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Valentine Theatre to unveil Toledo’s largest mural


The Valentine Theatre in downtown Toledo has announced the unveiling ceremonies and activities for its historically significant mural which will take place during a three day celebration on June 3, 4, and 5, 2008.  


The painting (68.5’ x 10’), by artist Paul Geiger, features 46 performers from the Valentine’s early days.  The Barrymores, Houdini, Fanny Brice, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Douglas Fairbanks, W. C. Fields, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, are just a few of the performers depicted in the painting.  Click here for a complete list of performers and their biographies.


Nine years ago, a group of Valentine Board Members and staff wanted to pay homage to the thousands of performers who appeared on the Valentine stage during its early years (1895-1920). After extensive discussion, Toledo native Paul Geiger was chosen to create the painting. Fifteen Board members, several supporters, and the Ohio Arts Council contributed to and paid for the painting of the mural.


After 12 months of research, the artist assembled the cast of characters who would appear in this work.  In 2003, Paul Geiger stretched 68’ 6” of canvas 10 feet high in his studio. This project will be the largest public painting ever installed in Toledo.


Mural planners always had a vision of using the mural for educational experiences. Since the beginning of the project, board members thought about docent led tours, DVDs, downloadable materials, and even pod-casts.  These efforts are happening through the participation of Bowling Green State University. Personnel from the Toledo Museum of Art will train docents.


Schedule of activities June 3, 4, and 5, 2008

On June 3rd, the Board and staff of the Valentine will host a black tie ceremony and party to unveil the mural.   Doors open at 7:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Cost will be $85 per person $150 per couple. After welcoming the audience, introductions of the artist and speakers, a trumpet fanfare and champagne toast will immediately precede the unveiling. Dancing will follow with music by The Scott Potter Band. Tickets may be purchased through the box office.


Dwight Blocker Bowers, Performing Arts Curator, Smithsonian Institution, will give a lecture about the performers featured in the Mural on Wednesday, June 4th in the Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The title of the lecture is:  “Portrait at the Theatre—Legacy of the Performers in the Mural.” Tickets are $15 and include a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets can be purchased through the box office.


On June 5th, The Valentine Board and staff will host a ceremony and party at 8:00 p.m. Dress will be casual chic. Dessert and coffee will be served. Music will be provided by Johnny Rocker and the Hitmen. There will be a cash bar.  Tickets are $35 per person and may be purchased through the box office.


The Toledo Cultural Arts Center at the Valentine Theatre, a non profit organization, produces and presents cultural and performing arts experiences for diverse audiences of all ages, to enhance the quality of the cultural and economic life of the City of Toledo, Lucas County, Northwestern Ohio and Southeast Michigan.


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