After two of his clay sculptures were accepted in the Now Wow Project, Joe Rohrman packed up his car and traveled from Indianapolis to Sylvania to meet Scott Hudson, owner of the Hudson Gallery.
At this point, Hudson had only seen photographs of the entries, but noticed immediately Rohrman had driven three-and-a-half hours with the wrong pieces.
“I wanted to crawl under whatever rug he had and just disappear,” Rohrman said.
Because of the similarities between works, Hudson allowed the pieces to be featured in the Now Wow Project, which is on display at the Hudson Gallery until April 23.
The juried exhibition was a nationwide call to artists and received close to 500 entries, Hudson said. The entries were then narrowed down by Thomas Hilty, the former director of the Bowling Green State University School of Art, who chose the 45 works on display by 35 artists. The selection process took about a day and a half, Hudson said.
Hilty said he was “excited to judge the art.”
The Now Wow Project is the first time an all-media showcase was welcomed at the Hudson Gallery, owned by Hudson and his wife, Barbara. The contest created an “eclectic collection” and “very solid show,” Hudson said. The display includes sculpted glass, paintings, drawings, photographs and more.
The featured art is from all across the United States, but a handful is from local artists from Toledo, Bowling Green and Detroit.
“It’s a feast for the eyes,” Hudson said. “There is a lot of art up.” Hudson said the gallery, which he opened in 2003 on North Main Street in Sylvania, is not usually as full as it is right now.
Jan Crooker of Pennsylvania, whose painting “Stacked Up” is featured in the gallery, wanted to enter the contest because of her close ties to the area; she graduated from the University of Toledo in 1971. She said it was nice to be back in a Toledo gallery for the first time since she graduated. She teaches drawing at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.
Rohrman said he was impressed with the Hudson Gallery.
“I’ve been to a bunch over the years,” Rohrman said. “This one was superior.”
Rohrman owns a ceramics studio, but shuts down when the weather gets too cold. It is during these months that he looks to feature his clay sculptures in galleries.
The Hudson Gallery sponsored an open house March 26, where some artists talked about their work. Toledo artist Scott Horn attended the event to talk about his abstract painting “Lawn Mines.”
“I paint even when I have no idea what to paint,” Horn said. He said he sometimes just moves paint around on a canvas until he finds a direction to go. He described his art as “experimental.”
Awards were given to select artists as well, chosen by Hilty. Rohrman’s sculpture “Voyeur” won a Merit Award. Julia and Robin Rogers of Royal Oak, Mich., won the “Best of Show” award for their glass sculpture “Bird Woman and Salmon.” Local artists Tom Marino of Toledo and Nadine Saylor of Bowling Green were also recognized.