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Artist Robert Vanitvelt’s ‘Faces of Change’ to kickoff Wolfe Gallery’s 30th anniversary

The show runs from Oct. 22 to Jan. 14 and features a reception on opening night from 5:30-7 p.m.
Perrysburg-based artist Robert Vanitvelt will be the first visiting artist to have his work showcased during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Wolfe Gallery on the campus of Maumee Valley Country Day School.

Vanitvelt’s show “Faces of Change” features paintings depicting such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rosa Parks; Harriet Tubman; Sojourner Truth; Muhammad Ali; Frederick Douglass; Billie Holiday; Prince; Emmett Till; Mamie Till; former President Barack Obama; and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The show runs from Oct. 22 to Jan. 14 and features a reception on opening night from 5:30-7 p.m.

The Wolfe Gallery was designed by world-class architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen and was built in 1991. The beautiful, well-lit, open space showcases two-dimensional and three-dimensional artwork to full advantage. Maumee Valley students also have their artwork displayed in the gallery throughout the year, along with a rotating schedule of professional artists.

Vanitvelt is a self-taught artist from Flint, Mich., and his work has traveled to several states, including, Ohio, Florida, and California. He enjoys sewing, baking, sculpting, cutting stencils, and painting. Nature and history heavily inspire Robert and he prefers to paint on a larger scale because he feels it grabs the viewer’s attention and makes them look at it.

The importance of organizing everyday objects to portray an icon makes the pieces sacred. This is important to the show, Vanitvelt said, because everyday people organized to bring awareness and exact social change, which changed history.

He said he hopes the paintings help create awareness and hopes they spark conversation. Most of all, Vanitvelt said, he hopes the artwork helps build bridges.

"With the current temperature and tone, I feel like a lot of that is fear-based, and we're fearful of what we don't know and what we don't understand,” Vanitvelt said. “I'm giving people an opportunity to see it, be moved, and show people that symbols and words do have power."

The Wolfe Gallery’s 2021-22 schedule is available here.

Maumee Valley Country Day School, 1715 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo, Oh, 43614, offers education to children from preschool through grade twelve. Its mission is to cultivate an inclusive community of intellectual excellence where learners creatively explore their passions and boldly inspire positive change in the world. The school attracts motivated students who have a range of academic interests and diverse backgrounds. Its challenging curriculum, student-centered school life, and supportive community inspire and equip them for a lifetime of learning.
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Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.