The Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) Emerging Leaders has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Akron Art Box, a public art project for Downtown Akron.
The project aims to bring vibrancy and color to downtown with the installation of vinyl wraps on 10 utility boxes on Main Street, each representing a ward in Akron. The total budget for Akron Art Box is $11,150. (Click here to support the Kickstarter campaign.)
The 10 artists involved in the project are Shane Wynn, Ward 1; Thomas Skala, Ward 2; Bill Lynn, Ward 3; Don Peoples, Ward 4; Joe Karlovec, Ward 5; Julie Hogarth, Ward 6; Alison Kulick, Ward 7; Brian Bean, Ward 8; Molly Judge, Ward 9; and Miller South Visual Art Students, Ward 10.
Artwork on utility boxes is a concept used in other cities to create an enlivened, safe and inspired environment. By commissioning neighborhood-inspired public art projects, downtown Akron’s vibrancy will be enhanced to represent the citizens of the community and serve as a gateway to the city’s core.
“While gathering art for Akron Art Box it was awesome to see how incredibly passionate community members are about their neighborhoods,” said Jaclyn Flossie, president of DAP Emerging Leaders. “I’m excited to see how friends, family and neighbors work together to have their neighborhood represented and the diversity of our city displayed on Main Street.”
Julie Hogarth, Akron Public Schools art teacher and artist for Ward 6, says she has seen this type of project in other cities and was intrigued from the beginning. Hogarth’s art represents the Ellet neighborhood as an active place that cares about their children and education, and is grounded in the local aviation history.
“As a child, we would sit at the Big Boy (long gone) and watch the planes take off and land, and once in a while catch sight of a blimp,” she said. “Most everyone in Akron has a story about a blimp, the Soap Box Derby or watching air traffic at the municipal airport. All these memories are rooted in Ellet.”
The utility box project brings together residents from all areas of the city to collaborate on a project that builds value for the arts community and strengthens civic pride. This relatively small-scale project is a simple way to make Akron more vibrant and livable.
The community is invited to make Akron a little more beautiful by contributing to Akron Art Box on Kickstarter.
The Akron Art Box project would complement the Sidewalks with Soul project, a recent initiative focused on engaging people with place, inspired and led by Torchbearers Allyson Boyd and Kat Pestian. In an effort to enhance downtown Akron as an attractive and desirable place to live, work and visit, former phone kiosks are wrapped in vinyl and will stream music from 91.3 the Summit onto Main Street.
The Akron Art Box project follows the success of the 2015 #LovetheWall project that funded a mural on the walls by the METRO Transit Center on S. Broadway. That campaign raised $14,500.