Vote your favorite submissions now through Oct. 3
Downtown Akron Partnership has kicked off the fourth annual Akron Art Prize, a month-long competition for visual artists that gives the whole community the chance to enjoy the many and varied works of local artists in the community and to be a part of the prize selection process.
Participating artists submitted their works in August, and six local venues began publicly displaying the entries at a kickoff event earlier in the month.
Venues will be open to the public for viewing and voting on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon until 9 p.m. throughout the month, until voting ends Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., when the winners are announced.
Voters must register with Akron Art Prize, and votes will be cast by mobile device and voting kiosks as set forth by Art Prize organizers. Anyone age 16 and older possessing a valid driver’s license, state ID or passport is eligible to vote.
Putting together a multi-venue, month-long visual art competition is an enormous responsibility. Thankfully, Downtown Akron Partnership’s Courtney Cable is the coordinator for the Akron Art Prize, and she matches the enormity of the project with her boundless energy and enthusiasm for the Akron arts community. She grew up in Toronto, Ohio, and came to Akron to live and work after earning a master’s degree in Arts Administration in 2010. “I love what I do,” she says. “I am in my dream job doing exactly what I want to be doing now…helping other peoples dreams come true.”
While there are prizes and it is a competition, Akron Art Prize is more than just a contest. “Akron Art Prize elevates what is going on in downtown Akron,” says Kurtiss Hare, director of programming and operations for the Nightlight Cinema in downtown Akron. “It is a chance to match artists with art appreciators, to give artists an outlet, a place to introduce the public to their work.” The Nightlight is located at 30 N. High St. next door to Uncorked Wine Bar.
First-year participants Rule of Thirds Gallery (Ro3), located at 115 E. Market St. across from Summit Artspace Gallery, are introducing Akronites to their gallery for the first time with the Art Prize exhibit. Ro3 partners Christian Vallance and Tyler Joy, Canton natives, shared that they chose Akron as the location for their gallery because of the collaborative spirit of the Akron arts community. “The arts community in Akron has been really welcoming and very open to listening to new ideas,” says Joy. “We are excited to be here and to be part of the Akron Art Prize.”
Zeber-Martell Side Gallery and Artwalls at 43 Furnace are both located at 43 Furnace St. and have displayed Akron Art Prize works since the beginning. Michael Martell and his wife and business partner, Claudia Zeber-Martell, both artists themselves, say they look forward to the art coming in and to working with artists to place their work to its best advantage. “Every piece tells a story, and we enjoy the creative challenge of installing the art so it can best tell its story,” says Michael Martell.
Venues also hosting Akron Art Prize entries are Palladian Palette, located at 106 N. Main St., 2nd Floor, and Summit Artspace, located at 140 E. Market St., 1st Floor.
For information about all things Akron Art Prize-related, go to www.akronartprize.org.