Lois Salmon Toole
After more than a decade of embracing life in upstate New York, Lois, Dave, and their young sons brought their energy and enthusiasm to settle in the vibrant town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, in 1968. In 1976, Lois embarked on a creative journey by enrolling in watercolor courses at the blossoming Valley Art Center. While oil painting had always held a special place in her heart, Lois quickly discovered a new source of joy and inspiration in the captivating world of transparent watercolors.
Her artistic journey took flight with local art exhibitions, propelling Lois towards national recognition. With an unwavering spirit, she triumphed in over 500 major National and International juried shows across four decades. Lois’s dedication was met with applause, amassing an impressive collection of 165 awards and gaining Signature Membership in 17 esteemed professional art organizations. These included luminous names such as the National Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America, and Transparent Watercolor Society of America – where she achieved Master Status, among many others.
Her creative exploration stretched across the canvas, transcending geographical boundaries. Lois’s vibrant artworks graced solo, group, and invitational exhibitions from coast to coast and even ventured abroad. The Northern Ohio region was illuminated by her talents, enhancing events like the annual Art in the Park hosted by the Chagrin Valley Art Center, the Boston Mills Artfest, and the Cain Park Art Show, among other wonderful occasions.
Lois’s creative achievements were celebrated in the pages of 14 publications, including two instructional books that illuminated her artistic process. Her contributions found their place in renowned works like “Painting Ships, Shores, and the Sea” and “Watercolor Skies and Clouds Techniques by 23 International Artists.” Her luminous works also earned spots in prestigious collections like “Modern Masters of Miniature Art In America,” “Splash 3,” “Splash 7,” and “Splash Retrospective – 20 Years of Contemporary Excellence.” These accolades were further enriched by her appearances in “Best of Watercolor 1 and 3.” The echoes of Lois’s artistic insight resonated as she lent her discerning eye to jurying local, national, and international exhibitions. Her contributions found a treasured home in the American Art Museum Library at the Smithsonian Institution, a testament to her influence in the art world as she earned a place in Marquis’ “Who’s Who in American Art.”
For an incredible span of 15 years, Lois orchestrated the invitational Art in the Park shows in collaboration with the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce. Her dedication extended to her roles on the Valley Art Center’s Board and its Advisory Board, where her guidance shone brightly. A crowning achievement arrived in 2017 when Lois and Dave were named honorary co-chairs of a fundraiser, commemorating their enduring commitment to the Valley Art Center and their remarkable legacy of service.