Educational Programming

Art: 21- Change

In one week (April 13) the sixth season of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” premieres with the episode “Change,” which features international artists El Anatsui, Ai Weiwei and Catherine Opie.

This is perfect timing because for the museum’s 90th anniversary celebration, it is organizing the national tour of Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui in conjunction with the artist and his dealer, Jack Shainman. The exhibition will premiere in Akron June 17 – October 7, 2012 with the artist’s most recent work including twelve monumental wall and floor sculptures widely considered to represent the apex of his career. In addition, a series of drawings illuminates the artist’s process and wooden wall reliefs reference his earlier work in wood.

To kick off the opening festivities of Gravity and Grace El Anatsui will participate in a dialogue with Interim Chief Curator Ellen Rudolph at the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library-Auditorium on June 16. Tickets are $7 for members and $15 for nonmembers (includes admission to the Opening Party). Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity are now available!

“Art in the 21st Century”, often referred to as “Art:21,” is a PBS series, educational resource, archive and history of contemporary art.  Art:21 is the only series on United States television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists.  It is a part of a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to make contemporary art more accessible to the public and to document 21st-century art and artists from the artists’ own perspectives.

Art:21 has profiled several artists in the Akron Art Museum collection, including Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Yinka Shonibare and Richard Tuttle.

Local Airings:

Western Reserve PBS: April 13 at 9 pm
WVIZ/ PBS ideastream: April 13 at 10 pm

*UPDATE*

Experience El Anatsui in Akron on June 16! Buy your tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event now. http://akronartmuseum.ticketleap.com/dialogueanatsui/

Book Club: The Family Fang

Thursday, April 26
6pm
Martha Stecher Reed Library

The Family Fang

The Family Fang
By Kevin Wilson

From art theft to the scandalous lives of artists, the museum’s book club is never boring. Author Kevin Wilson’s debut novel, The Family Fang, is this spring’s book club pick.  Get a crash course in performance art and discuss the book with museum book club members and staff.

The Museum’s Book Club is free but requires registration.  Additional charges may apply for non-members for some events.

Please call 330.376.9186 x 230 to register.

For outré performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, everything in life is secondary to art, including their children. Annie and Buster (popularly known as Child A. and Child B.) are the unwilling stars of their parents’ chaotically subversive work. Art is truly a family affair for the Fangs. Years later, their lives in disarray, Annie and Buster reluctantly return home in search of sanctuary—only to be caught up in one last performance. The Family Fang sparkles with Kevin Wilson’s inventive dialogue and wonderfully rendered set-pieces that capture the surreal charm of the Fang’s most notable work. With this brilliant novel, the family Fang is destined to join the families Tenenbaum and Bluth as paragons of high dysfunction.
—Shane Hansanuwat

 The book is available for purchase in the Museum Store and through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Landscapes Panel Discussion on Feb 2

Three Northeast Ohio Artists Discuss Landscape Art
Thursday, February 2
6:30 pm

The Akron Art Museum will host a panel discussion featuring three local artists currently on view at the museum on February 2 at 6:30 pm.

Bruce Checefsky, Michelle Droll and Barry Underwood will discuss how light, environmental issues and the tradition of landscape painting apply to their work in a panel discussion moderated by Interim Chief Curator Ellen Rudolph.

Regional artist Michelle Droll, creator of Landslide: Between a Rock and a Place, builds environmentally friendly landscapes out of recycled materials. She uses scraps from her studio, Styrofoam and other recycled man-made material to create these scenes. Intrigued by the “building” of landscape with junk, she has created a vibrant sculpture that references present-day environmental concerns.

Cleveland photographers Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood use atmospheric and applied light to capture ephemeral moments in nature. All of these artists have illustrated nature and landscapes in different ways but all have unified viewers under one topic.

How do contemporary artists work in the tradition of landscape painters on view in Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism? How have contemporary concerns such as environmentalism and technology altered the tradition? How does the local terrain inspire Northeast Ohio artists? Join us for the answers to these questions and more at this inspiring look at the art of contemporary landscape.

Beginning in the 19thcentury, artists left their studios and ventured out into the wild to document the great outdoors. From creating art depicting the sea to the sky, artists have been trying to replicate the wonders that surround us. Nature and landscapes have always been captivating elements because we cannot completely describe their magnificence. However, artists can open our minds to different interpretations of landscapes. Though concerns and views about landscapes may have changed since the impressionist era, the land remains a profound source of inspiration for artists.

FREE, first-come, first-seated in the Lehner Auditorium
This panel discussion is made possible by the Akron Art Museum George and Ethel Nobil Fund.
Bruce Checefsky in front of his photoraphs in "SuperNatural: Landscapes by Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood"

Bruce Checefsky in front of his photographs in "SuperNatural: Landscapes by Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood"

Barry Underwood and Sarah Kabot at the opening of "SuperNatural: Landscapes by Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood"

Barry Underwood and Sarah Kabot at the opening of "SuperNatural: Landscapes by Bruce Checefsky and Barry Underwood"

Michelle Droll in front of "Landscrape" from her exhibition titled "Michelle Droll: Landslide/Between a Rock and a Place"

Michelle Droll in front of "Landscrape" from her exhibition titled "Michelle Droll: Landslide/Between a Rock and a Place"

Book Club: The Private Lives of the Impressionists

Thursday, January 26
6 pm

The Private Lives of Impressionists by Sue Roe

The Private Lives of the Impressionists
By Sue Roe

From Art theft to the scandalous lives of artists, the museum’s book club is never boring. January’s book club selection will transport readers to the studios, salons and rowdy riverside bars of Paris as readers discuss The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe. Filled with maps and illustrations, Roe’s book is a lively biographical take on the key artists of the impressionist movement. Book club will also include a guided tour of Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism.

The Museum’s Book Club is free but requires registration.  Additional charges may apply for non-members for some events.

Please call 330.376.9186 x 230 to register.

Review of The Private Lives of the Impressionists in Publishers Weekly:

From Monet and Pissarro’s first meeting in Paris in 1860 to art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel’s influential 1886 Impressionist exhibition in New York City, the group known as the Impressionists—Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Sisley, Morisot and Cassatt—struggled to build their reputations, support themselves financially and create meaningful personal lives. In this meticulously researched and vividly written book, British writer Roe (Gwen John) argues that their drive for success was the strongest unifying factor among this diverse group of artists, including the antisocial, celibate Degas, the socialist Pissarro and the chronically depressed Sisley, who resented the Impressionists’ meager public appreciation until the very end of his life. Roe’s nuanced portraits of these artists include personal details both small—the American Cassatt’s booming voice and “atrocious” French accent—and significant—Manet’s illegitimate son and his upper-middle-class family’s elaborate efforts to conceal the child’s existence. The result is a comprehensive and revealing group portrait, superbly contextualized within the period’s volatile political, socioeconomic and artistic shifts. Roe’s book will be of great interest to both art and social historians as well as to the general reader.

The book is available for purchase in the Museum Store and through Amazon and Barnes &Noble.

MiniMasters Family Day

By Maria Iafelice, Education Assistant

MiniMasters is an educational outreach program, bringing a little bit of the museum to Akron Summit Community Action Inc. Head Start preschool classrooms.  After learning about the lines, shapes and colors in William Sommer’s watercolor portraits and creating works of their own, the preschool artists and their families were invited to a day at the museum.  During the MiniMasters Family Day, families made paintings together, viewed their artworks on display and helped a percussion group from the University of Akron drum up some noise! Special thanks to the Tuesday Musical Association for organizing the fun and interactive percussion group.

We are looking forward to our next Sunday Sampler on January 2nd, 2011!

Island of Misfit Toys

By Gina Thomas McGee, Associate Educator

This year’s Island of Misfit Toys workshop was a blast! We had a sold-out crowd of over 250 people who came ready to build misfit masterpieces. Families hammered, smashed and hot glued to their hearts content, transforming toys into spectacular sculptures (with the help of some googly eyes). We saw a tennis ball Spongebob Squarepants, basketball hoop train station and many wild animal creations. In addition to being creative, attendees were incredibly generous as they each came with a new toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Thanks to everyone who attended. We hope you can join us again next year. In the meantime, don’t throw away any old or broken toys- we’ve already started collecting for next year!