Planned Parenthood wraps up condom art show with awareness

Jason Henry and Jason Henry

In honor of its 70th anniversary, Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio hosted a condom art show and competition at the Navy Bistro in Toledo last night.

PPNWO CEO Lisa Guest Perk said the point of the event was to raise awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

‘The reason we chose condoms is because 1 in 4 teenage girls has an STI by age 19. So somehow we have to get this information out.’ she said. ‘We need to be artful in our prevention, birth control is not enough, we also must use condoms.’

The show featured the work of ten artists from the area, including five University students and one Bowling Green resident. The winner of the competition was awarded $500.

Melissa Mills-Dick, the development coordinator for PPNWO, said the artists had to design three-dimensional pieces using ‘Proper Attire’ condoms.

Stephanie Neuber, a senior 3d art major, found the idea interesting and created a piece for the show.

‘It just seemed kind of fun,’ she said. ‘It was a cool design concept in a new medium.’

The decision to use condoms as a material for the art was also inspired by a condom fashion show put on by the Columbus College of Art and Design, Mills-Dick said.

The art was judged by a three-person panel comprised of Mark Folk, executive director for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo; Dr. Amy Gilman, associate curator of Modern and Contemporary Art with the Toledo Museum of Art and Mary T. Wolfe, a former art history instructor.

Daniel Mauk, a 2008 University alum with a degree in art education, entered the competition after hearing about it at Art-A-Site in Bowling Green.

‘I don’t specialize in sculpture, so it was a challenge to tackle something outside of my realm of comfort,’ he said. ‘Plus, the little boy in me giggled at the idea of having to make artwork out of condoms.’

Mauk, who lives and works in town, has participated in art shows before, but this was the first one where an idea was accepted rather than a physical piece of art, he said.

The show was the first time the art was viewed, Mills-Dick said.

Sara Busler, a sophomore Art Education Major at the University, was notified about the competition by an e-mail sent out by the Art Department.

‘I decided to get involved because it was a way to get some recognition out there,’ she said.

Her piece was inspired by the phrase ‘Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool,’ she said.

She said creating the art was awkward because there would be condoms everywhere in her living room.

‘I had to put them together at friends’ houses, my parents’ house, wherever and whenever,’ she said, though she said she has become more comfortable with it since she started working on her project.

Busler said she wants people who see the artwork will be inspired to not be as weird about condoms.

‘Hopefully, someone else will see this and maybe not be so shy about it,’ she said. ‘