Art meets garden at 49th Crosby Festival of the ArtsWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
by Michelle Li, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
On June 28 and 29, Toledo Botanical Garden will display the work of more than 200 artists for the 49th annual Crosby Festival of the Arts.
Beginning at 10 a.m. June 28, the public can admire and purchase works representing 10 categories — including jewelry, ceramics, painting, and sculpture — for an $8 general admission fee. Toledo Botanical Garden members and children younger than 12 are free.
Matt Killam, marketing and events manager for the Garden, said that for Toledo’s size, the variety of art appearing at the festival is outstanding.
“I’m proud to say that we represent local artists as much as possible, but it is a nationwide exhibit,” he said. “It’s kind of neat to walk through an art festival in Toledo, Ohio, and have 46 states represented.”
Visitors also have the option to attend the Preview Gala Party on June 27. Tickets, available online for $75 each, include an all-you-can-eat dinner.
Mr. Killam said the preview party provides a unique opportunity to interact more closely with the artists.
“It’s an outdoor cocktail party with fine art you can walk through, uninhibited by large crowds,” he said.
Both the festival and its preview party will feature live music. Food will also be available for festival-goers throughout the weekend.
Killam said he believes this atmosphere makes the festival a “full family experience.”
“It’s a really good way to see a lot of fine art that’s approachable,” he said. “It’s a garden, which on the outside might appear not to be for children, but that’s not how we feel about it. The event really runs the full gamut, and we’re proud to have that experience.”
For those who need transportation to the festival, a free shuttle service will be available from the Meijer located at 7240 W. Central Ave.
Upon arriving at the festival, visitors can obtain maps illustrating the locations of different artists and mediums, which are spread throughout the entire garden.
While Toledo Botanical Garden presents more challenges than a more straightforward fairground-style venue, Killam said the value the garden brings to the festival is worth the extra effort in layout design.
“Because there’s a lot of moving pieces to it, it’s a really organic — if you’ll excuse a pun — event,” he said. “The truth of the matter is, the garden means so many different things to so many different people.”
For the artists, those meanings come to life in the work they display. At the festival, they have the opportunity to sell their works as well as win awards from a jury panel.
“This is the largest juried outdoor art show around,” Killam said. “You might find something you’re missing for your home, but even just putting your eyes on them is really neat.”
He added that he is already looking forward to next year’s 50th anniversary festival.
“We try to pay homage to what we’ve done before that’s been classically well-received, but also move it forward in a direction that people find neat, approachable and exciting,” he said. “It’s a long-standing [event] in the Toledo area. There’s something for everybody, and at a time when people are desperately looking for inexpensive ways to enrich their lives, I think that this event really brings that to them.”
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 28 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 29.
For more information, visit www.toledogarden.org.
Tags: 49th annual Crosby Festival of the Arts, ceramics, Crosby Festival of the Arts, festival, jewelry, marketing and events manager, Matt Killiam, painting, Preview Gala Party, sculpture, Toledo Botanical Garden