In November 2009, River House Arts opened on Perrysburg’s waterfront. Since, co-owners and married couple, Paula Baldoni and William Jordan, have curated more than 30 impressive exhibitions and have worked with almost 50 artists.
In January 2016, River House Arts will leave the historic Perrysburg building and relocate to downtown Toledo.
“We are very appreciative of Perrysburg and don’t think we would have been as successful anywhere else,” said Baldoni. “This community has been really supportive. But now it feels like we need to move to a more central location, one that will help us promote the entire region as a thriving arts center.”
Originally, the couple’s shared love for art led them to transform the building that first housed Jordan’s photography studio into a fine arts gallery that emphasized stunning, contemporary exhibitions of local artists. “We kept hearing about fantastic artists who lived and worked here, as professional artists, but weren’t really showing their work here. We knew we wanted to change that. We want to show the best.”
A journey midstream
Since its inception, River House Arts has become intimately acquainted with staple Toledo artists, like the late Edith Franklin, as well as welcomed and guided a new generation of younger artists, such as Sandra Jane Heard, Kristine Rumman, Adam Sanzenbacher, and Josh Byer. “Toledo doesn’t have a culture of artists under gallery representation, but we really enjoy spending time working with the artists, watching them develop a body of work, and supporting the direction they want to go,” explained Baldoni.
River House Arts’ mission to provide a clean, clear gallery to artists will provide a much-needed space in downtown. Unlike boutique galleries, which rotate shows but maintain stable work within the gallery, River House Arts’ more traditional method of starting new for every show allows for artworks not to be compromised by competing visions. “The artist can look at the space, see how their work is going to fit in the space. It is a boost to the artist— having a solo show is very significant” explained Baldoni.
Transitions and transformations
Until River House Arts secures a downtown location, Baldoni and Jordan will keep busy by working with Owens Community College to help direct exhibitions in the Walter E. Terhune Gallery. Most recently, River House Arts announced a Call For Artists to participate in a forthcoming, juried exhibition. Allowing artists to jump off from the abstract concept, the themed exhibition, Borders, will be judged by arts writer, Sarah Rose Sharp, who has written extensively on Midwest artists. “I’m really excited about the juror for our upcoming show,” said Baldoni. “I am always encouraging artists to enter juried exhibitions. I tell them to look at the juror and think ‘do you want to get your work in front of them?’ Sharp is so about the Midwest, so this is a perfect fit.”
River House Arts is accepting submissions for Borders through February 1, 2016. The Perrysburg location will be open, hosting a holiday and moving sale of all contemporary, 20th, and 18th century works through Friday, January 15.
11am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday, and by appointment
River House Arts, 115 W. Front St., Perrysburg
419-874-8900 | river-house-arts.com