Sam B’s Restaurant in Bowling Green brings Fine Art to diner

Posted Sep 27th, 2010 by Annette Jensen  Category: Arts & Entertainment


PRIZM a 501 (c) (3) for Education and Collaboration in the Arts, pairs its expertise with Sam B’s Restaurant in Bowling Green to bring a Fine Art experience to local diners.

They say refinement is progress, and progress has always been a goal of Sam B’s Restaurant owner Jim Ferrell. With that goal in mind Jim sought the advice of local friend artist Emanual Enriquez about a potential face lift for the restaurant. Mr. Enriquez suggested the installation of a Fine Art Gallery featuring local artists to be incorporated into the décor. “Jim has always sought for ways to give his customers the best possible experience when they walk through his door,” Emanuel said, so he was happy to give some opinions on new paint colors, custom lighting, shelving and other refinements to accommodate a fine art collection/ display for the public to enjoy.

PRIZM Creative Community a local 501 (c) (3) non-profit for education, service and collaboration in the arts became a logical choice to curate the gallery. PRIZM not only represents many professional, emerging and learning artists in the community but they have a program called “Art in Public Places,” where they take the art to places where the public can enjoy it. What better place to enjoy fine art than over a fine meal at Sam B’s?

The gallery will be open daily during Sam B’s regular dining hours and artwork in the gallery will rotate regularly. Most of the artwork will be available for sale. As a community Bowling Green promotes the arts through various formats including the recent Black Swamp Festival, and their spring Art Walk event. Nationally art councils, commissions, and governments, have recognized the importance of supporting and encouraging local artists through initiatives such as the program sponsored by PRIZM. Additionally artists realize the necessity of connecting with not only patrons of the arts but other aspiring artists and future generations of artists. The Collaboration between PRIZM and Sam B’s will offer local artists, patrons, and diners the beauty and inspiration of the arts, while adding to the economic vitality of our area. Diners will find the gallery collection decorating the restaurant professionally labeled with the artist’s names, Medias used, and price. A small amount of each sale will go back to support the non-profit charitable work of the PRIZM organization. Each time a new installation is created, the public will be informed with a press release featuring the new artists and works available.

An Opening Reception for the Gallery is scheduled for Friday evening Oct the 8th, from 8-10 p.m. at the restaurant located at 163 South Main Street in Bowling Green. The public will be able to meet many of the artists featured, and talk with PRIZM representatives about their program. Light refreshments will be available courtesy of Sam B’s. Come early or linger longer to enjoy a full meal from one of the most highly rated restaurants in the region. A recent restaurant review of Sam B’s by The Blade said, “Overall the cuisine comes off as a technical show of perfection, the preparations, and seasonings are truly some of the best in northwest Ohio, like a culinary masterclass, relying on quality and skill over gimmick and facade.” The review also mentioned “the high end art” and music set the stage for an overall impression that is “classy but comfortable.”

Upon entering the front bar room of the restaurant with its high ceilings and rich warm woods, one feels instantly comfortable among the rich Merlot Red Walls, and impressive art collection. Featured on a pedestal inside the front door is a massive ceramic vessel by BGSU Student Adam Soboleski . Adam is no stranger to large challenges, as the giant vessel proves with its many panels featuring unique textures, designs and finishes.

Over the Bar Area, another ceramic artist Jeremy Anderson is featured with his large decorative ceramic platters. Jeremy, whose goal is to someday teach ceramics after attending graduate school, prefers to work in painting on ceramic, and using atmospheric kilns such as wood and soda to fire his work. Also featured in the bar area are a couple of large Sea Form Glass Bowls which include hanging ironwork, by artist Joshua Lee Haas. Joshua shows the intricacy of his artistic ability in a pair of Crystal goblets composed of blown glass featuring ornate stems assembled using cut and polished shapes of crystal and glass.

Another up and coming ceramic artist Kati Reid lent one of her favorite pots to the gallery called ”Shino Jar” a large Wood Kiln Fired Ceramic with subtle color effects. It is featured on the window ledge over the window in the Main Dining Room.

Artist Les Robertson of Perrysburg features four massive glass vessels, three of which are prominently displayed on custom Oak and Glass Shelf units made and lit especially to feature Three-Dimensional work. The Fourth vase graces the front window where passers-by admire its Brilliant Ruby Red colored Glass. Mr. Roberson also created “Floral Arrangement #4,” a large plaque featuring Dale Chihuly styled bowl shapes of glass in multiple colors displayed by the spiral staircase on the gold wall at the back of the restaurant. For those who don’t need such a large piece he created three separate floral shapes which can be purchased as a grouping or individually. The separate pieces are displayed just inside the front door on the entry wall.

Artist Emanuel Enriquez, is featuring two massive paintings in the fifteen to twenty foot size range which would be appropriate for large home or business installations. Both pieces feature lilies although they are very different as one is a Oil on Canvas of the Lotus Lilies at Schedel Gardens, while the other is a Pastel on Embossed Rag Paper.

A wide variety of artistic media is represented in the Main Dining Room, as artist Diane King features two very impressive copper enameled pieces in elegant frames, the first a close-up of a dragon fly, while the second is a landscape of the Vermillion River. Artist Debra Buchanan contributes two multi-media pieces to the gallery, including a prize winning collage, and another more formal presentation of color in “Paper Squares 123,”

Artist Ivan Kende’s work rounds out the selection in the Main dining room where three of his large Acrylic paintings, are featured. His work could be described as minimalist, almost abstract works using a richness of color, texture, and sometimes hinting at mythical meanings in the titles and images. To learn more about his work visit his website

The North downstairs dining room, at Sam B’s is an intimate space with ceiling timbers, rock fireplace, rustic brick, and rich salmon colored walls. The gallery here presently features the work of a couple of local photographers J.D. Jensen, and Elaine Fuchs. Mr. Jensen, grew up as the son of a newspaper editor, and photographer and learned the importance and pleasure of capturing moments on film. He contributed close up floral studies to the exhibit, as well as select shots from his travels to Arizona, Utah, and Yosemite National Park.

Elaine Fuchs is a talented framer and photographer who enjoys traveling. She contributed close up representations of nature, which seem not only magical but seasonal. Since its recent installation her collage type photo titled, “Visione del Canale,” from her travels in Italy is a favorite selection of recent patrons.

Sam B’s Restaurant has been a part of Bowling Green since March of 1972, when owner Jim Ferrell opened a submarine/sandwich shop at Wooster and State Street, as a student with two of his BGSU friends. At the end of 1972, when his two friends decided to leave the business, Ferrell persevered. Through the years the small sub shop went through a series of changes until it became the Sam B’s of today.

He opened the Sam B’s on North Main Street in 1988, and then bought the Kaufman location in 1997. In May of 2002 with the closing of Kaufman’s Steak House, he made the decision to relocate Sam B’s to the bigger space where he could accommodate more customers.

At the present location Sam B’s is not only able to accommodate those who walk in for a great meal, but it also features several banquet rooms to serve parties, weddings, and private gatherings. The Garden room in the downstairs area has an additional bar and can accommodate up to 90 people. The upstairs area includes the Sonoma room and Gallery room which can individually accommodate 40 or 70 people respectively or 110 people combined. The Ohio Room is a historic impressive room built in wood work, a massive fireplace, brick, and bright natural light from the windows. It can accommodate private parties of 30-40 people. To see Sam B’s menu and the full range of services offered including catering, delivery and banquet rooms, please visit their website at

In response to area businesses who want to partner with PRIZM to showcase locally produced original art, PRIZM is creating a catalogue of available pieces for display. The catalogue will be available later in the fall and will contain photos of original work available to show, along with the dimensions, and sizes.   If your business or organization is located in a public place, and you would like more information on displaying original local artwork please contact prizm at, or call 419-931-8732 to discuss possibilities.

PRIZM Creative Community is a 501 c. 3 nonprofit organization currently receiving partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council and Toledo Community Foundation. For more information on upcoming PRIZM educational workshops in the visual and literary arts  email or telephone the above contact information or visit our website

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