Uptown and Downtown Toledo joined together to hold their final Art Walk of the summer season. The Arts Commission of Toledo premiered these events during the second Thursday of each summer month. For three hours of these evenings, local artists display their work on street corners and inside storefronts of restaurants and artist galleries. As I peruse down to the block of St. Clair and Washington, I begin to witness an unfamiliar world unfolding before me. The variety of works is inspiring. Creations made from paint, metal, glass, and textiles are in abundance. The people walk in and out of the shops with artwork in hand, and a drink in the other. There seems to be something in the air, and the patrons are thriving from the abundance of radiating energy.
The Uptown Association made its first appearance in the Art Walk series this summer by including areas of Uptown Toledo into the mix. Specifically, the Art Walk stretches from 11th Street to the Ottawa Tavern on Adams. According to local artist and member of the Uptown Association Events Committee, Jesse Heider, "I think it was pretty successful. This was a good summer for Uptown, and the Art Walks helped shed light for our area." Being a resident of Uptown Toledo, Heider can easily recognize the creative impact such art events have made for her part of town. The Glass City has been striving towards stimulating the economy, as well as improving the overall ambiance in recent years. The arts have inevitably contributed to this ongoing success.
Heider, an Uptown native, actively participates in the Art Walks as well as other local events. There is no doubt that her work is unique in nature; she uses terrariums as her medium. This is a self-sustaining ecosystem which may contain moss, rocks or plants that can survive in this environment. Heider also uses preserved botanicals in her jewelry, given the small scale with which she works. "Tiny Terras" really took off two years ago, and has made leaps in growth ever since. When asked where her inspiration comes from, Heider replied that it comes from her father: "As a kid I was always interested in terrariums, and my dad was the one who gave me the information I needed." She and her father share the same love for nature and the life it contains. Heider creates earrings, necklaces and bracelets that make up most of her business. In addition to the various art events in town, Heider creates custom work which can be seen on her Facebook page. Here you can also find a link to her Etsy account where purchases may be made.
The City of Toledo is definitely not scarce in what it has to offer residents and visitors, and the art community makes certain no one forgets this. "More and more artists have emerged from the city, and these events are their outlets," says Heider. "We're like a community within a community." With the implementation of numerous events annually, the art scene in both Downtown and Uptown is a trendy place to be. On November 16th, make sure to check out the "Make it Indie" Crafter Fair being held in Uptown Toledo. You can catch Jesse Heider here along with other local artists. For more information on this specific event and others visit www.theartscommission.org.