A Short History of the Toledo Artists’ Club

Three individuals planted the seeds in the spring of 1943 for the formation of an artists' club in Toledo, Ohio. Maude Crabbs, Arthur MacLean, and Davis Martin, Jr. saw their vision come to fruition with 60 members and a club home at 1860 Parkwood Ave. Besides providing camaraderie, the nonprofit club sought to promote the expression and appreciation of the fine arts to its members and to the general public, a mission that continues to this day.

In the 33-year span from 1946 to 1979, the Toledo Artists' Club (TAC) grew from the original 60 members to 400, relocating several times within the Toledo Metropolitan Area. Along with its maturity and growth, participation and attendance at the Club’s exhibits expanded, and art education classes were added.

The move to the Toledo Botanical Garden in 1979 provided an opportunity for the Club to become part of a larger arts community, enabling the Club to provide further artistic development to children and adults in the Toledo and Northwest Ohio area. The Artists' Club has been active in the Toledo Botanical Garden's events, such as the Annual Arts Festival and "Heralding the Holidays."

Toledo Artists' Club programs increased as its club building in the Botanical Gardens expanded. Starting with a bare concrete block shed provided by the City of
Toledo, the club has independently raised funds to carry out several interior and exterior renovations and modifications. A gallery was added in 1992, enabling the Club to hold year-round exhibits and shows; and in 1998, a classroom was added as a resource in its art education mission.

As a result of its expansion, children's art classes and exhibits are now provided throughout the year, which includes summer camps. Adult workshops with instruction from nationally recognized artists are also now provided several times a year. Prominent area artists offer ongoing drawing and painting classes seasonally, and the classroom facilities are available for meetings, demonstrations, and critiques for the TAC and other local art organizations as well. "Studio groups" of TAC members use the classroom regularly for doing their artwork on a weekly basis.

Membership has increased steadily and enrollment in the educational offerings more than doubled during the period from 1994 to 1998. In addition to its on-site educational opportunities, the TAC sponsors an art scholarship annually at The University of Toledo.

With more than 60 years of admirable service to the Toledo Metropolitan and Northwest Ohio area, the Toledo Artists' Club has clearly been fulfilling its mission of enhancing the fine arts for its members and the community.