Photographer Chris Verene has been making documentary photographs about his family's rural Illinois hometown of Galesburg for the past three decades. The simple color images, accompanied by handwritten text, are understated and reflect a plain yet beautiful side of American life that might otherwise pass by uncelebrated.
On Thursday, Oct. 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum, Verene will share many of those photographs and talk about his work. The free lecture is part of The University of Akron's Fred and Laura Bidwell Photography Lecture Series, which brings prominent photographers to Akron each year. In addition to the lecture, Verene will spend a day working closely with students in UA's Mary Schiller Myers School of Art.
The lecture is free but tickets are required. To reserve tickets, visit https://akronartmuseum.org/eventregistration/272 or call the museum at (330) 376-9185.
The second annual Akron Art Prize is coming to a close this Saturday, but it's not too late to participate and vote for your favorite piece.
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation sponsors the contest and winners will be announced in the grand lobby of the Akron Art Museum on October 5. First place receives $5,000 and the honor of displaying their piece in the Akron Art Museum for the week following the competition. There will be five $1,000 runner-up prizes awarded as well.
The competition was open to solo and collaborative artists, as well as two- or three-dimensional pieces. Voting takes place during a limited timeframe and is only allowed within Downtown, encouraging voters to attend and experience the events.
Grappling with cuts to public funding while still seeking to represent the interests of the mainstream public, some museums of contemporary art are devising compelling alternatives to the long-held notion that bigger is better. Learn more when art historian and critic Claire Bishop presents "Radical Museology, or, What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art?" at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Akron Art Museum.
The free lecture is part of The University of Akron's Catherine H. Campbell Memorial Art History Lecture Series, which brings prominent art historians to Akron each year. The late Catherine Campbell, a 1988 graduate of the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at UA, established the series that now continues in its 13th year through the generosity of her family and friends.
During her lecture, Bishop will examine the collection displays of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, and the MSUM in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as examples of museums that are re-thinking the contemporary in contemporary art.
The Akron Area Arts Alliance (AAAA) invites area arts organizations and the general public to nominate deserving artists, arts educators, philanthropists, businesses and volunteers for the 2013 Arts Alive! Awards Celebration, honoring outstanding achievement in dance, music, theater and the visual arts.
Awards are also given for outstanding leadership and generous support of our arts and culture community. This gala event takes place Nov. 3 at Summit Artspace with a roving arts feast throughout the building’s three floors.
Arts award categories include: Outstanding Visual Artist, Outstanding Artist in Music, Outstanding Artist in Dance, Outstanding Artist in Theatre, Arts Volunteer, Arts Patron, Arts Outreach, Arts Business Support, Arts Educator, Rising Young Star-Artist, Rising Young Star-Leadership and Collaborative Projects.
The Akron/ Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau will host the 12th Annual Zenith Awards, May 8, during a luncheon ceremony at the John S. Knight Center beginning at 11:30 a.m. Celebrated during National Tourism Week (May 4 through 12), the Zenith Awards recognize contributions made to and by Summit County's hospitality industry.
In addition to the Zenith Awards being given in seven traditional award categories (point of interest/attraction, community/special event, art/culture, outdoor/recreation, restaurant/dining, theatre/entertainment and shopping/retail) and four specialty categories (Hospitality Volunteer, Friend of Hospitality, Hospitality Website and Hospitality Partnership), Dr. Mitchell Kahan, Director Emeritus of the Akron Art Museum will be receiving the 2013 Chairman's Award; the award is bestowed upon deserving industry leaders by Gregory Bean, Chairman of the Bureau's Board of Directors.
The new chief curator of the Akron Art Museum, Janice Driesbach, is also curating The University of Akron Myers School of Art's 2013 Juried Student Exhibition.
The free exhibition runs Feb. 4-28 in the Emily Davis Gallery in Folk Hall, 150 E. Exchange St. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free opening reception is Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. Free parking for visitors is available during the reception, and metered spaces are available during gallery hours.
UA has offered art classes since it began as Buchtel College in 1870, and the talents of UA art students have been showcased in juried exhibitions for the past 77 years.
It's a striking contrast that the Akron Art Museum's CEO and director, Mitchell Kahan, is surrounded by such magnificent modern art playing out in the spacious galleries, yet the desk in his office is a nondescript wooden behemoth showing its share of scars.
That desk seems to play testament to the dedication of Kahan, who'll soon be stepping down after 26 years, that his thrust has always been about furthering the museum and everything else seems just peripheral.
He arrived in Akron in 1986 when he says "things were just terrible here," a time when there was virtually no funds to grow the museum's collection, citing, however, that the former director spent the money "very wisely."
On Sept. 13, Akron Film+Pixel Night will feature seven local short films, Q&A with attending filmmakers and acclaimed indie videogames. The free program starts at the Akron Art Museum at 7 p.m. and moves on to Summit Artspace at 8:15 p.m., where free refreshments will be served.
"Our multi-day international film festival returns next year, but this year, we didn't want to miss the chance to showcase the cream-of-the-crop work we're seeing locally," said Steve Felix, executive director. "And we couldn't resist showing off two extremely fun and not-yet-released new games."
It is common for artists to have a clear vision of how they want their exhibits to be set up, but for El Anatsui, he leaves it up to your imagination.
"Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui," appearing from now through Oct. 7 at the Akron Art Museum, is sure to be different at each venue it's displayed, because the artist encourages the staff to "sculpt" each piece as it's being installed. Organized by Ellen Rudolph, interim chief curator at the museum, in collaboration with the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the exhibit has never showed in North American and will tour nationally through 2014.
According to an Akron Art Museum press release, "Gravity and Grace" highlights Anatsui's most recent work and features 12 monumental metal wall and floor sculptures as well as a series of drawings displaying the artist's process. He is known for transforming discarded objects into shimmering, pliable artworks, and he draws on artistic and aesthetic traditions from his birth country of Ghana, his home in Nigeria and various Western artforms.
A smudge of paint on Howard Finster’s thumb turned into a successful art career and international acclaim. There's still time to see Finster's groundbreaking exhibit, "Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster," at the Akron Art Museum through June 3.
This is the first major retrospective of the folk art icon, offering visitors an in-depth look at the life and career of a visionary artist represented in the museum’s collection.
“We’ve been wanting outsider or folk art because we actively collect it,” said Ellen Rudolph, Akron Art Musuem's interim chief curator. “We already have a few of pieces at the museum, so it was a wonderful chance to show more of his works.”