The University of Akron’s Art Bomb Brigade has had a busy summer, as it’s now working on its third major outdoor mural this summer. The new project begins this week at the Akron Sustainer, a shipping container turned educational hub.
The Akron Sustainer and the Art Bomb Brigade, both winners of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grants, will collaborate to bring more positive attention to the Cascade Valley. The Akron Sustainer, the brainchild of Kaley Foster, is a project involving an 8- by 20-foot shipping container built from reused and repurposed materials, which will help Akron residents learn more about sustainability and green living.
The Sustainer plans to feature eco-friendly materials such as a solar panels, vegetative roof, rainwater catchment system and a living wall, to name a few. Workshops, hands on experiments and displays will be offered through Akron Sustainer programming to educate, engage, and empower our residents on various sustainability topics.
Winner of the 2016 Knight Arts Challenge, Art Bomb Brigade sets its sights on transforming underused spaces in the city into cultural destinations. Partnering with Downtown Laundromat on South Main Street earlier this summer, then recently dropping an “art bomb” on Chill, Akron’s first gourmet ice cream shop, they now have their sights set on The Akron Sustainer – a mobile shipping container designed to educate and influence better choices relating to sustainability
To carry out the third “art bomb” of the season, University of Akron’s Myers School of Art alumni artist and designer Daniel Coffield will lead a youth Art Bomb Brigade comprised of Firestone High School Visual Arts students. Team members include Assistant Coordinator Allison Simon and muralists: Kalia Horner, Kwame Gomez, Emma Black, River Berry, Isabella Vaccaro, Elise Helms, Isabelle Nutt and Mina Djuric.
“We see young people as catalysts for creating change in homes, schools, and our future,” said Kaley Foster, creator of the Akron Sustainer. “The Art Bomb Brigade, alongside artist Daniel Coffield, is helping us to achieve that goal by empowering high school students to put their talents to work. The natural elements they will incorporate into the mural will be a stunning addition to the Sustainer and will inspire the minds of those who take part in future workshops and classes.”
Added Coffield: “I am really excited to work on this mural with my Firestone CLC Akron School for the Art Brigade, because it is an opportunity to make art with them outside of a traditional classroom setting. Each student was selected based on how they felt public art could improve the aesthetic quality of a community, and these students have been encouraged to take ownership of the design. I can’t wait until the unveiling as will definitely showcase the caliber of talent and skills of our team!”
The Art Bomb Brigade will work on the mural through Oct. 14. Eco-friendly, art-loving individuals are encouraged to stop by the project site to say hello and witness the progress.
The Art Bomb Brigade and The Akron Sustainer will host an unveiling party on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Akron Sustainer, 21 W. North St., in the Northside District of downtown Akron. The celebration will feature live musical performances, local craft vendors and activities for all ages.