The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

Lots of public art to see at ‘The Wass’

There has been a lot of attention on public art recently, thanks to efforts of those who have been creating and facilitating it. We’d like to take a moment to showcase a bit of our public art collection. This excludes the exhibit “Faces of Little Bighorn” and art programming inside!

Our first sculpture created by Michael Bendele of Delphos and underwritten by First Federal Savings and Loan is called “The Portal”. It is a passageway to art experiences. Second, provided by Bill and Kim Purmort, is “Tangled Foundations” by Wauseon artist Richard Morgan. With our growing art park came “Bandit the Thieving Raccoon”, purchased by Mike and Joyce Cross. Immediately following came “Ferro Alberro” (Iron Tree), sponsored by First Federal Savings and Loan and created by Dave Tonegatoo of Detroit. One day in my studio, I decided to sculpt an opossum sitting on a stump. “Flower Possum”, a fountain, reigns over the reflecting pond. Just inside our front doors and provided by Statewide Ford is “Arcus Libertatus”, a hand-forged steel arch created by Joe Bonifas of Spencerville greets guests as they enter. Each sculpture has a story and we aren’t remotely done. On September 26, 6-9 p.m., we will be dedicating yet another large, interactive sculpture the public is permitted to touch and play with anytime. The public is welcome to join us in this celebration. 

Collage of some of the sculptures in and around the Wassenberg Art Center. 

Come and watch glassblower Matt Paskiet on Saturday, August 24, 2-6 p.m., at our mobile hotshop. Firenation will be demonstrating aspects of blowing glass and observing is free. Plus, Matt will be bringing some of his items for sale! Interesting fact: Matt studied at Dale Chihuly Studios in Italy. Cash bar, snacks. Join us!

Currently on-view we feature the ceramic works of Steve Smith and paintings and prints of Doug Fiely. Both artists are former professors of art of Defiance College and often have created collaborative works. Doug Fiely and Steve Smith are together again. If you haven’t experienced this dynamic duo, you are in for a treat. Closing party will be held on Thursday, September 12, cash bar, snacks, music, everyone is welcome and there is no cost. We will have a little artist chat and maybe some guitar strumming. This will be a good one!

The deadline for the 42nd annual Photography Exhibit is September 6. Call-for-entry forms are now available online and at Wassenberg Art Center. One of our jurors is Mark Lanning Jr. of Iowa City, Iowa. Mark once exhibited at Wassenberg Art Center with Stephan Takacs of Columbus. Mark has taught at Sacramento University in California and is a photographer based in Iowa City, Iowa, and a current MFA candidate at the University of Iowa. Mark has created many national projects and his work can be seen here: The exhibit will open on October 4. Get snapping!

Currently on exhibit at the Wassenberg Art Center; Steve Smith and Doug Fiely, the Artful Codgers.

Have you checked out our art classes? There is still time to sign up for our newest upcoming! Arm yourself with your paintbrush join in. We promise, our art classes are painless.

Watercolor Class: Ongoing. Tuesday mornings 10 a.m. Openings available.  Fee: $55 Regular, $40 WAC member cost.

ArtNight: Thursday 6-9 p.m. Flip flop stained glass sun catcher facilitated by Joe Balyeat.

Pint Night: August 22, 6-9 p.m.: Ezra Miller is returning with acoustic guitar, we will be making flip-flop stained glass, sun catchers and featuring the craft brews of Two Bandits Brewery, Hicksville. Free entry and tastings, cash bar.

Pint Night: September 26, 6-9 p.m. In the Art Park (weather permitting) We will be dedicating our newest interactive art installation “Blink!” by Toledo Artist Todd Kime. The sculpture was sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council and funds were matched by the Van Wert County Foundation. We will feature live music by Bob Stevens (formerly of Distant Cousinz) and a regional brewery or winery. Join us at the Beverage Bin and new outdoor stage. Free entry. 

Our gift shop is open year-round. We get new items all the time. Great options to purchase one-of-a-kind, unique items, crafted by artisans in the area for the people who are one-of-a-kind to you. There is always a need throughout the year to purchase for those special to us and to show them how much we care and find them unique by purchasing the same. For more information on exhibits or to sign up for classes and events visit:

The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 S. Washington St. (former Van Wert Armory). We can also be reached by telephone at 419.238.6837 or by email at

POSTED: 08/21/19 at 11:22 pm. FILED UNDER: What's Up at Wassenberg?