Ohio Art Museums, Galleries, and Botanical Gardens

Ohio showcases a wide variety of creative works and collections in its art museums, galleries, and even outdoors at sculpture parks and botanical gardens.

Free Ohio Art Museums & Botanical Gardens

More Art Museums and Botanical Gardens Worth the Price of Admission



Ohio’s Art Town

OHIO’S ART TOWN
Zanesville Art Colony A Major Draw

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler

It’s all in the vibe. The atmosphere of the Zanesville, Ohio art scene is vibrant and friendly at every corner. Dozens of hand-painted street banners hang from light poles throughout downtown promoting its art community. As they should, considering the town was once the center of the pottery industry.

This town has always been creative. Going over its storied Y-bridge will reveal that. Its history is as rich as the clay deposits in the region. Now, Zanesville is in the midst of a renaissance driven primarily by the  Artist Colony of Zanesville (ArtCoz).

“I drove through Zanesville years ago on my way home to New Orleans. The character of the architecture drew me back to open my studio,” said Larry Zink, a painter and the owner of Larry Zink Studio and Gallery.

Zink pulled an antique bottle of Zane Club Whiskey from his pocket. It had the same emblem as the outside wall of the Paul Emory Studio and Gallery across the alley parking lot. The building was a saloon in 1910, where they made and served the local brand he had in hand.  …Click here to read more.

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Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio

Admission to Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio & Museum is a suggested donation.

  • Open: Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 110 South 6th St. in Zanesville, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-453-9822
  • Web: click here

Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio & Museum: Renowned sculptor Alan Cottrill invites you to watch him at work in his studio.  Alan Cottrill is one of the most prolific monumental figurative sculptors in the world today.  Visitors are treated to a unique experience – the chance to see the largest body of work by any living sculptor in the world.  Over 400 bronze sculptures are on display, with over 60 at a life-size or larger scale.  Most afternoons Alan can be seen sculpting on his latest projects and a number of the full-time artisans can be seen performing various tasks to prepare the original clay sculpture for the bronze casting process, which is done in a bronze foundry 5 miles away that Alan and lifetime friend Charles Leasure founded in 1994.

Canton Museum of Art

Admission to Canton Museum of Art is approx. $8/person.

  • Open: Tuesday –  Thursday from 10am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday from 10am – 5 pm; Sunday from 1pm – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1001 N. Market Avenue in Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-453-7666
  • Web: https://www.cantonart.org/

The Canton Museum of Art is located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts, just north of downtown Canton, OH.  The museum’s permanent collection is extensive and focuses on American watercolor and contemporary ceramics.  Traveling national and regional exhibits are frequently featured.  Past exhibitions have included  Art of the Rainforest, Andrew Wyeth’s Helga Paintings, Bing Davis: On the Shoulders of Ancestors, Clyde Singer’s America, and Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota.  The Canton Museum of Art presents several different programs and art classes for all ages, as well as special events.

Akron Art Museum

Admission to Akron Art Museum is approx. $12/person.

  • Open: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 11am – 5pm and Thursday from 11am – 9pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1 South High Street in Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-376-9186
  • Web: https://akronartmuseum.org/

The Akron Art Museum is a widely acclaimed facility that showcases regional, national, and international art created since 1850. The collection ranges from American Impressionism to contemporary art. A dozen special exhibitions each year present celebrated artists in various media, including painting, sculpture, glass, photography, and video.

Allen Memorial Art Museum

Admission to Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin is free.

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday, from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) Oberlin College at 87 North Main St. in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-775-8665
  • Web: click here

Oberlin’s  Allen Memorial Art Museum was founded in 1917. Today, it’s ranked among the finest college and university collections in the U.S. The collection contains more than 13,000 works of art that span history.

The buildings that house the art museum are eclectic architectural beauties. Part of the complex was built in 1917. Cass Gilbert designed it and represents Tuscan Renaissance and Midwestern Vernacular architectural styles. The 1977 addition was designed in Orthodox Modernist style by Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Admission to Cleveland Botanical Garden is approx. $20/person (less for kids).

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm, and Sunday from 12 – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 11030 E. Blvd. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-721-1600
  • Web: click here

Cleveland Botanical Garden:  Step into a world of beauty and wonder.  Cleveland Botanical Garden boasts some of the finest Gardens in the entire Midwest.  Here are 10 beautifully landscaped acres of formal and natural gardens – each one a gem, each with its distinct personality.  The Rose Garden is a delight.  The Japanese Garden is enchanting.  The Children’s Garden is fun.  The terrace – with its fountain and lily pond – is an inspiring location for al fresco dining during the warm months.

The botanical garden’s Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse is an 18,000-square-foot crystalline conservatory – the only one of its kind.  Open year-round, the Glasshouse is home to two of the world’s most exotic, fragile, and unique environments:  the spiny desert of Madagascar and the lush, butterfly-filled cloud forest of Costa Rica. The Glasshouse may be the best butterfly house in Ohio!  It features hundreds of exotic beautiful butterflies flown in directly from Costa Rica every week of the year. The butterflies will make you and your friends of all ages smile with delight. With more than 350 species of plants and 50 species of animals, the Glasshouse is a dazzling journey across continents and an immersion in the unusual.

Butler Institute of American Art

Admission to the Butler Institute of American Art is usually free.

  • Open Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm, Sunday from 12 – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 524 Wick Ave. in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Phone:  330-743-1107
  • Web: https://butlerart.com/

The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.” It was established in 1919 as the first museum dedicated to curating and preserving art created solely by citizens of this country. Its ever-expanding collection now exceeds 22,000 pieces in all media types, dating back to 1710.

Always on view is a permanent collection of American masterpieces from four centuries:  Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Fitz Hugh Lane, Georgia O’Keefe, Chuck Close, and many more. The Beecher Center is in the south wing of The Butler Institute of American Art and includes exhibitions of digital media–holograms, laser light pieces, video, and other installation works. The Butler North Gallery, connected by a glass skywalk, houses their Americana and Folk Art Collection. The Hopper Library houses the Butler’s reading (non-lending) library of art books.

Snap the Whip by Winslow Homer is the centerpiece of the museum’s 19th-century holdings. This painting of children playing outside a one-room schoolhouse is known as “America’s Mona Lisa”. The Butler’s permanent collection is a true reflection of America’s history, arranged chronologically. A walk through The Butler is like a walk through American history, with masterpieces leading the way.

Designed by leading beaux-arts architects McKim, Mead, and White, the museum is constructed of Georgian marble in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. It is considered an architectural masterpiece listed as a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Chadwick Arboretum

Admission to Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens at The Ohio State University is free.

  • Open: Dawn to Dusk
  • Location: (Map It) 152 Howlett Hall, 2001 Fyffe Ct. in Columbus, Ohio at The Ohio State University
  • Phone: 614-688-3479
  • Web: click here

Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens at The Ohio State University features extensively planted gardens in three locations. Our most ornamental gardens are found in front of Howlett and Kottman Halls and are known as the Learning Gardens. These feature an extensive collection of perennials, annuals, tropicals, trial plantings, container gardens, dwarf conifers, wildflower plantings, and more. The second ­ and most well-known ­ garden is our 14-acre garden along Lane Avenue between Fyffe Road and Olentangy River Road. This garden features the van Wade Hosta Collection, a conifer collection, many woody trees and shrubs, and the labyrinth garden with a replica of the 11-circuit labyrinth from Chartres Cathedral in France. Our Arboretum North site, which is located just west of the Bill Davis Baseball Stadium on Fred Taylor Drive, features a two-acre pond and a collection of 1,000 trees native to Ohio, a willow collection, and the Ohio 4-H Center, which is Ohio State’s first green building. All gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk. Current events are listed on the website at chadwickarboretum.osu.edu/.

Columbus Museum of Art

Admission to Columbus Museum of Art is approx. $18/person (less for students & seniors).

  • Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 480 E. Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-221-6801
  • Web: click here

The Columbus Museum of Art features works from its excellent collection of impressionists, German expressionists, cubists, American modernists, and contemporary art. The museum also includes works by Degas, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Cassatt, Bellows, Demuth, Hopper, Marin, and O’Keeffe. Visitors may also take a stroll through the Russell Page Sculpture Garden or explore the world of photography in the Ross Photography Center. Families with children may also want to visit the interactive exhibit Eye Spy: Adventures in Art. In addition, there is a continuous program of national and international traveling exhibitions displayed at the museum.

Cincinnati Art Museum

Admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is usually free.

  • Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm, Thursday from 11am – 8pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 953 Eden Park Dr. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone:  513-721-2787 or Toll Free: 1 (877) 472-4226
  • Web: click here

Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio:  Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum features an unparalleled encyclopedic art collection of over 60,000 works spanning 6,000 years. Of particular focus is the acclaimed Cincinnati Wing, which showcases the rich cultural history of the “Queen City” with over 400 works by local artists. The Art Museum hosts several national and international exhibitions each year and various cultural events and educational programs for children, adults, and teachers. General admission is always free for all, and the Art Museum is open six days a week, making greater Cincinnati’s most treasured cultural asset accessible to everyone. Note: Strollers are allowed in the Art Museum and are offered FREE at the main entrance.

Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

Admission to Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center is free.

  • Open: Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 44 East 6th St. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-345-8400
  • Web: click here

Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center:  Founded in 1939, the CAC was one of the first institutions in the United States dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art.  True to its roots, the museum showcases “the art of the last five minutes.”  As the R&D arm of the art industry, this is where you can explore and discover new frontiers, be challenged by provocateurs, and feed your creativity.  The museum’s Zaha Hadid-designed building sets the stage for the next generation of taste-makers.  Come to the CAC to be a witness to history in the making. The CAC provides many different ways to encounter contemporary art. Consistently voted a favorite by Cincinnati Magazine readers, the famous UnMuseum is an entire floor dedicated to playing and interactive learning with the most innovative art of our time.

Dawes Arboretum

Admission to Dawes Arboretum is approx. $10/person (less for kids).

  • Open: Daily (hours vary per season)
  • Location: (Map It) 7770 Jacksontown Rd. SE in Newark, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-44-DAWES
  • Web: https://dawesarb.org/

Dawes Arboretum covers over 1,800 acres of trees, history, and nature. What was begun in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes to demonstrate the value of woody plants grown in epic proportions to become a showcase of plant collections and a plethora of educational experiences. Some of the collections visitors will find are crab apples, conifers, oaks, azaleas, and hollies. The grounds are accessible by an almost five-mile autoroute and more than eight miles of hiking trails. Some feature attractions and visitor favorites include the remarkable cypress swamp, the renowned Japanese Bonsai Garden, and hedge lettering that spells out “Dawes Arboretum.”

Civic Garden Center of Cincinnati

Admission to the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati is free.

The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati delivers education in horticulture to children, adults, and communities throughout the Cincinnati region. It has a library with more than 2,000 books about gardening and floral topics, videos, and other resources. The Center has been instrumental in beautifying Greater Cincinnati with its urban gardening projects, which have turned some 50 neglected properties into community gardens. Contact the Center to learn more about these neighborhood gardens and other botanical creations the Center has established around the area.

The Civic Garden Center is committed to a new project, The Green Learning Station, converting an old gas station on the property to a sustainability demonstration site.  The Station’s mission is to educate and inspire school children and their families, developers, builders, home buyers, and public officials to incorporate green technology into residences, businesses, and public spaces.    The goal is for the site to be net-zero; that is, it’ll produce as much clean water and energy as the Center consumes from public utilities.  The site will include a green roof, rain barrels, cisterns, constructed wetlands, rain gardens, a platinum LEED-certified building, porous pavers, wind turbines, and other renewable energy sources.  It will also have the capability to be monitored via the web 24/7, and data can be accessed from remote locations.

Clary Gardens in Coshocton

Admission to Clary Gardens is free.

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Clary Gardens is a 20-acre botanical garden in Coshocton. It offers gorgeous flower gardens, historic homes, a natural amphitheater with entertainment, a children’s play area, a relaxing gazebo, and recreational trails for all ages with a woodland loop that includes rock outcroppings. There is a deluxe shelter for private parties and wedding party rentals. Special events throughout the year feature butterflies, falcons, Storytime, theatre productions, and much more.

Dayton Art Institute

Admission to Dayton Art Institute is approx. $15/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 5pm, and Sunday from 12 – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-223-4278
  • Web: click here

Dayton Art Institute is one of the nation’s finest mid-sized art museums. It features an encyclopedic collection of over 27,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of art history. Highlights include the museum’s outstanding Asian collection, 17th-century Baroque paintings, 18th, and 19th-century American art, and contemporary art collection. In addition to its diverse collection, the museum features world-class special exhibitions, a wide variety of educational programs, and an interactive, family-oriented Experiencenter gallery.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Admission to the Cleveland Museum of Art is free.

  • Open: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm, Wednesday and Friday from 10am – 9pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 11150 E. Blvd. University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-421-7350
  • Web: click here

The Cleveland Museum of Art is a leader in the international art world and offers much rich and diverse community, cultural and educational programming for the northeast Ohio area. Established in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever,” the museum is one of the world’s most distinguished and comprehensive art museums to reach the broadest possible audience.

It also has rotating collections (not on permanent display) because pieces may be sensitive to light or fragile. Additional collections are also rotated throughout the galleries throughout the year.

Franklin Park Conservatory

Admission to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is approx. $24/person (less for kids and seniors).

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus blooms with beauty at every turn. Indoors and out, the vast biomes, nooks, and crannies are a delight to explore. The worldwide plants and intricate Chihuly glasswork bring nature and art into harmony. Then there’s the Bonsai collection that’ll drop your jaw, a light show beginning at dusk that’ll pop your eyes, an outdoor model railway that chugs a long way, butterflies galore that’ll make any heart flutter, and a children’s garden grown with fun.

This premier horticultural and educational institution showcases over 400 plant species and special exhibitions. The Conservatory offers beautiful and diverse climates, including an arid desert, a tropical Rainforest, a cool Himalayan Mountain, and a lush Pacific Island Water Garden. Franklin Park surrounds the Conservatory and provides 88 acres of landscaped gardens and green space.  The Conservatory owns a signature collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork, and its annual exhibits include Blooms and Butterflies, the Orchid Forest, and Holidays at the Conservatory. The Conservatory also offers a gift shop and café.

Holden Arboretum

Admission to Holden Arboretum is approx $15/person (less for kids).

  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 5pm,
  • Location: (Map It) 9500 Sperry Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-946-4400
  • Web: https://holdenfg.org/

Holden Arboretum houses a variety of themed gardens both for display and research.  The Butterfly garden is stocked with many colorful flowers, such as purple coneflower, bee balm, and catmint, which will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  The park offers many guided tours that allow visitors to follow trained horticulturists through unique gardens, special collections, and natural areas.  The arboretum also offers a variety of historical tours throughout the grounds.

Kingwood Center Gardens

Admission to Kingwood Center Gardens is $8/person and children 12 and under free.

  • Open: Year-round, hours vary by season
  • Location: (Map It) 50 N. Trimble Rd. in Mansfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-522-0211
  • Web: kingwoodcenter.org

Kingwood Center Gardens visitors will enjoy the elegant gardens, grounds, and historic buildings of this former estate of industrialist Charles Kelley King. A massive spring flower display begins the season with tulips, daffodils, flowering trees, and much more. Gardens of all sorts entertain visitors throughout the growing season, and a large display of annuals brings abundant color to the gardens throughout the summer. A greenhouse offers unique displays and a special plant-buying opportunity. The gardens are intertwined by woodlands with relaxing walking trails throughout the 47-acre estate. Kids love to feed the ducks in the duck pond and the peacocks roaming the property. Kingwood Hall, the 20,000 sq. ft. French provincial mansion, is open for self-guided tours daily. Kingwood offers several events throughout the year as well as educational workshops, weddings, and rentals. Christmas at Kingwood is a must-see event.

Krohn Conservatory

Admission to Krohn Conservatory is approx. $10/person (less for kids).

  • Open: Daily from 10am – 8pm (Winter Monday’s 3-8pm)
  • Location: (Map It) 1501 Eden Park Dr. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-421-4086
  • Web: click here

Krohn Conservatory is one of Cincinnati’s treasures. It features Bonsai, Conservatory, Orchid, Tropical, and Perennial gardens and nature collections. The collection represents more than 1,000 species of plants from rainforests to deserts.  Floral shows are free of charge except for the butterfly show.   Every spring, over 10,000 butterflies are invited to invade the Conservatory and fly freely around for visitors to get an up-close and personal look at a remarkable collection of butterflies. The Butterfly Show has a different theme yearly, such as “Flowers with Wings, The Butterflies of India,” featuring butterflies worldwide.  Click here for the annual Butterfly Show information.

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum

Admission to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum is approx. $10/person (less for kids).

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum combines the lure of nature with the dynamic presence of monumental art. Located on over 300 acres of woodlands, gardens, and lakes near Hamilton, Ohio, Pyramid Hill is a unique experience where you explore the countryside and marvel at over 75 pieces of outdoor art. You can also return to the indoor Ancient Sculpture Museum, which houses Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian pieces. Drive through the rolling landscape, walk up to experience the sculpture, find a secluded picnic spot, or hike a quiet trail through the forests. Pyramid Hill is a relaxing way to spend a day with art and nature.

Springfield Art Museum

Admission to Springfield Art Museum is approx. $5/person, and children under 17 are free (except for special exhibitions). 

  • Open: Wednesday – Saturday from 9am – 5pm and Sunday from 12:30pm – 4:30pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 107 Cliff Park Road in Springfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-325-4673
  • Web: click here

The Springfield Museum of Art has seven galleries. Its permanent collection includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures featuring 19th and 20th-century American, European, and Ohio artists. The museum also has about 12 changing exhibits annually. These exhibits address contemporary and historical issues and encourage a critical understanding of the visual arts.

Cowan Pottery Museum

Admission to Cowan Pottery Museum at Rocky River Public Library is free.

  • Open: Daily
  • Location: (Map It) Rocky River Public Library at 1600 Hampton Rd. in Rocky River, Ohio
  • Curator, Carol Jacobs
  • Phone: 440-333-7610  (library), 440-895-3763 (museum)
  • Web: click here

Cowan Pottery Museum at Rocky River Public Library has more than 1,200 pieces of R. Guy Cowan and other artists, the largest publicly-owned Cowan collection in the world. It is significant in American cultural history because it bridged a transition from the arts and crafts movement to the Modernist or Art Deco movement. Cowan pottery was produced between 1912 and 1931, first in Lakewood, Ohio, and then in Rocky River, Ohio. The museum opened in 1978 with 800 pieces purchased from private collector John Brodbeck.

Cox Arboretum

Admission to Cox Arboretum in Dayton is usually free.

  • Open: (Park) April 1 – October 31 from 8am – 10pm, November 1 – March 31 from 8am – 8pm. (Visitor Center, year round) Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm, Saturday – Sunday from 11am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 6733 Springboro Pike in Dayton, Ohio at Five Rivers Metro Park
  • Phone: 937-275-7275
  • Web: click here

Cox Arboretum in Dayton:  Featuring 189 acres of gardens and nature, the Cox experience is a hands-on adventure in horticulture. Highlights include The Edible Landscape Garden, Butterfly Meadow and House, Shrub Garden with more than 500 different trees & shrubs, Water Garden & Rock Garden, Wildflower Garden, and 3.5 miles of walking trails.

Decorative Arts Center

Admission to the Decorative Arts Center in Lancaster is free but $5/person in groups of 10 or more.

  • Open: Wednesday – Friday from 11am – 4pm, Saturday – Sunday from 1 – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 145 E. Main St. in Lancaster, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-681-1423
  • Web: http://www.decartsohio.org/

Decorative Arts Center in Lancaster: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” These are the words of William Morris, a 19th-century British craftsman, designer, writer, poet, and founder of the Arts and Crafts movement. This movement refers to the efforts of a group of craftsmen, artists, designers, and architects who first aimed to raise the status of the applied arts to that of the fine arts in 1877 in England. Today in Lancaster, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio fosters knowledge, enjoyment, and appreciation of the American decorative arts and supports the work of present-day Ohio craftsmen and artisans.

In the Gift Shop, housed in the original dining room of the Reese-Peters House, visitors can purchase original work by Ohio artists and choose from many kinds of American decorative arts gifts.

K12 Gallery & TEJAS

Admission to the K12 Gallery & TEJAS (Teen Educational & Joint Adult Studio) in Dayton is free (fee for classes).

  • Open: Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 4:30pm and  Saturday from 10am – 2pm (hours vary and during summer, closed on Saturday)
  • Location: (Map It) 341 S. Jefferson St. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-461-5149
  • Web: click here

Dayton’s K12 Gallery & TEJAS (Teen Educational & Joint Adult Studio), founded by Executive Director Jerri Stanard and run by a non-profit arts organization, offers space to local artists and Dayton-area schoolchildren in a colorful, eclectic building in the heart of downtown Dayton. Many displayed pieces are for sale, and the profits are split between the artists (young and old) and the gallery (for gallery support and programming.)

The gallery also offers field trips, art camps, art parties, workshops, art classes, and special events, all to encourage creativity in the young artists and gallery visitors. Look for the store with the bright red doors and enjoy an art gallery for kids and the young at heart. And while you’re there, buy something fun, like a tribal mask or a funny-faced clay fish.

Hartman Rock Garden

Admission to Hartman Rock Garden is free (donations encouraged).

Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield, Ohio is a backyard wonder. It is one of the nation’s most intriguing and revered works of in situ folk art. A vast world carved out of stone transforms the yard of an otherwise ordinary home in an ordinary neighborhood. It is the work of one man – the late Harry George “Ben” Hartman. Ben used hundreds of thousands of stones to craft historical buildings and other structures following the themes of history, religion, and patriotism. He also carved the figurines that populate the buildings. Today, there are more than 50 structures and a variety of plants and flowers that make this “garden of love” come to life. Look closely at the white picket fence around the yard. It is also carved from stone!

Inniswood Metro Gardens

Admission to Inniswood Metro Gardens is free.

  • Open: daily from dawn to dark
  • Location: 940 S. Hempstead Rd. in Westerville, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-895-6216
  • Web: click here

Inniswood Metro Gardens:  As one of Ohio’s sixteen metro parks, Inniswood Metro Gardens, located in central Ohio near Westerville, offers 121 acres of beautiful wildlife and plants. With over two miles of walking trails and ten distinctive landscape gardens, Inniswood is home to more than 2,000 species of plants to enjoy and discover. This scenic nature preserve was originally the grounds of Grace and Mary Innis’ estate before they donated their home and property to the Ohio Metro Parks. Tours of the Innis sister’s former estate are also available to visitors. Inniswood Metro Garden guests of any age can enjoy this Metro Park’s unique collection of beautiful plants, flowers, streams, ponds, and charming woodlands.

Kennedy Museum of Art

Admission to Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University in Athens is free (donations appreciated).

  • Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am – 5pm; Thursday from 10am – 8pm; Saturday & Sunday from 1pm – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) (Lin Hall at Ohio University) 100 Ridges Circle in Athens, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-593-1304
  • Web: https://www.ohio.edu/museum/

Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University houses such noteworthy collections as the Edwin L. and Ruth E. Kennedy Southwest Native American Collection of jewelry and weavings, a renowned contemporary print collection, and an eclectic mix of smaller collections including paintings, sculpture, ceramics and African masks and artifacts.

The Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University focuses its collections on works of art that it has the resources and capabilities to house, preserve and study. The museum is an integral part of the educational, research and public service missions of the university. And its purpose is to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of the region by exhibiting quality national and international exhibitions, collection-based research and diverse formal and informal learning opportunities.

Miami University Art Museum

Admission to Miami University Art Museum in Oxford, Ohio is free (donations appreciated).

  • Open: Open fall and spring semesters from Tuesday to Friday from 10am – 5 pm and Saturday from 12 – 5 pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 801 S. Patterson Ave. in Oxford, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-529-2232
  • Web: click here

Miami University’s Richard & Carole Cocks Art Museum, completed in 1978, was designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, Chicago, and is situated on three acres of scenic sculpture park grounds. We house five galleries of changing exhibitions and a growing permanent collection of approximately 16,000 artworks.

Mount Airy Arboretum

Admission to Mount Airy Forest & Arboretum is free.

  • Open: Daily from Dawn – Dusk
  • Location: (Map It) 5100 Arboretum Road in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-357-2604
  • Web: click here

Mount Airy Arboretum:  Mount Airy is said to be the first municipal reforestation project in the country and is still the nation’s largest municipal park. Over one million trees were planted across approximately 1,500 acres in the early Twentieth Century. The Arboretum Center is a one-story brick building reflecting the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright – although he was not the architect. It displays magnolias, azaleas, lilacs, dwarf conifers, rhododendrons, and perennial gardens. The grounds cover many landscapes ranging from rolling hills, valleys, streams, gardens, woods, and wildlife. The park also has many other outbuildings, including picnic shelters and a handicapped-accessible treehouse. One point of interest is the Garden Totem greeting visitors. It is an abstract sculpture of inspired plant forms made of stainless steel.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

Admission to the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is free.

  • Open: Thursday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 11400 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-421-8671
  • Web: click here

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in  Cleveland is a unique and dynamic place for the visual art of our time. They challenge, inspire, and teach a wide range of audiences. They aim to push the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and exploration through exhibitions, publications, education, and outreach programs.  In fulfilling its mission, MOCA Cleveland strives to enrich the community’s cultural life.  They bring the latest and most important developments in contemporary art to Cleveland.  Through broad-based programs that reflect artistic and cultural diversity, MOCA celebrates national and international artistic achievements while recognizing the contributions of artists from the region.

Columbus Park of Roses

Admission to the Columbus Park of Roses is free.

  • Open: Daily from dawn to dusk.
  • Location: (Map It) 3901 N. High St. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-645-3391
  • Web: click here

Columbus Park of Roses is a 13-acre treasure of Columbus and contains more than 11,000 rose bushes, covering more than 350 varieties of roses. It is one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the United States. In addition, the park has herb, perennial, and daffodil gardens. The daffodil garden features 1,000 varieties. The best times of the year to visit are the middle of June or the middle of September when the roses are in full bloom. Several events take place annually, including musical programs in the evenings throughout the summer and an annual rose festival in June.

Riffe Gallery

Admission to the Riffe Gallery in Columbus is normally free.

  • Open: Usually Tuesday – Friday from 12 – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 77 S. High St. in Columbus, Ohio (In the Verne Riffe Center for the Government of Arts across the street from the Ohio Statehouse.)
  • Phone: 614-644-9624
  • Web: click here

The Riffe Gallery in Columbus showcases the work of  Ohio artists and curators, and the collections of museums and galleries throughout the state. The Ohio Art Council operates the Riffe Gallery.

Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse

Admission to Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse in Cleveland is free.

  • Open: Daily from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 750 E. 88th Street in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-664-3103
  • Web: click here

The Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse in Cleveland is four acres of gardens that attract a wide variety of birds. Visitors are actually encouraged to touch and smell the foliage. Outdoor gardens include Japanese and Peach gardens, as well as seasonal displays. Indoors, you’ll find a water garden along with tropical plants, fruits, and seasonal flowers. In addition, they have a Cactus House, a Fern Room, and much more.

The Rockefeller Park also includes the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Visitors may drive or walk through approximately 25 gardens representing different nationalities. These landscape treasures are each distinctive in their own way and commemorate the city’s ethnically diverse history.

Romanian Ethnic Art Museum

Admission to the Romanian Ethnic Art Museum in Cleveland is free.

  • Open: by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 3256 Warren Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-941-5550
  • Web: click here

The Romanian Ethnic Art Museum in Cleveland is housed in the Hall of St. Mary’s Church and is only open for guided tours by appointment. Inside, visitors will see wonderful displays of folk costumes, beads and sequins, carved wood and ceramics, sculptures and paintings, religious icons, and ecclesiastical vestments and accessories. In addition, there is a historical photo book and other pieces.

Secrest Arboretum

Admission to Secrest Arboretum in Wooster is free.

The Secrest Arboretum in Wooster began in 1909 by Edmund Secrest, who was interested in the study of various trees. Over the years, trees of many types were planted in the Arboretum, including the largest collection of crab apples in the nation.  Rhododendrons of various types and colors line the drive, and a large rose garden with over 500 varieties is there as well.  The arboretum was one of the first places in the United States to plant a Dawn Redwood in the 1940s, and it has now grown into a magnificent specimen.  Guided tours are available, as well as self-guided tours.  Please keep in mind that this property is part of a university, and you may encounter groups of students at any time.  No pets are permitted, and the college prefers for there to be no eating on arboretum property.

Steubenville Murals

Free maps to the Steubenville Murals are at the Steubenville Visitor Center at 120 S 3rd St. / Fort Steuben. 

  • Open: The murals are a permanent outdoor display available for viewing at any time.
  • Location: (Map It) Steubenville, Ohio
  • Phone: 866-301-1787
  • Web: click here

The Steubenville Murals in Steubenville, Ohio demonstrate the city’s history through paintings on outside walls in larger-than-life proportions. Instead of turning the pages of a book, you need only turn the corner of a street to come face to face with stories of the past.  See all twenty-five murals painted in Downtown Steubenville and Hollywood Plaza, including the mural of Steubenville celebrity, Dean Martin.  Maps for self-guided tours are available at the Steubenville CVB office.  The Steubenville CVB can also coordinate a step-on tour guide for motorcoach tours of the murals.

Stranahan Arboretum

Admission to Stranahan Arboretum at the University of Toledo is free.

  • Open: Varies depending on season and weather, most updated information can be found on the Facebook page
  • Location: (Map It) 4131 Tantara Road in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-841-1007
  • Web: click here

Toledo Stranahan Arboretum is a 47-acre site that features an excellent collection of rare trees, ravines, wetlands, and restored prairies. The best times of year to visit are May to see the wildflowers in full bloom and October to see the autumn colors. The more than 1,500 trees include a variety of North American pine, oak, maple, and buckeye. Other trees from China, Japan, Norway, and Serbia are also prevalent. The arboretum is run by the University of Toledo and is located within the Oak Openings sand dune region. Appropriately, peaks of old sand dunes are still visible above the forest’s undergrowth.

Taft Museum of Art

Admission to Taft Museum of Art is approx. $15/person.

The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati was built in 1820 and is a National Historic Landmark. It is known as one of the finest small art museums in America. The Federal period building is home to nearly 700 works of art, including European and American paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Sargent, Turner, Hals, and Whistler. The Museum houses amenities including a parking garage, a special exhibitions gallery, a performance/lecture facility, an intimate café, an expanded museum shop, and a redesigned garden.

Temple of Tolerance

Admission to the Temple of Tolerance is Free (Donation box on the front porch).

  • Open: Dawn to dusk year-round
  • Location: (Map It) 203 S. Wood St. in Wapakoneta, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-738-4474

The Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta is a man-made wonder. In a residential neighborhood, Jim Bowsher had a vision. And once he bought up the extra greenspace deadlocked behind numerous homes, he and his brother built a rock garden for the ages. There is a story behind every assembly of stones. And if Bowsher is home, there is nobody better to tell it. Some stones in particular have a helluva tale in and of themselves as to where they came from – places like Woodstock to Oppenheimer’s home.  The incredulous site is a peaceful retreat. There are also various special events held there from time to time. It’s not uncommon to find musicians in the rock garden playing their tunes. It’s a place many go for inspiration. Well done, Jim. Well done.

Temple Museum

Admission to The Temple Museum of Jewish Art, Religion, and Culture in Cleveland is free.

  • Open: Tours are available by appointment.
  • Location: (Map It) 26000 Shaker Blvd. in Beachwood, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-831-3233
  • Web: click here

The Temple Museum of Jewish Art, Religion, and Culture in Cleveland is the fourth oldest museum of Judaica in the country. Founded in 1950, it now has one of the most prominent and comprehensive collections of religious and Judaic art. Its collections include antique Torah hangings used in European synagogues that date to the seventeenth century; silver Torah ornaments, antiquities, and household pottery from the Holy Land region dating from 2000 B.C.E. to Roman times; fold art objects made and used by Jews in many countries; many historic documents, manuscripts and bibles; and a collection of sculptures, paintings, and lithographs by famous Jewish artists.

Toledo Botanical Garden

Admission to Toledo Botanical Garden is free.

  • Open: dawn to dusk daily (closes for ticketed events).
  • Location: (Map It) 5403 Elmer Dr. in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-270-7500
  • Web: click here

Toledo Botanical Garden: Gardens and meadows cover some 57 acres of land where various plants thrive, including wildflowers and roses. This botanical garden is a series of different gardens within a garden. The feature sights include a greenhouse, village garden, shade garden, and herb garden with a wonderful fragrance wafting in the breeze. It also features a pioneer garden, vegetable and flower gardens, and perennials. Other points of interest are the outdoor sculpture collection and artists’ studios and galleries. Lastly, there is a café and gift shop for visitors to relax and enjoy.

Toledo Museum of Art

Admission to the Toledo Museum of Art is free. Some special exhibitions or events may require purchased tickets. Parking is approx. $10/person.

  • Open: Wednesday – Sunday from 11am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 2445 Monroe St. at Scottwood Ave. in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-255-8000
  • Web: click here

The Toledo Museum of Art was founded on April 18, 1901.  More than a century later, TMA is considered one of the country’s finest museums, both for its collection’s quality and comprehensiveness. Thanks to its founders’ benevolence and the continued support of its members, the TMA remains a privately endowed, non-profit institution and opens its collection to the public—free of charge—six days a week.

The TMA collection transcends temporal, geographical, and cultural boundaries. More than 30,000 works of art represent American and European painting, the history of art in glass, ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works, Asian and African art, medieval art, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts, and Modern and contemporary art. To accommodate the ever-growing collection and demand for art education, the Museum campus has grown exponentially since its founding. From its humble first exhibition space in two rented rooms, the Museum has grown to cover approximately 32 acres with six buildings.

MILESTONES 

1901—Toledo Museum of Art is founded. The Museum has 120 members and a collection of a mummified cat and two paintings.

1912—The Museum’s new Monroe Street building opens. The classical Greek style of the Museum architecture employs Ionic columns on the entrance façades.

1919—The Museum created the School of Design, providing traditional studio art and practical design classes to adults and children.

1933—The Peristyle concert hall and the two new wings open with a gala featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra.

1962—The Studio Glass Movement is born at a workshop in a garage on Museum grounds, proving that glass could be worked in a studio setting.

1992—The University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts opens. Renowned architect Frank O. Gehry designed this 51,000-square-foot building. The CVA houses the UT Department of Art, studios, an art reference library, and gallery space.

June 2001—The Museum dedicates the Georgia and David K. Welles Sculpture Garden on Monroe Street. Twenty-two sculptures and landscaped green spaces expand the Museum’s experience to the outdoors.

August 2006—The Glass Pavilion is publicly inaugurated. Located on Monroe Street facing the main Museum, the Pavilion houses TMA’s extensive collection of glass art, state-of-the-art glassmaking facilities, meeting spaces, and a coffee bar. All exterior and interior walls are made entirely of curved glass panels.

Columbus Topiary Garden & Park

Admission to Columbus Topiary Garden & Park is free.

  • Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Location: (Map It) 480 E. Town St. in ‎Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-645-0197
  • Web: click here

Columbus Topiary Garden & Park at Old Deaf School Park in Columbus, Ohio.

Article from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Frank R. Satullo, The OhioTraveler

Wouldn’t it be cool to walk into a painting and be a part of it? You could check things out three-dimensionally to see what the other side looks like.

How about a famous painting? Let’s say, for example, Georges Seurat’s 1887 A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte, which is a depiction of people gathering on a Sunday afternoon at the Seine River in Paris. The original is shown at the Art Institute of Chicago. But the version in downtown Columbus, Ohio, offers a different experience.

In downtown Columbus’ Old Deaf School Park, artist James T. Mason created the only topiary garden based on a work of art. Elaine Mason was the first of many topiarists to trim and meticulously maintain the living topiaries of 54 people: eight boats, three dogs, a monkey, and a cat. The seven-acre sanctuary is not only a destination for art and nature lovers, but it is perfect for picnics, walks, playing board games, or even tossing a little Frisbee.

Take a stroll to the top of the hill overlooking the masterpiece. There, you’ll see a bronze easel and a picture of the original painting by Seurat, who invented the technique of pointillism, using dots of color to create light. Step back and see the 3-D version of the picture unveil itself before your very eyes. The tallest topiary is 12 feet. This provides depth from the vantage point atop the hill to keep all the figures in proportion, as seen in the bronze relief.

Walk around the landscape and take pictures. Roll out a blanket and catch a nap. This park is everything a park should be. It is meant for a lazy afternoon. Find a shade tree or tall topiary and be still. The breeze, the birds, and the flowers will all take hold as you breathe deeper until you feel cleansed.

The Topiary Park Museum Shop and Visitors Center is housed in a chateau-style building. It offers restrooms, drinking fountains, and a museum store. It is furnished in period décor.

Wassenberg Art Center

Admission to Wassenberg Art Center is free (donations accepted).

  • Open: Saturday from 10am – 2pm; Tuesday – Friday from 1pm – 5pm (Thursday open until 9pm).
  • Location: (Map It) 214 S. Washington St. in Van Wert, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-238-6837
  • Web: https://wassenbergartcenter.org/

The Wassenberg Art Center is a not-for-profit community art center that presents an average of 10 admission-free exhibits annually. It offers art classes, workshops, unique events, and activities for adults and children throughout the year.

Charles Wassenberg gifted his home in 1954 after his death for the creation of a local art center. He and his wife Vera and many friends were avid art enthusiasts, and their combined love of art and architecture lives on and grows because of his generosity. One friend in particular, Lew Miller was instrumental in planning for the legacy of art to carry on in the Van Wert area.

Once housed in the Wassenberg Victorian-era home, it is now in the former Van Wert Armory, conveniently located on Washington Street (Interstate 127). In August of 2012, the armory property, which was scheduled to be demolished, was purchased just in time, saving the 12,000-square-foot facility from the wrecking ball. It has smoothly transitioned from a defense facility to that of visual arts and creative placemaking.

Wegerzyn Gardens

Admission to Wegerzyn Gardens is free.

  • Open: April 1 – October 31 from 8am – 10pm, November 1 – March 31 from 8am – 8pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-275-7275
  • Web: click here

Wegerzyn Gardens & Horticulture Center:  The Miami Valley’s Five Rivers Metroparks in Southwest Ohio is home to the Wegerzyn Gardens and Horticulture Center. It features Victorian, English, Federal, and Children’s Rose gardens and has a boardwalk that allows visitors to see rivers and forests. In addition, there is a Reception Lawn amidst a wall of pine trees and a nature trail, allowing people to see wild natural habitats for plant life and wildlife. Also, a scenic river bikeway and a learning center are nearby. The learning center offers opportunities to obtain instructional insight regarding home landscaping, gardening, and floral craft making. One of the main attractions is the Children’s Discovery Garden, which includes a preschool area, two ponds, individual garden plots, a wildlife area, and perennial and rock gardens.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Admission to Wexner Center for the Arts is free for the general gallery (ticket costs vary by special events/exhibits).

  • Open: Saturday & Sunday from 10am – 5pm; and Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 6pm.
  • Location: (Map It) The Ohio State University at 1871 N. High St. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-292-3535
  • Web:  https://www.wexarts.org/

The Wexner Center for the Arts is one of the country’s few multidisciplinary contemporary art centers. Although originally conceived as a research laboratory for all of the arts, it emphasizes commissions for new works and artist residencies. Its multidisciplinary programs encompass performing arts, exhibitions, media arts, and worldwide cutting-edge culture.

The Wexner exhibitions feature art and ideas of an international array of contemporary artists working in various media including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, and multimedia installations.

Zanesville Museum of Art

Admission to Zanesville Museum of Art is free.

  • Open: Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 5pm; and Saturday from 12 – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 620 Military Road in Zanesville, Ohio
  • Phone:  740-452-0741
  • Web: https://www.zanesvilleart.org/

The Zanesville Museum of Art offers a variety of programs for both children and adults. It houses over 8,000 works that span 5,000 years, numerous awe-inspiring exhibits, and major traveling and temporary exhibits.

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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