Monday, May 20, 2024

A Century of Artist Sisterhood

Toledo Women’s Art League fosters community, creativity

Imagine a sisterhood of artists, each varying in skills, styles and ages, dedicated to honing artistic talent and supporting others in that same pursuit. For an entire century, the Toledo Women’s Art League (TWAL) has been that sisterhood and is one of the local art community’s longest operating organizations.

“It’s a place to meet and build relationships with other artists,” Paula Davis, a Toledo Women’s Art League member said. The League consists of a close knit group of around 25 women from across Northwest Ohio. Some women travel from as far as Findlay just to be part of this historic group. Each member practices their own artistic style and members’ ages range from 40 to 80 years old. Though there’s one thing they all have in common: their passion for creating art.

An Artists’ League of Their Own

The Toledo Women’s Art League started in 1924. The Women’s League holds monthly meetings at the Toledo Artists’ Club today, nearly 80 years later from when they started. “We love meeting at Toledo Artists’ Club because we have a place to store supplies and to connect,” Davis continued. 

This location allows for the women to establish and maintain a community with other artists, which is important as creating art can often be a lonely endeavor. To join the League, one must contact a member and ask to attend a meeting. Then the artists must bring some completed works for the League to observe, without the artist present. A group discussion will occur and if all goes well, a formal invitation will be extended to the new prospective member.

Meetings are held every third Monday of the month, between September and May. “We take the summers off,” Davis explained. The meetings take place around the noon hour and “everyone brings some goodies,” Davis said. Attendance is not mandatory in order to be part of the Toledo Women’s Art League, as some members work or care for family. There is a $10 monthly fee to stay active in the group.

Celebrating a Century

The Women’s League holds an annual spring art show where artists can submit their work to be judged and to compete for awards. This year’s theme is “Artist’s Choice,” where the women artists are encouraged to bring their best work to be viewed by the public. The showcase will be held April 14 at the Toledo Arts Club and will highlight the group’s 100th anniversary. Guests can meet the artists and even buy art on display, if the artist is willing to part with it. There are even plans to write up the history of the Toledo Women’s Art League so the community can learn about the lives and the impact of women artists from Toledo. 

The Toledo Women’s Art League will also host an exhibit, open to the public, April 3 through May 29 at the Toledo Artists’ Club within Toledo Botanical Gardens, 5403 Elmer Drive. 419-531-4079. Find the Toledo Women’s Art League on Facebook or contact Paula Davis:

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