The Toledo School for the Arts Celebrates Jeep’s 80th Anniversary

Toledo, Ohio—The Toledo School for the Arts has partnered with the Toledo Jeep Fest to create a tangible representation of how Jeep has touched the lives of those in the Toledo area. This spring, TSA began their “Art Grille Masters” program and connected students with area mentors to create works of art from Jeep grilles.

The Toledo School for the Arts has a unique connection with the history of Jeep in Toledo. They are currently located in the historical building at 333 14th Street in Toledo, Ohio erected in 1916 by the Willys-Overland Company to finish, ship, and sell their domestic cars. The Toledo School for the Arts has allowed this location to continue to be a center for innovation and excellence. TSA moved into the building in 2004 and the building has been their home ever since. This nationally ranked, community public school for 6th- 12th grade students is known for its transformative model of educating young people.

As they worked to honor the historic milestone for Jeep, Toledo Jeep Fest was glad to partner with TSA as they work to continue the legacy started by Jeep so many years ago. The partnership with the school just felt natural to Whitney Rofkar, Toledo Jeep Fest, Event & Development Director.

“We were glad to partner with the Toledo School for the Arts to celebrate Jeep’s eightieth anniversary. The Toledo Jeep Fest is always looking for ways to incorporate the things that make Toledo special, and the Toledo School for the Arts is one of them. We would like to see this kind of partnership continue in the future,” said Rofkar.

Their connection with Toledo’s Jeep history makes it a perfect fit for the students to work to create these art pieces. The school has connected 13 students with 12 mentors to develop a program that helps the students create pieces for their portfolios. The mentors include local artists, musicians, educators and many others who either have connections to the art or Jeep world. The students range from Sophomores to recent alumni.

“Working with Toledo Jeep Fest has allowed our students to incorporate fun and community spirit by volunteering their time to help make the weekend a success. This Art Grille Master’s partnership is the next natural step in the process. It has been amazing watching the students work with their mentors and to see what they have created together,” said Director of Development, Dave Gierke. Gierke is also mentoring one of the students this year. These pieces will be auctioned off online as a fundraiser for the school. The grilles are available for purchase via online auction at starting in July. The auction will be open until 3 pm on August 8.