The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Oregon native and artist David Hart has always had a place in his heart for the ships that sail the Great Lakes. 

Living by the water as a boy, he heard ships daily. Many of these ships still inspire him today, evident in his paintings, 66 of which are on display at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

The exhibition, “David O. Hart, Great Lakes Artist,” opened to the public on May 13, and will run through June 25. All the paintings are for sale, and Hart says all the proceeds will benefit the museum and the upkeep of the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker, a restored freighter and part of the museum itself. Whichever paintings do not sell during the exhibition will be available for purchase in the museum’s gift shop.

“It is probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” Hart states. “It feels like my life has come full circle — I’m finally on a ship.”

In August of 1958, as a boy of 15, Hart was set on obtaining a job aboard the steamer ship John P. Reiss. Its captain, H. L. Radcliffe, told him he was not old enough, being under 18 years old, but invited the young Hart to come back and visit. He did, returning to the steamer every 10 days. Hart even ate lunch with the captain and the crew: meals and experiences he would never forget.

Life would take Hart in a different direction for some time. He served in the U.S. Navy, and after, he settled down to start a family. But his love of ships was always there.

It began with paint-by-number kits. As a retiree, Hart began to explore oil painting, teaching himself to create seascapes, and later, the ships of his childhood.

He’s volunteered at the National Museum of the Great Lakes and aboard the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker for five years. After recently showing his fellow volunteers a few of his paintings, they brought his talent to the attention of Paul LaMarre, III, a board member of the museum. LaMarre’s father, Paul LaMarre, Jr., was a great marine artist himself, using watercolors to create his paintings.

“Toledo has such a rich maritime history,” Hart adds. It is his wish that younger generations are informed about this history, and he hopes that his paintings can contribute to educating the public.

Hart creates his paintings by looking at photographs for visualization, since most of the ships he paints have been scrapped. He usually works on two at a time, spending between 30 and 40 hours on each.

“It’s a tribute to these ships and the men who worked on them,” Hart says of his paintings.

The exhibition at the National Museum of the Great Lakes is Hart’s first public display of his paintings. “When I see my name, David O. Hart, I can’t believe that,” Hart comments, still in awe.

Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey, will headline the 8th Annual City of Oregon Boomfest at the Grove Saturday, July 1 from noon-midnight at Oak Shade Grove, 3264 Seaman Rd., home of the German-American Festival.

Admission and parking are free for the event, which will also include food, beverages and fun activities for adults and kids.
The “Cruisin’ the Grove Car Show,” which will run from noon-4:30 p.m., will feature music from the `50s and `60s presented by DJs “The Jimmy & Bob Show.”

Live entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Arctic Clam, followed by headliner Steve Augeri at 8:30 p.m. After the fireworks at dark, 10 From 6 – Bad Company Tribute Band will perform until midnight.

Friends of the Pemberville Library will host a Garden Tour of six Pemberville homes Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Pemberville Library, 375 E. Front St., or at each of homes on the day of the tour.

Two homes are neighbors to each other on Bierly Avenue.

The first is the Long homestead at 415 Bierly, where Kim Long, his wife Teri Long and their son Chris tend their garden, which includes vegetables, apple and cherry trees, flowers and herbs.

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