The Update | Hoyt Exhibits Works by Late Artist Baskin; Wagon Trails Animal Park to Close

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – An exhibition of works by the late American artist Leonard Baskin is on display at The Hoyt Art Center through April 21.

A major figure in 20th century American art, Baskin’s work is largely figurative and often focused on mortality, Judaism, the Holocaust and other angst-ridden themes influenced by his Jewish heritage. Images range from naturalistic to fanciful, and frequently show humans merging with animals. 

The featured series, Hermaika, is no exception with the raven taking center stage. The series was inspired by the use of herms to mark boundaries in ancient Greece. 

Baskin also founded the Gehenna Press in 1942, one of the first fine art presses in America. With that in mind, an exhibition of artists’ books on loan from Slippery Rock University accompanies the Baskin exhibition.

They feature the work of Baskin, Georges Braque, Anne Carson, Marc Chagall, Antonio Frasconi, Paul Klee, Kathe Kollwitz, Mike Mignola, Diego Rivera and Rob Ryan. 

Perhaps among the timelier works is “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola’s Quarantine Sketchbook. It is composed of original pencil sketches that were posted online throughout the coronavirus quarantine.  They went viral and were auctioned off to raise money for José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. These sketches are now available as a book.

Another worth noting is Kathe Kollwitz’s loose portfolio of prints, Mappe, depicting the horror and poverty of war. Kollowitz increasingly reflected themes of sacrifice and mourning in her work following the death of her younger son, Peter, who was killed in combat in 1914.  

The Hoyt, 124 E. Leasure St., is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Wagon Trails Animal Park to Close in Sept.

VIENNA, Ohio – Wagon Trails Animal Park’s upcoming season, which begins April 30, will also be its last.

The 23-year-old park will close at the end of the season. Its final day will be Sept. 5, according to a message on the park’s Facebook page announcing the impending closure.

“Our small family runs the park,” the post states. “And while we love what we do, we have also gotten 23 years older and have come to the realization that this is the best decision. It has been our privilege to be part of your family’s memories over the year.”

The park is at 907 Youngstown Kingsville Road SE. For information, go to

World Series of Comedy Event at Magic Tree

BOARDMAN, Ohio – A World Series of Comedy regional final will take place Saturday, March 19, at The Magic Tree Pub and Eatery, 7463 South Ave. There will be two shows – 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Presented by The Funny Farm comedy club, the event will feature 40 comedians from across the country competing for the chance to move on to the main event in Las Vegas later this year.

Tickets for Saturday’s event are $20. To reserve seats, call 330 759 4242 or go to

Pictured: This untitled piece from Leonard Baskin’s Hermaika series is on display at The Hoyt.

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