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'Art on the Mall' returns to Toledo after having to cancel last year's event

WTOL Toledo logo WTOL Toledo 7/25/2021 Michael Sandlin
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Some ninety artists from all across the Midwest were on display at Art on the Mall this weekend.

The arts and crafts show was hosted by the University of Toledo Alumni Association at a different location than normal in west Toledo. 

Pieces on display used such mediums as painting, jewelry, henna, and even the written word.

"I'm excited that things are up and running and festivals are back in place so I can be out and meet other artists as well," said Afreen Alvi, a local henna artist.

Depending on how you count it, this is either the twenty-ninth or the thirtieth year for Art on the Mall, as it would have occurred last year had it not been for the pandemic last summer.

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David Dmytryka, the Alumni Association president, said he's incredibly happy to have the event return.

"To see all the people back - this is good - this is really good," said Dmytryka.

The artists say they're thrilled by the return of the event as well, and are thankful to have an outlet to interact with people again.

"It just brings the community back together - and I think that one-on-one, in-person, definitely makes a huge difference, for sure," said Alvi.

Richard Gullett, a pen and ink artist, expressed similar sentiments.

"My most fun coming to the shows is interacting with the people," said Gullett.

While the booths and the crowds are back, the event comes with a twist this year.

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Ironically, this year Art on the Mall isn't being held at Centennial Mall - its usual location - due to construction. Instead, it was moved down the road to the Center for Alumni and Donor Engagement on Dorr St.

"The new location is temporary. [It was changed for] safety purposes and space. So really we had to relocate it out here this year," said Dymtryka,

Regardless of the venue, at the end of the day, the artists are just happy to have the opportunity to express themselves again.

Gullett, holding one of his many drawings, said, "it's not letting off steam but it's just something inside you that what's to get out."

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