Right here in Northeastern Ohio, The Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown) and its two branch facilities (in Salem and Howland Township) offer a day's worth of recreation for summer visitors and local residents.
Located within a very short drive, the Butler museums all offer free admission and are excellent summer entertainment.
Begin your day trip at the Butler in Youngstown, 524 Wick Avenue, adjacent to the campus of Youngstown State University.
Constructed in the years 1917-1919, the historical building is easy to locate with its distinctive McKim, Mead and White marble facade, and J. Massey Rhind's "Indian Scout" sculpture prominently placed on the front lawn. (Free parking is available on the north side of the museum.)
In addition to the Butler's permanent collection, which features three centuries of art by Americans, George Segal's "Steelmakers," on extended loan from the Segal Foundation, continues to fascinate Youngstown Butler museum visitors. This work can be seen in the Institute's main-floor Dennison Gallery.
European masters on loan
Also within the Butler main-floor galleries are masterworks on loan from John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. Included in the excellent display are works by such noted master painters as Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, and other famed artists of Renaissance Europe.
In the Butler's Donnell Gallery of American Sports Art on the main level is a newly acquired, ultrarealist sculpture, "The Baseball Player" by Marc Sijan.
In the Beecher Center south wing, don't miss the Novak Gallery display of digital photographs by Janine Stern (a show held over by popular demand), light works by Milton Komisar, and incredible three-dimensional holograms by Patrick Boyd.
In coming weeks, more digital and computer works will be installed in the Beecher wing as objects acquired from the Bermant collection become part of the Butler's permanent display.
In addition to the Beecher Court balcony installation of a fine group of contemporary works from the Butler collection, the Institute's second level is now filled with paintings from across the nation -- 100 works included in the 66th Midyear Show.
Something for everyone
From ultrarealist paintings by Will Wilson and Gary Erbe, to romantic portraits by Steven Seward and David Beynon Pena, and thought-provoking scenes by Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman, the Butler's 2002 Midyear offers something for every art appetite.
And don't miss the Butler's 50-year retrospective exhibition of realist works by the internationally known Joseph Sheppard. Included in this remarkable show are paintings, drawings and sculpture by an artist who lives in both Italy and Baltimore. Stop by the Butler museum gift shop to buy the hardcover catalog that accompanies the Sheppard show.
During the next two weeks visitors to the Butler in Youngstown will have the pleasure of observing the Butler's annual Summer Arts Day Camp for children with special needs. Galleries will be brimming with activity as children from the region enjoy visual arts activities, drama, dance and more.
Butler hours in Youngstown are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
What's at Trumbull branch
From the Butler in Youngstown, drive north on route 193 and turn west on Old Route 82, past the Avalon Inn complex to the Butler Trumbull branch located at 9350 East Market Street. Butler hours at the Trumbull facility are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This summer, visitors will see both realist and abstract indoor sculpture by American masters Louise Nevelson, Gaston Lachaise and Clement Meadmore.
Outdoors, permanent works by Sophia Vari and Don Gummer will soon be joined by a temporary "sculpture walk," which will feature monumental works by noted sculptors Tony Smith, Jeffrey Rubinoff, Alexander Lieberman, Joseph McDonnell, Robert Murray, and Beverly Pepper. The "sculpture walk" is a discovery experience children will enjoy with their families as they encounter these colorful and imaginative works of art. The Butler Trumbull branch is funded by Foundation Medici.
Take state Route 11 south to Route 224 (Canfield), then take Route 62 to Route 9, and turn right onto State Street to visit the Butler's Salem branch.
The lovely storefront facility is at 343 East State Street in the quaint town of Salem, and hours there are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Beginning in mid-July the Butler Salem branch will host a display of works by regional artists who are members of the Salem Arts Guild. This annual juried show includes works in all media.
Also on display at the Butler in Salem are selected works from the Breckner collection of American folk art.
The Butler Salem branch is funded by the Salem Community Foundation.
Your day tour of the Butler and its branches should be repeated often as the Institute's dynamic program features new offerings each month.
XFor information about Butler events and programs, call the museum at (330) 743-1711, Ext.123.