Toledo art school showing off

In the basement of the Toledo Museum of Art lies a facility that has attracted a wide-range of people throughout decades. It’s a school that develops the best artists in the region and now through out May 14, they’re showcasing those talents.

The Toledo Museum of Art, School of Art and Design Winter Term Exhibition displays over 1,100 works of art from the ages 3 and up and provides reasons why art is more than just an alternative study.

The community school has been in existence for 104 years, Greg Jones, the director of the School of Art and Design said, and has been going strong providing a number of classes in all aspects of art.

When the winter term exhibit first opened on March 31, it grew a lot of attention from area spectators who wanted to catch a glimpse of what the school was about and the students and faculty said there’s been a steady stream of visitors.

Tracey Ladd, teacher, said that the attention gives the school “a real boost,” attracting interest for people to take the courses. “It’s a real positive experience for the public,” she said, “We’ve done very well and received a lot of compliments.”

Regina Jankowski, children’s teacher at the school, feels art is an important part of a child’s development and enhances cognitive thinking.

“It’s an outlet,” she said. “There’s a sense of pride that their work is on the walls of the museum and a sense of accomplishment. It adds more of an impact hanging and not just taking it home.”

Jankowski said the parents are just as excited as the students.

“They definitely want to meet all the teachers,” she said, and it “also gives parents the opportunity to see the different art at a later age.” She added that it’s common for students to stay in the school all the way through high school.

Students alike believe that art is an essential part of education.

“Art is all encompassing, you can learn a variety of different subjects through art,” Jankowski said.

Art, just like music, lasts forever, Mary Ann Boesel, a student at the school said, “And it’s just as important as math and science.”

Boesel moved from Cleveland three years ago, and believes the Toledo museum’s art courses surpass any around the area.

“Every time I walk down the hall I’m amazed,” she said. “The museum was founded on education, and today it’s the same thing.”

“Classes are great, they have a great variety and the instructors are good,” Martha Finch, another student at the School of Art and Design, said.

Tom Haines, a retired truck driver and current student, has always wanted to get back into art since his high school days within the school. While on the road, he would sketch when he found the time, and now with his free time has participated in the school’s art program.

“For the first time in my life, I can do what I want to do,” he said. “Right now; I just want to sharpen my [art] skills, after no art work in 40 years.”

Haines is astonished at the quality of work within the walls of school, stating, “the environment makes you do better ” and the work is also much better” than his first stay at the school.