Wood County Museum wins gold for “Utopia” exhibit

The local museum celebrates 200th birthday with new exhibit.
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Typically when you think of the word, “Utopia,” you think of a faraway land of perfection, but The Wood County Museum is challenging you to stay closer to home with their striking “Utopia” exhibit that landed them The Gold Award from the Ohio Museums Association.

The project began three years ago when the team wanted to capture the excitement of the townships through a pair of young eyes. With the help of 21-year-old Perrysburg Native Taylor Houpt-Ayres, 6,000 images later, the “Utopia” exhibit was born, celebrating the bicentennial of the county.

The exhibit’s dynamic video from local videographer, Zak Kolhoff, of Sylvania’s Zak Films, which showcases Taylor’s use of high dynamic range images and the technique “Painting with Light,” ended up taking home the gold.

“Sometimes you forget that there’s a lot of art and culture within your own community because a lot of times people want to look outwards in order to relax, but there’s a lot here locally that we can do that’s a lot of fun, and you would never think of it,” shares Holly Kirkendall, Wood County Museum Curator. “And so I think being stuck at home you’re looking more to see, what is there to do in your community?”

Kirkendall says the exhibit is a beautiful example of why the community is so proud to live in Northwest Ohio. To get your tickets to the exhibit, or to purchase one of Taylor’s prints, go to

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