Department of Art

Past Exhibitions

Check out some of the great exhibits and events presented by The University of Toledo Department of Art during recent academic years.


UToledo BFA Exhibition 2023 featuring the work of BFA studentsBFA Exhibition and Reception

Exhibition: April 7 - May 5, 2023

Reception - Friday, April 21, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join the Department of Art as we celebrate the work of our graduating BFA seniors - Lexi Moser, Joseph Boorom, and Suzy Hansen.

Juried Student EXHIBITION(JSE)Patrons attending the 2022 UToledo Juried Student Exhibition opening reception

Mar. 3 - 27, 2023

JSE Opening Reception

Friday, Mar. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Center for the Visual Arts Main Gallery

All are welcome to attend the opening reception of the 2023 UToledo Juried Student Exhibition (JSE).

The JSE is an exhibition of artwork created by UToledo students in juried competition. The competition is open to all University of Toledo students regardless of major.

2023 UToledo Juried Student Exhibition juror Brian Spolans

2023 JSE Juror

Brian Spolans

This year's juror is Brian Spolans, an artist and professor of art at Eastern Michigan University. Spolans’ work has been exhibited at 500X Gallery in Dallas, Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, Muskegon Museum of Art, International Print Center of New York, and Published in New American Paintings, Fresh Paint and Create Magazine.  He co-curated the exhibition “Post Apocalypse” at Gallery Project in Ann Arbor, and “Non-Text,” at Eastern Michigan University.


Jan. 17 - Feb. 17, 2023

Center for the Visual Arts Main Gallery

A traveling exhibition of artwork from the Kennedy Center featuring 15 artists with disabilities that considers the intersection of the creative process and disability identity. The exhibit is open to the public whenever the Center for the Visual Arts is open. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Disability Studies program.



January 2023

Greater Toledo Area

Each year, Lamar, a local outdoor advertising company, displays the work of several UToledo art students on its digital billboards throughout the greater Toledo area. Thanks to our community partner, Lamar, and the hard work of faculty member and organizer, Barry Whittaker (Department of Art), the work of our students receives well-deserved publicity and recognition. Watch for our students' work all this month.


  • Airport Hwy E of McCord Road
  • Anthony Wayne Trail at City Park
  • Anthony Wayne Trail at Western
  • Erie at Monroe
  • Erie at Anthony Wayne Trail
  • Glendale at Byrne
  • I-75 at Berdan
  • I-75 at Monroe
  • I-75 North of I-280
  • Monroe NW Corner of Laskey (facing east)
  • Monroe NW Corner of Laskey (facing west)
  • Navarre Avenue West of Wheeling
  • Reynolds NE Corner of Airport Hywy
  • Reynolds NW Corner of Glendale
  • Secor at Executive Pkwy
  • Anthony Wayne Trail North of the Zoo
  • Washington at Indiana
  • Washington SE Corner of Huron

FALL 2022

CAST Exhibit and 3D Ceramic Art Sale

Glass artwork from the 2022 UToledo CAST and 3D Ceramic Art Sale

Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 from 6-8 p.m.

Secor Building, Downtown Toledo

The Concepts in Art Studio and Theory (CAST) exhibition will be on the 6th floor and the 3D Ceramic sale will take place in the first floor foyer.  The ceramic sale proceeds will go directly to student travel to the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Art (NCECA) in March 2023. Admission free.

Joel Lipman and one of his big sheets works

axon fellow and c.v.a. exhibit Joel Lipman

"Look, Then Read: Big Sheets"

Exhibition (CVA Main Gallery)
Nov. 18, 2022 - Jan. 6, 2023

Lecture (CVA Main Gallery)
Nov. 18 at 3 p.m.

Reception (CVA Main Gallery)
Nov. 18. 6, 6-8 p.m.


The exhibit consists of enlargements of bookworks and visual poems by 2022 University of Toledo Department of Art Axon Fellow, Joel Lipman.


Words are object, material, physical shapes, marks. Within the words, specific letters, patterns of visual and aural movement, compression, gaps, extenders. Printed on a paper sheet, stitched and bound into a book, words and their component parts gather additional contexts. This assemblage of properties — page design, illustration, paper stock, color, narrative figures, numbers, decorative details — fuse into what we recognize, almost thoughtlessly, as a text.

I challenge that reflexive response, inviting a fresh, stimulating reexamination of the printed page. Media are mixed, but primarily rubber stamps, wood and metal type, printer’s cuts and a variety of found objects capable of holding and transferring water-based ink from stamp pad to paper. Papers are often found and worn. Every letter and word chosen and each fresh mark impressed upon the page is an aspect of my vision and personality as a poet dedicated to visual literature.


Appointed Lucas County’s first Poet Laureate in 2008 and Emeritus Professor of English, Joel Lipman taught Art and English for 37 years at The University of Toledo. Founding co-director of the Toledo Poets Center, Joel’s poetry honors include the Ohio Governor’s Award as an Individual Artist, Ohioana State Library Pegasus Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, 2ive Individual Artist fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Center and Indiana University’s Lilly Library.

Joel’s books and editions are limited and obscure. His small press, fine print broadsides and chapbooks include "Mercury Vapor Lamp" (Ocooch Mountain Press), "Provocateur" (Bloody Twin Press), "Machete Chemistry/Panades Physics," co-authored with Yasser Musa (Cubola New Art Foundation), "The Real Ideal" (Luna Bisante Prods), "Ransom Notes" (Obscure Publications) and the 2022 publication "from The Origins of Poetry" (Redfoxpress). Active for decades as a mail artist and visual poet, his work appears on-line at the Light & Dust Anthology of Poetry and Poetry Foundation websites. “A legendary visual poet,” as noted by the Poetry Foundation, Joel’s unique, visual poems are distinguished by publication in 2008, 2011 and 2018 by Poetry Magazine.


Exhibition (CVA Main Gallery) - Through Oct. 14, 2022
Lecture (CVA Haigh Auditorium) - Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.
Reception (CVA Main Gallery) - Oct. 6, 6-8 p.m.

Artwork 2 of painter Jeremy LongArtwork 3 of painter Jeremy Long

Jeremy Long is an associate professor in painting and drawing at Wright State University. He received his B.F.A. from The Kansas City Art Institute and his M.F.A. from The American University in Washington D.C. Long has had many exhibits across the United States. Most recently, his exhibits have been at The Hoffman LaChance Contemporary in St. Louis, The Bowery Gallery in New York City, The Linda Warren Gallery in Chicago and the Swope Museum of American Art in Terre Haute. Since 2007, he has been an active member in the painting collective Midwest Paint Group.

"Tackling the problems of creating paintings as spatial worlds rather than mere images is of interest to me. This can also be thought of as advocating thoughtfulness over excitement, or poetic meaning over novelty. The quality of light, the visceral geometry of space in depth and as a pattern on the surface in the paintings reinforces these concerns. Painting that is based on conviction and perpetual doubt is also of interest to me. The goal as I see it is to on one hand create an ordered, harmonious vision and on the other hand to understand that everything seen is relative."  - Jeremy Long

SPRING 2022 art exhibits and eventS

2022 Faculty Exhibition

Jan. 18 - Feb. 11, 2022

Reception Friday, Feb. 11 - 6-8 p.m.

Center for the Visual Arts Gallery


FALL 2021 art exhibits and eventS

Artist Kyle and Kelly Phelps at work in their studio plus close ups of two of their blue collar worker statues



Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Haigh Auditorium, CVA

The UToledo Art Department welcomes identical twin brothers and ceramics artists, Kelly and Kyle Phelps. They will present a public lecture on their work.

Much of their work is about the blue collar working-class, race relations and the everyday struggles of the common man and woman. Both Kelly and Kyle continue to work collaboratively to create their artwork and share a studio in Centerville (OH). The twins share numerous grants, regional, national, and international exhibitions, and commissions. Their work is also included in many permanent museum collections across the United States. Most notable private collectors of the twin’s work are in the hands of film director Michael Moore, and actor Morgan Freeman as well as a major reviews in the world acclaimed Ceramics Monthly, Sculpture Magazine, and American Craft Magazine.

Axon Lab Residency guest Aaron Ellison, ecologist, photographer, sculptor, woodworker, and writer


Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021

6 p.m.
Haigh Auditorium, CVA


The Ecology of Disturbance and the Representation of a Non-equilibrium World

Aaron Ellison is an ecologist, photographer, sculptor, woodworker, and writer. He has spent his scientific/intellectual career studying the disintegration and reassembly of ecosystems following natural and anthropogenic disturbances; thinking about the relationship between the Dao and the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis; and reflecting on the critical and reactionary stance of Ecology relative to Modernism. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and books, his sculptures have been exhibited at Harvard and North Carolina State Universities, and his poetry and prose has been featured in the anthologies Forest Understory: Creative Inquiry in an Old Growth Forest (2016), Weathering Change: An Art Anthology in Response to Climate Change (2018), becoming-Botanical (2019), and becoming-Feral (2021). He is the author of seven books, including A Field Guide to the Ants of New England (2012) and Vanishing Point: Poetry and Photography from the Pacific Northwest (2017).

The Axon Lab Creative Residency Program provides space and time for the selected Resident’s creative ideas, independent of discipline, to grow and add to trans-disciplinary dialogues. The residency is underpinned by a commitment to inclusivity and diversity in all aspects of selection and support. 

SPRING 2021 art exhibits and eventS


The B.F.A. Exhibition is an annual celebratory exhibit of the finest work of UToledo students graduating this semester with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art.


ART 1060 - Foundations of 3D Design

Students were tasked with developing a birdhouse design inspired by their chosen artist.
Faculty - Brian Carpenter and Julia Labay



Spring 2021

This exhibition represents the work of nine students in the Spring 2021 Advanced Photo Projects class. Unlike most art classes, Advanced Photo Projects allows students to develop a body of work over the entire semester. Students were given the freedom to explore the content, style, and technique of their choice; these images are the results of their ongoing investigations.  The exhibition is sponsored by our industry partner, Legion Paper, who generously provided the Moab inkjet paper students experimented with throughout the semester and used for the final exhibition prints.  



Games and Artistry Series

Spring 2021 - Talks Available to View on YouTube

The UToledo Department of Art is hosting a series of 3 virtual talks with artists from the video gaming world. The Games and Artistry Series will feature the artists below. The free series was organized by Art faculty Dr. Jason Cox, assistant professor of art education, and Barry Whittaker, associate professor of art and new media design practices.

Davionne Gooden

Series Talk: 

Image with a photo of gaming artist Davionne Gooden and a character from his work

Davionne Gooden is a Cleveland-based game developer, filmmaker, photographer, and creative director at Studio Zevere. He has been involved in the games industry for over a decade and is currently hard at work on his studio’s debut title She Dreams Elsewhere, set to release for PC and consoles in 2021. He has also been featured in The New York Times, Kotaku, Paste, Game Informer, and Polygon, among others. He aims to tell stylish, culturally relevant, and emotionally rich stories from new perspectives, while empowering others to express their own creative voice.

Paloma Dawkins

Series Talk:

Image with a photo of gaming artist Paloma Dawkins and a sample of her work

Paloma Dawkins' games have been featured at world-renowned festivals such as Manchester International Festival, MUTEK and more, and won awards at the Canadian Screen Academy Awards, Fantasia, FIVARS, Cinekid, NUMIX, and North Bend Festival. Dawkins' games are praised for being digital spaces that celebrate natural life and rhythms. The worlds she creates in her games are spaces that incite creative thinking and wonder. Oceanarium carries on these themes and further invites us to be inspired by otherworldly scenes and scenarios, hypnotizing sounds and visual details, trippy patterns, quirky characters and cosmic poetry.

Banana Chan

Series Talk:

Image with a photo of gaming artist Banana Chan and a sample of her work

Banana Chan is a Chinese-Canadian/American board and roleplaying game designer and writer, and the owner of the tabletop games publishing company, Game and a Curry. Her latest work has been with Scooby-Doo: Betrayal at Mystery Mansion, Sea of Legends, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, Dune: RPG, and Warp's Edge. You can find her on Twitter at @bananachangames and information on Game and a Curry at

fall 2020 art exhibits and events

C.A.S.T. Exhibition

Fall 2020

C.A.S.T. Artists' Statements

Tenayah Bowmer

Pascal (soft sculpture and mixed media) Pascal lives in the magical Yoko forest with his dear friends, Jeremy and Chris. One day, the Great Bear Spirit visits them and falls deeply in love with their house. The Bear places a curse on them, trapping the friends in their own furry prisons. To win back their house and escape the clutches of the Great Bear Spirit, they must sacrifice 7 Yoko deer. This is a story of love, loss, and magic.

Joe DuPuis

Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time (acrylic on canvas) This series is a visual accompaniment to a music project created by Leyland Kirby called Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of time. The album tackles themes of dementia by re-contextualizing a collection of 1930-40 era ballroom music samples that slowly degrade and warp over the course of a grueling six and a half hours. The process of creating these paintings involves taking photos and ai generated images, vectorizing them, and using a paint-by-numbers system that takes music notes and converts them into colors on the color wheel. For example, G equals red, E equals yellow, and A# equals indigo. The paintings themselves are a mix of memories from the past and present and are made from unoriginal images, much like how the music of the album is comprised of manipulated samples. Memories become hazy and unclear before becoming jumbled and confused messes then finally become non-existent, coming to the point of forgetting forgetting.

Hope Elaaser

Putrefaction (fabric, embroidery floss, buttons, yarn) We live our whole lives making decisions. Some may wonder when they’ll choose their last, while some throw caution to the wind—forgetting how fragile we are, turn a blind eye to the decay surrounding us. This work represents the bloating and active decay stages where the tissue starts to liquefy, and the skin darkens as a reminder of our fragility.

Dane Gayle

YOUARENOWHERE  (plexiglass, metal, wood, plastic, carpet) My work explores the effects of liminal spaces and why an individual feels a quality of ambiguity and disorientation in between the familiar-unfamiliar. Influenced by the artistic elements of light, space, and dimension, YOUARENOWHERE is an investigation through miniatures and contained spaces that provokes a sense of deja vu. Offset by one core set piece missing (or added to) either miniature, the works serve as more of a feeling of misplaced normalcy rather than a spectacle.

Yitzhak Geiser

The Final Judgement Defaced (archival pigment print) Since a young age I have been curious and intrigued by the act of defacement. Defacement has been a part of human history for thousands of years — an act of rebellion and a form of communication. This distortion and physical manipulation includes graffiti, altering paintings, and dismembering parts of sculptures. I am interested in this act of “spoiling” a surface as a means of discovery and as an act of reexamining existing imagery and form.

Lindsay Haynes

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (pom poms, tinsel, faux fur) Through my work I explore the relationship between color, texture, nostalgia, and childlike feelings and memories. The combination of pom poms and tinsel creates a mesmerizing, visual feast. The piece opens the door to a long forgotten dimension of the imagination. Look deep, and watch as it absorbs you and floods your mind with curiosity and wonder.

Aaron Montano

Space Exploration (wood, paint) Gallery spaces are important in creating an environment made for artwork to occupy. My work uses the gallery to disrupt and explore the existing space. My work is a visual communication that reinforces the parameters of the gallery space.

Ryenne Rowan

Of Love and Hair (magazine paper and glue) I have always found myself interested in shapes and how they can be used to build form. My cut-paper-collages are created from hours of combing through black targeted magazines for less represented skin colors and tones. These cut-paper-collage works explore the storytelling of black women and how hair care and ritual can be used as a rite of passage. The jump between squirming against the comb between my mother’s legs and quietly sitting in the salon chair is one that often goes undiscussed.

Katie Stevenson

Sound of Mental Health (wood, hemp twine, plexiglass, psychiatric medication) In my work I explore the relationship between people with mental health diagnoses and pharmaceutical drugs. These can alter one’s mind state for either the good or the bad. I want this piece to be interactive to allow the viewer to shake the sculpture. This may help the viewer to recognize how even the sound of pharmaceuticals shaking changes depending on the individual.

Jane Sullivan

Fear and anger (water color) The reaction to emotions can manifests in dynamic ways. This body of work explores my connection between fear, color, anger and form.

Kara Thornton

Panthera Pardus Orientalis 1996 (wax, heat, and film) Once a species goes on to the endangered list they seldom get removed. Humans have increased the speed of extinction up to ten-thousand times the normal rate. When humans start destroying the habitats of other species, it not only affects the local environment, it creates a ripple effect across the globe. It is our job to find better ways of sustainability, before we cause more animals to become extinct.

Taya Yarzand

Carpet of Reflections (mirror, vinyl, light) In this work, I explore my cultural identity as an Iranian living in the United States. Iranian culture formed most aspects of my identity and now living in the US, another layer has been added. Uprooting in Iran, a country that has political conflicts with United States, the country that I am re-grounding in, feels like I am floating in space and I do not fully belong to either of them. This work is inspired by a tile pattern on the ceiling of a historical building in Iran that emerges from my memories. As these memories interact with more recent experiences in the world beyond Iran, the visual patterns they evoke become more complicated; the synthesis of unity and variety functions as a reflection of the entanglements of my own duality.

spring 2020 art events


Spring 2020

The BFA Exhibition is an annual celebratory exhibit of the finest work of UT students graduating this semester with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art. Note: to see a larger image of the booklet's pages, click the full screen icon in the upper right hand corner of the booklet page.


 Download a PDF of the 2020 B.F.A. Student Exhibition


Last Updated: 9/13/23