The 13th Annual FRESH Juried Art Exhibition, Akron’s anticipated, contemporary regional art show, opens Jan. 13 at Summit Artspace with works reacting to a turbulent world.
Displaying 33 pieces from 29 local artists, the show will kick-off with a free reception to meet the artists on Friday, Jan. 13, 5 to 8 p.m., in the Summit Artspace Gallery, 140 E. Market St., Akron. Winners will be announced during the opening event.
Regional artists take their work in new directions using a FRESH perspective for the annual competition. Juror Charles Beneke, professor of art at the University of Akron Mary Schiller Myers School of Art and associate dean of the Graduate School, selected the works from 71 entries. FRESH runs until Feb. 18.
Beneke characterized FRESH as an “awaited welcoming of the new year with an exposition of new explorations in the visual arts by members of our vital, regional community.”
The works this year vibrate with “a sense of unease and trepidation—our world is unsettled; our political climate is divisive; big changes are impending,” according to Beneke.
In the selected pieces created in a variety of media and styles, he examined works addressing the recent U.S. election, reflecting upon changes in world cultures as a result of ethnic diasporas and questioning personal identity.
The common theme among the pieces that struck Beneke was the exploration of space. As a nationally and internationally known visual artist, he observed artists using their craft to ground themselves and come to terms with uncertain times and a new, uncertain world.
“FRESH 2017 explores new definitions of space and this new place that we must all learn to navigate and inhabit together,” he said.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 7 p.m., and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. The show is open Saturday, Feb. 4, noon to 9 p.m. during regular hours and for Artwalk in downtown Akron, which runs 5 to 10 p.m.
Parking is available behind the Summit Artspace building when visiting the gallery. Summit Artspace is handicap accessible and has an elevator. For information about Summit Artspace, go to summitartspace.org or call (330) 376-8480. Find Summit Artspace on Facebook, on Twitter at @AkronAreaArts and on Snapchat.