TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo is rich with maritime history. It's part of the reason the National Museum of the Great Lakes is in the Glass City. The museum discovered a volunteer with a hidden talent, who is giving back to keep that history alive.
David Hart has spent the past five years greeting guests inside the National Museum of the Great Lakes and on deck of the James M. Schoonmaker.
"I always wanted to sail," he said.
It started when he was a young boy, asking the Captain of the John P. Reiss for a job.
"I was too young and he let me come on board every ten days and I never got the ships out of my system," explains Hart.
Hart says he chose to raise his family on land, but he still has a great love for the sea. So he started painting ships, and he hasn't stopped.
He said, "I kept painting the ships that I grew up with. All these old freighters. It's kind of a testimony, kind of a silent voice to what the shipping used to be."
A museum worker found out about Hart's talent and now, 65 of his paintings are going on display.
"We had no idea and to have such a prolific artist amongst our ranks, it was something that was very special," said Director of Development at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Anna Kolin.
Hart donated his paintings to the museum. Starting Saturday, May 13, they will be available for purchase. The proceeds go towards maintenance of the Schoonmaker.
"Between the painting and the things that may break, things that need to be fixed on there. It's a tremendous amount. So this is going to go a long way to be able to help us continue to keep her as beautiful as she is," said Kolin.
The exhibit runs through June 25. It's cash and carry, so it's best to to not wait to purchase one of Hart's beautiful works.
However there will be plenty more paintings to come. Hart said he doesn't plan on putting down the paint brush, anytime soon. "I'll never run out of ships, never run out of boats," he says.
Members can view the exhibit with their membership while non-members will have to the cost of entry to the museum.
- Adults: $11 for museum only $15 for museum and Schoonmaker combined
- Seniors: $10 for museum only $14 for museum and Schoonmaker combined
- Youth ages 6-17: $8 museum only $12 for museum and Schoonmaker combined
- Children 5 and under are free
- Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Monday: Closed