Toledo, Ohio and the Australian world from Down Under are about as opposite as can be: From being located in different hemispheres about a half a world apart to having a geographic terrain and culture that has little in common with each other. Nevertheless, the Toledo Museum of Art explores contemporary Aboriginal Australian art along with shapes, lines, and color in their exhibit titled, “Crossing Cultures.” But it doesn’t stop here: The Toledo Zoo also gets in on the show by highlighting wonders from Down Under in what they have labeled as the “Wild Walkabout.”
From April 11–July 14, 2013, the Toledo Museum of Art in collaboration with the Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art from the Hood Museum of Art exhibits a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art-making by Australia’s Aboriginal community. The “Crossing Cultures” exhibit is a unique collection of artistic works that marry the old with the new. It includes bold new Australian artists who combine traditional culture with contemporary motifs and techniques to produce an alternative prism to the world.
The Toledo Zoo features Wild Walkabout: Wonders from Down Under from May 24-September 2, 2013. Structured like an indigenous Australian walkabout, the visitor can choose where they enter their journey and what wild animals they want to encounter. By all means don’t miss the gigantic saltwater crocodile that was shipped from Darwin, Australia. At 17 feet long, he is the largest saltwater crocodile in North America. His sheer size will overwhelm your senses. The Wallaby Walk-thru is a favorite with kids while the highly venomous death adder is something to marvel at behind glass.
At the end of the day, retreat to the best kept secret in Ohio: Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and Conference Center. This stellar property is managed by the same environmentally conscious company that manages many of the National Park lodges and concessions: Xanterra. Conveniently located, it offers contemporary accommodations and a host of activities to include: birding, swimming, golfing, geocaching, and strolling on a two-mile boardwalk. Or go fishing for walleye in Lake Erie, rent a boat or bike, or play shuffleboard, volleyball, or horseshoes on the property. Less than a few hundred yards from the entrance is The Trautman Nature Center, where you can indulge your curiosity about the local natural world and find out why the area was once called the Great Black Swamp.
IF YOU GO: