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Art Demonstrations, Experiences, Hands-On Activities, Kids' Programming, Music

The Great Art Escape

Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 • 10:00 am — Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 • 4:00 pm
Free with some ticketed activities.
Toledo Museum of Art
Adults, Family, Members, Seniors

The Toledo Museum of Art comes alive during its annual winter celebration The Great Art Escape. Bring family and friends to celebrate the season with a diverse array of events and regional performance groups from Toledo that fill the galleries, Glass Pavilion, and Peristyle from Dec. 26 to 29, Dec.31, and Jan. 1.

The Great Art Escape is sponsored in part by: 


Admission to the Great Art Escape is FREE; admission for special exhibitions, some programs and parking apply. Register online at or by phone by calling (419) 255-8000 ext. 7448 during Museum hours.


Current Exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions organized by the Museum’s curators are sure to delight visitors of all ages.


Anila Quayyum Agha: Between Light and Shadow

Beginning October 19 | Galleries 4, 5 and 9

The Toledo Museum of Art presents three gallery-sized installations by Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha that create awe-inspiring spaces from intricate patterns of light and shadow, evoking the sacred, while also raising questions of exclusion and belonging. Taking the form of a small house, This is Not a Refuge! 2 provokes conversation about the loss of family and land due to displacement and resettlement. Based on the octahedron and tetrahedron geometric shapes, The Greys in Between is inspired by Islamic architectural motifs found in communal spaces like mosques and historic sites. Agha, who was born in Lahore, Pakistan, won top honors at ArtPrize 2014, the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her ArtPrize entry, Intersections, is the first work to capture both the Public and Juried Grand Prizes and will complete the presentation of Agha’s work in Toledo.


Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water

Beginning December 14 | Canaday Gallery

Yayoi Kusama’s artistic practice spans seven decades, and her paintings, sculpture, and installations have left an indelible mark on both the art world and 20th and 21st century popular culture at large. The unbound creativity and complexity of Kusama’s own psyche has exerted a strong influence on the artist and her practice throughout her life. Fireflies on the Water speaks to Kusama’s ongoing investigation into the relationship between ourselves, the space that we occupy, and the ungraspable concept of infinity. Visitors will be allowed to take part in this site-specific installation that utilizes lights and mirrors to transport viewers to a space that seems endlessly expansive. Toledo Museum of Art’s presentation of Fireflies on the Water will allow our audiences the opportunity to experience Kusama’s unique and singular vision first-hand and afford them the chance to partake in a work that stands as an icon of contemporary visual art, created by one of the most significant contemporary artists of our time.


Demos, Activities & Entertainment

Work with our Glass Instructors to create your very own frosty glass.  Apply stickers and decals to a clear glass or mug that will be frosted to reveal your own unique designs; then take your creation over to the Glass Pavilion Café for a special treat. Tickets for 1 child + accompanying adult are $20 for Museum members, $25 for nonmembers. All ages welcome. Sponsored in part by Libbey, Inc.

  • Saturday, Dec. 28: noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 29: noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.



Wednesday, Jan. 1: noon–3 p.m., Great Gallery

As part of the annual Great Art Escape, celebrate (Re)New Year's Day by participating in a one-of-a-kind experience inspired by art, reflection and movement. Learn the basic rhythms and history of Afro Cuban Dance with instructor Lisa McCall. Enjoy a kombucha tasting and healthy snacks in the Cloister throughout the event while seeking inspiration for the year ahead. (Re)New Year's Day is presented by Circle, the Toledo Museum of Art's affinity group dedicated to inclusive and innovative programming that engages new audiences with the Museum.

Circle is sponsored in part by ProMedica and HCR ManorCare.

Advanced registration is required for dance sessions at; admission is a suggested $5 donation at the door.



2 p.m., Peristyle Stage

  • Thursday, Dec. 26: JP Dynasty
  • Friday, Dec. 27: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folkorico
  • Saturday, Dec. 28: Dancers of Aha! Indian Dance
  • Sunday, Dec. 29: Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31: Ardan Academy of Irish Dance
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1: The AntiVillains (GlasSalon)



11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Gallery 24

  • Thursday, Dec. 26: Dr. Pamela Stover
  • Friday, Dec. 27: Cecile Baughman
  • Saturday, Dec. 28: Nancy Russell
  • Sunday, Dec. 29: Dennis Blubaugh (1 p.m. only)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31: Martha Esbin
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1: Dr. Ed Duling
GLASSBLOWING DEMOS: Fables and Fairy Tales

Glass Pavilion Hot Shop

Join our team of glass artists as they create whimsical pieces inspired by your favorite childhood stories.

  • Thursday, Dec. 26: 1, 2, 3, and 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 27: 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 28: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 29: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1: 1, 2, and 3 p.m.



During Museum hours, Great Gallery

Bring along family, friends and try to checkmate among the grandest works of art. Created in the Family Center by Justin Overholt with help from Jones Leadership Academy Chess Club, Family Center Visitors and other community members.


GLASS ART WORKSHOPS: Glass Pavilion Hot-Shop



Celebrate the first days of winter by creating a wintery scene or a family memory book inspired by the works of art in the Museum.

  • Thursday, Dec. 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 27: noon-8 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Dec. 28: noon-5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 29: noon-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.



Friday, Dec. 27, 6-7 p.m., Family Center

Meet artist Amy Sweeney and learn the art of scrapbooking as a way to document special occasions in a fun and creative way.



12-2 p.m., Galleries

Using the TMA Collection as inspiration, join us as we draw in the galleries. Facilitated by an art instructor, all drawing supplies provided. No experience necessary. All ages welcome!