West African drum and dance, scavenger-style gallery hunts and a Japanese fashion show are among the swirl of activities set to fill the Toledo Museum of Art’s galleries during The Great Art Escape.
The annual art-inspired winter celebration, which will take over the museum between Christmas and New Year’s Day (Dec. 26–29 and Dec. 31–Jan.1), will include a host of daily programming.
Among the highlights is “The Art of Japanese Fashion Runway Show,” hosted by Toledo-Lucas County Public Library media relations coordinator and former Blade fashion correspondent Rhonda Sewell, on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. in the GlasSalon at the Glass Pavilion. The show culminates a fashion challenge issued to area artists to create a garment inspired by the Japanese aesthetic, and will feature the designers strutting the makeshift runway while wearing their creations.
Another highlight will be a performance by Idy Ciss, principal dancer and choreographer of the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, who will appear as the special guest artist of ALMA Dance Experience Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. in the Peristyle. The group will bring the exuberance of West African drum and dance to the stage during their free performance, titled “Under the Full Moon.”
Also part of the week’s performances in the Peristyle are the Japanese beats of Bowling Green State University’s Taiko Drum Ensemble on Dec. 27 at 2 p.m. and the Middle Eastern belly dancing of Leyla and Raq the Casbah on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. Self-guided gallery hunts, drawing activities, glassblowing demonstrations, traditional Japanese storytelling and hands-on art activities will also take place daily throughout the galleries.
Admission to the museum and all of the activities is free. Parking is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.
In addition to the Great Art Escape events, visitors can enjoy their last chance to see “Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints,” which closes on Jan. 1. The exhibition’s 343 woodblock prints have not been seen in more than 80 years, and make up one of the two best collections in the United States.
For a complete schedule of Great Art Escape activities, visit the Museum’s website at www.toledomuseum.org.