Friday, October 7, 2022

Bored? Think Outside Of The (Art) Box

Open Art box
Each box contains a “mystery mix” bag from Scrap4Art

Fill the Art-Loop-shaped hole in your life with the recently launched program of The Arts Commission. Connecting local artists and the community,  Art Boxes, an Art Loop initiative, provide art supplies and projects conceived by seven different Toledo artists.

“There are several art boxes happening around the country with similar concepts,” explains Art Loop Manager Natalie Tranelli-Jacobs. “We took that idea and tailored it to . . . best suit our community.”

On the first pick-up day for the pilot box, there were over 100 people who purchased one. 

A peek inside

This $30 box has seven items, a “mystery mix” bag from Scrap4Art, and a booklet featuring seven project prompts from local artists. The supplies are easy to use for artists of all ages and skill levels, and a few of the artists have posted free online tutorials, allowing folks to use items that they have at home to participate.

Art Commission Boxes can be purchased on the Arts Commission website, and picked up the following Wednesday afternoon at The Commission’s offices The pilot box include projects from local artists Mercé Culp, John Lightle, Lydia Yant, Gyona Rice, Alison Benbow, Jonie McIntire, and Imani Lateef.

“We chose illustrators, cartoonists, graphic designers and one poet for this first box,” adds Tranelli-Jacobs. “We hope to do future iterations, but for this first pilot we stayed with a similar type of medium.” That makes it easier for the supplies to work well with multiple projects.

For updates on what to expect for August, check out the Arts Commission website and their Facebook page, where you will also find promotions of variations on the current box from week-to-week.

“We have a YouTube page with the lessons from each artist for people to view,” says Tranelli-Jacobs. “And we will keep adding to it as the weeks go by, so that there are always more things to learn using your box or using what you have at home.”

Our vibrant Toledo

Once you have completed a project or two from your box, you can post photos of your work on Instagram at #myvibranttoledo, which will connect artists of all levels across the community. While the once monthly Art Loop events have been suspended, it’s encouraging to utilize socially distant methods to be creative together.

“It’s a way for the flavors of all of Toledo to be able to gather and be creative in a space,” Tranelli-Jacobs says. “That’s hugely important— making sure everyone feels like the city is theirs, that they can celebrate it. Hopefully, this box will be a way to reconnect with one another.”

Purchase your Art Box for $30 at and also find select projects for free via PDF downloads and YouTube videos. Donate an Art Box to Toledo families through the Creative Placemakingprogram. Email questions to

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