The Ashton House Museum of Carrollton

Mr. John H. Ashton started working in a variety store when just 12 years of age and continued his career in retail until his death at 99 years old in 2005. His late wife, Evelyn, and John were not just successful business-people in their community but were dedicated to serving the community outside of their business.

John H. Ashton graduated from Spencerville High School in 1924 and then later from the Lima Business College in 1925.

John and Evelyn, at one time, owned all or part of eleven different Ben Franklin Stores. Additionally, John H. Ashton was a dedicated member of the community in his adopted hometown of Carrollton. John H. Ashton was a founder of the Carrollton Chamber of Commerce and an original member of the Carrollton Civic Club. He was also a member of the Carrollton Rotary club, the Carrollton Village Fire Department, the Elks club, the local Masons, the Carrollton and Spencerville Historical Societies, he served on the Carrollton Boy Scout Committee and he was a 30-year board member of the Cummings Bank.

The Ashtons will certainly be missed by Carrollton and the surrounding communities but their legacy will live on through their contributions and through the museum created in their name. This museum will include items from the Ashton’s family history. Some dating as far back as the early 1800’s. The museum will also include items of a historic or nostalgic nature from Carrollton, the community the Ashtons loved so much.

Items from the Ashton’s personal collection will include their Hummel collection, Anri, their Wade figurines as well as Knowles, Hibel and Bing and Grondahl plates. Also their Haviland dishware from Limoge, France. There will also be, for the sports fans, items from the Kentucky Derby and The Ohio State Buckeyes going back to the 1940’s. There will also be vintage holiday postcards from the early 1900’s, political paraphernalia and vintage toys and games. The museum will even include vintage TV and radio shows playing in the museum that visitors can sit and enjoy.

Akron Art Museum Presents: Open World, an Exhibit Inspired by Video Games

Millions of people world-wide play video games. Some of these gamers are also visual artists. Even so, the contemporary art world has rarely explored the influence of video games on current visual art.

The exhibit Open World, curated and presented at the Akron Museum of Art, seeks to explore the culture of video games through works including sculpture, painting, prints, textiles, drawings, video games, animation, modded video games, and performances.

Open World treats patrons with artworks which focus on all kinds of video games—everything from early text-based games, to classic arcade games to modern MMORPGs (that’s massively multi-player online role-playing game for the uninitiated) and the ever-popular first-person shooter. Artists included in the exhibit draw their inspiration from some of the most beloved franchises worldwide such as Final Fantasy, The Sims, Super Mario Bros. and the Legend of Zelda.

The exhibition’s namesake is in reference to games that employ an “open-world” platform in which players can, sometimes endlessly, roam the virtual world of the game free of any particular quest or mission. “Open world” also stands for the voice given to players and creators by means of the immense and unfamiliar worlds in which gamers and creators make themselves heard.

As does the exhibit, video games offer and encourage a unique viewpoints through diverse characters and encourage critical thinking.
The exhibit is in place until February 2nd.

The Toledo of Museum of Art Presents: Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water

The Toledo Museum of art has spent the past couple of years cultivating an exhibition program that has several goals: to embrace the celebration of singular masterworks; demonstrate its commitment to global contemporary art; to promote diverse viewpoints; to put on emphasis on multi-sense art projects and installations.

These elements are all present in the breath taking installation by Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water. The installation was sponsored by the Toledo Museum of Art and through a loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Yayoi Kusama’s artistic career spans seventy years. Her sculptures, paintings and installations have left an impression on the art world in two different centuries. Kusama’s inner self has influenced her practice and her art.

Fireflies on the Water explores Kusama’s longtime investigation of the intersection between the self, the spaces our selves occupy and the incalculable idea of infinity.
Visitors are allowed to be a part of the site-specific installation that uses lights and mirrors to take viewers to a space that seems infinite.

The Toledo Museum of Art invites visitors to experience Kusama’s extraordinary vision of the endless firsthand. Participants will experience a work that stands alone as an icon of contemporary art created by one of the post inspired artist of our time.

The installation will be on display until April 26th.

National Road and Zane Grey Museum

At the National Road and Zane Grey Museum you can learn about US 40 which is the old National Road once known as the Main Street of America. At the museum you can explore the Westerns and novels of famous Ohioan author Zane Grey (of Zanesville, Ohio) and see the artful pottery that this region of Ohio is famous for.

Learn about the history of the road from construction to transportation, wagons to cars and more. The exhibit demonstrates with period objects what is would have been to like to travel on the Main Street of America during the early 19th century to the mid 20th century. The 136 foot long exhibit is quite educational.

The Main Street of America was the busiest route west and traveled from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. Construction on the road began in 1806 and in the early 19th century was the only significant link between the coasts of America. This route, the brainchild of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson was the vein which fed crops and goods back and forth between East and West and aided greatly in immigration.

Mr. Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1872. He authored over eighty books but is best known for his novels about the old West. Grey wrote sixty some Westerns, 9 novels about fishing, 3 books tracing the lineage and history of the Ohio Zanes, a biography of young George Washington and plenty of short stories—somewhat of a literary heavyweight. Zane’s novels remain popular in the present day. The museum has recreated the study in which Zane penned many of these work and includes many original manuscripts and personal items of Zane’s.


Treats and History on South Bass Island

South Bass Island, also known as Put-In-Bay, is home to a unique experience The Chocolate Café and Museum. This stop is for the choco-junkies and sweet teeth, but also for the historians. As the name suggests there is a small museum dedicated just to chocolate—which tracks the history of chocolate and its journey across the Earth.

Everyone will leave with some new expertise on the topic as well as some goodies.
It is also a true café in the sense that they serve coffee, they offer seating and display cases featuring traditional and usual chocolate treats.

Chocolate began its journey in South America as the cocoa plant and the first chocolate shop was supposedly opened in 1657 in London by a Frenchman. Since this time every major city has had a chocolate house and the treat is closely tied to many histories and cultures all over the world.

It is in this tradition that the Chocolate Café and Museum presents itself.