The End of an Era—Bozarts/The F.A.R.M. Closes Its Galleries

. July 31, 2018.
Bozarts' own Jerry Gray center (in blue) of the party, as per usual.
Bozarts' own Jerry Gray center (in blue) of the party, as per usual.

The F.A.R.M., formerly Bozarts, will be closing it’s gallery and performance space after nine solid years. From gallery shows, poetry readings, theater performances, Media Decompression (movie nights), Art Loops, soul-baring concerts, serious-not-serious basketball tourneys, and old school cookouts, the space is a special place for many.bozarts-eight-gee-mon-fee

One of downtown Toledo’s independent galleries for fine art—a place of cross-pollination for Glass City’s burgeoning indie art scene—Bozarts is beholden to nobody. Gallery shows for owner Jerry Gray (Bozarts Fine Art and Music Gallery) were an opportunity to unite people under the creative flag, where performance and art appreciation were the norm.

In 2014 Gray passed the flag on to now owner, Anthony McCarty (The F.A.R.M., Fine Art, Recreation, Music), who carried on the creative tradition through the ensuing years. Part workshop and artist studio, part public gallery, Bozarts/The F.A.R.M. enlightened lives in Toledo’s warehouse district.IMG_0451

Left to right: Ben Langlois, Yusuf Lateef, Jerry Gray, Dustyn Bork, Carli Dahl, Ryan Bunch, and Phillip Kaplan.

Left to right: Ben Langlois, Yusuf Lateef, Jerry Gray, Dustyn Bork, Carli Dahl, Ryan Bunch, and Phillip Kaplan.

Gallery hangs

Bozarts Gallery was filled top to bottom with original works from regional visual artists. “Bozarts was open and producing almost monthly exhibitions for nearly six years and a series of weekly exhibitions called ‘A Series of One Night Stands.’ I never had a contract with a single one of my artists. Everything was done with a handshake,” explains Gray. The list of veteran Bozarts artists is a stunning reminder of Toledo’s talent. “We tried to be true to the artist’s ideals…”

Throughout the years, visual artists of all mediums started getting involved with the space. Gray adds, “We would invite friends to utilize Bozarts as a communal studio space during the hard months of winter and have a big exhibition in April.”

“Collaborations on individual pieces, great conversation, and just good times…was something…to look forward to during long cold winters in Toledo.”

Gray relates another memory, at the four year anniversary party, “the lawn was filled with…artists with a mural going up across the front of the building, music scheduled all day…it rained all day…turning the yard into a mud pit. But there were little girls in sundresses splashing and everyone that came had a good time and bonded in that storm. I think those kids splashing and making the best of that day personified something I can’t quite grasp but love about Toledo, my Toledo anyways.”

Jerry Gray.

Jerry Gray.

Cha cha cha changes

Visual artist Anthony McCarty remembers the first time he got hooked up with Gray, “I was introduced to Jerry in 2009 by Ryan Bunch. Jerry began hosting an exhibition every month. His original vision was to create a space where under-represented but talented artists could showcase themselves via a solo exhibition, which was hard to come by in Toledo at the time. The result was astounding! The experience was exhilarating and a fire was truly lit inside me.”

Anthony McCarty.

Anthony McCarty.

In 2015 Gray, deciding to make a life change, moving out of Ohio, and McCarty chose to keep the space alive renaming it, The F.A.R.M. “At the time a lot of local music venues had closed for various reasons. I was being asked daily by musicians if they could set up performances at the FARM. I would allow the groups to organize the event, sometimes consisting of upwards of 20 groups performing in one night. Now instead of music accompanying visual art it was the other way around.” The F.AR.M. hosted concerts, inside and out, while McCarty continually made repairs and improvements to the building.

Moving on

In early 2018 McCarty was informed that the property owners were in talks to sell the building. That development prompted McCarty to throw an all-out party celebrating the life, and closing of the space. For the closing celebration, the space will be filled with artwork. All artists from previous gallery shows have been asked to display several pieces of artwork. Video installations will offer a visual time capsule of memories from past events. Musicians will be featured along with visual artists, including live sculpture, a collaborative mural and painting.

Gray explains, “I would just like to say thank you to the artists, musicians, friends and community as a whole who really embraced Bozarts and helped to create an environment where people of all kinds came together to share and communicate with one another in a positive, supporting way and to simply enjoy what we had there. It was just amazing…”

Artists, History

Through the efforts of Jerry, Tony and others, Bozarts Fine Art and Music Gallery became well known and well loved. Visual artists that exhibited art during those five years include: Anthony McCarty, Doug Kampfer, Josh Byers (60 Watt Funnel), Jefferson Nelson, Yusuf Lateef, Doug Curtis (Simrit), Richard Reed, Kerry Krow, Lauren Pfund, Jen Dayton, Keith Hasenbalg, Adam Russell, Kelly (Lever) Russell, Chris Rogers, Elliot Rogers, Nate Hartman, Helen Grubb, Jeremy Link, Dustin (Upso) Hostetler, Jason Vahle,
Paul Vasser, Mr. Atomic, Mark Moffett, Dave Mcyntire, Don King, Jesse Morales, Lindsey Wiseman, Kristen Llewellyn, Jennifer Keller, Justin Fuller, Angel Alonzo, Tim Ide, Zak Brodbeck, Dustyn Bork, Matt Taylor, Jake Sharbach, Micah Lindenberger, Justin Paat, Luke Ellison, Michael Ziggler and many others that I sincerely apologize to them for not be able to remember at the moment.

Open house hours, August 3-5 | Friday, 6-10 pm, Saturday 2-10 pm and Sunday 1-6pm.

Parking at the Toledo Farmers’ Market.
The F.A.R.M. | 151 S St Clair St
914-886-5174 | facebook.com/thefarmtoledo