A University of Findlay must-see mini Mazza Museum is open to the public, at the Toledo Zoo, of all places, and it’s a beauty. The Mazza Gallery, made possible with donated artwork and creative vision from UF’s Mazza Museum, is located on the second floor of the new ProMedica Museum of Natural History.

But, why visit an art gallery when there are live animals to be seen at the world-famous Toledo Zoo and Aquarium? Here are some of the best reasons:

  • The stories. The gallery’s current “Lines, Tigers and Bears” exhibition includes eye-popping original artwork that corresponds with the books the pieces are included in. Visitors can read all about animal and zoo-themed narratives while they’re making their own memories.
  • The inspiration. People from all ages are encouraged to artistically express what they’ve seen at the zoo and in the museum by using free, available art supplies to come up with their own stories and drawings. Grab a seat and let your creativity flourish. Ideas abound – the ProMedica Museum of Natural History alone is chock full of fascinating features such as greenhouses, live venomous snakes, local ecosystem displays, and replicas of animals that once roamed the region.
  • The comfort. Featuring cozy seating and plenty of air conditioning, the expansive room is a great place for people to park strollers, relax, and catch a break from the hustle and bustle of the popular zoo, especially during hot summer days.
  • The quiet. Tucked into a cozy corner near the elevator, the Mazza Gallery is a soft-spoken location suitable for reading, reflecting, and conversing about all that you’ve seen and done thus far at the Toledo Zoo.
  • The transitions. Featuring rotating exhibits, the gallery will regularly be swapping out artwork and books to keep content fresh and inviting.
  • The education. Visiting artists and other activities will occasionally be featured in the Mazza Gallery, so keep checking back on subsequent trips; you might find different art, and an exciting thing or two happening in the space.
  • The history. The ProMedica Museum of Natural History is housed in a federal Works Progress Administration building constructed in the 1930s. The Depression-era brick structure, featuring eye-catching windows and vaulted ceilings with wood beams, provides rooms with a decidedly historical atmosphere, which is perfect for Mazza Gallery storytime. Also included in the gallery, between two round windows, is a large grandfather clock, which fits right in with the old-time feel of the room.

University of Findlay alumni, parents and friends, and Mazza Museum supporters, are invited to attend an opening reception at the Toledo Zoo on Sunday, June 30 from 11:30-1:30 p.m. in the Mazza Gallery. Registration is required by June 21. The cost will include zoo admission, parking and a meal. To register, visit UF’s alumni webpage.

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