dec. 30: 7 and 8 p.m., Hot Shop
Watch works of art in glass take shape before your eyes. Join Museum staff and local artists for live glassmaking demonstrations in the Glass Pavilion Hot Shop.
Dutch Cabinet Organ Performance
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: 1 p.m., Gallery 24
Enjoy sounds of the season on the Museum’s newly restored Dutch cabinet organ, played by local members of the American Guild of Organists.
Drawing in the Galleries with a Live Model
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: 1-3 p.m., Great Gallery
All supplies are provided, and no experience is necessary. All ages welcome.
Great Art Escape Live Performances
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: 2 p.m., Peristyle
Dec. 27: JP Dynasty (African drums)
Dec. 28: Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits (dramatic reading)
Dec. 29: Ardan Academy of Irish Dance
Dec. 30: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folkloric
Dec. 31: Aha Indian Dance
Jan. 1: Antivillains (This indie rock performance will take place in the Great Gallery.)
Family Flashlight Tours
Dec. 27 and 28: 4 p.m., Meet in Herrick Lobby
Say ‘goodnight’ to the Museum and take a family-friendly, after-hours tour. Guided by a docent, all visitors will be given a flashlight to see works of art in a new way – in the dark! Family group tickets are $20 for up to 5 members, or $5 for individual tickets. Space is limited; reserve your spot in advance by calling the information desks at 419-255-8000 ext. 7448 or by purchasing tickets online at eventbrite.com.
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: Open to 3 p.m., GlasSalon
Drop in the GlasSalon to create a world out of blue block sculptures, or play a game of giant chess with TMA-inspired pieces.
Big and Not So Little Workshops (ages 6-13 with adult)
Dec. 28: 10 a.m. to noon (Paint It!) and 1-3 p.m. (Sculpt It!)
Explore your imagination and creativity as a family! After viewing works in the Museum’s galleries, children and their adult partners will work together to create original artwork inspired by the collection. Sign up for one or both of these project-focused workshops and get a taste of TMA’s studio art classes. Limited seats available, register early. Tuition for one workshop: $15 members / $20 nonmembers for one adult/one child. Register online or calling 419-255-8000 ext. 7363 during Museum hours.
Family Center Visiting Artist
Dec. 30: 6 p.m., Family Center
Join Aimee Reid of Children’s Theater Workshop as she leads us through some improvisational exercises in the galleries.
Ms. Nikki’s Traveling Story Bag
Dec. 30: Noon to 2 p.m., Cloister Gallery
Join Nykiiah Wright of Ms. Nikki’s Traveling Story Bag for an interactive storytelling experience where we will be infusing the art of storytelling into the visual arts. Stop by the Family Center Dec. 27 or 29 to create your own story you can share with the audience.