Local metal sculpture artist Terry Klausman has packed a year’s worth of history from Akron’s art community into a time capsule — or rather, a sealed wood crate fashioned in the artist’s unique industrial style.
Rather than be placed underground, where it could be damaged or potentially forgotten, this time capsule was secured by Klausman yesterday to be housed in the Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Many of the artists and residents who contributed capsule items were on hand to send this collection off into the archives, to be opened in 50 years.
“I’m a sensitive, nostalgic fellow. I kind of thought it would be really cool if in 50 years we had a chance to tell people of Akron who we were, what our community was like,” said Klausman, whose time capsule was an extension of a recent found art 3D assemblage show with fellow Northeast Ohio artists Bret Hines and Gwen Waight that wrapped up in March at nearby Summit Artspace.
“This was one heck of an education for me,” said Klausman, who also operates a studio at Summit Artspace. As he collected personal artifacts from local artists — some donating pieces of their art, others writing letters — Klausman was able to learn some of the unique stories behind these future relics.
“I’m a facilitator for the future,” he said, as he secured the screws to the crate that he hand-built, varnished and adorned with lettering that clearly states the intention of this community project. “Every one of you put in treasures. Thank you all so very much.”
For the capsule, Klausman sought out residents who had a number of different connections to the art world, from the artists themselves, to volunteers, galleries, local foundations and even art lovers. “Whatever it took at this time to make our art community whole and unique,” he said. “One of the most colorful ones is Larry Walker’s entry, and he was the (recent) First Night button artist,” added Klausman.
“This is our first art collection,” said Judy James, Special Collections Division Manager of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. “This is special and new for us.”
She added: “We’re not burying it. It will be on the shelves in our archival stacks.”
Special Collections compiles all manner of unique items, and is a valuable genealogical and historical resource. “This is where you’d come if you want to research your family history,” she added.
It’s important that we archive this point in time in Akron, said James. “We have the Summit County Historical Society’s collection, which features 15,000 pictures,” she said. Other collections include those from the World Series of Golf, Ohio Ballet, Lighter than Air Society (and an ongoing physical archive of Akronist articles and videos).
“I think people forget that we’re making history every day,” she said. “These artists are a part of our cultural history. In addition to collecting old things, we’re also trying to collect new things.”
To learn more about the Library’s Special Collections division, visit the website.