Event

Immerse Yourself in Beauty Reigns

by Gina Thomas McGee, Associate Educator

How do you experience an art exhibition? You look, of course. You enter the galleries and spend time taking in the colors, textures, and lines of the works in front of you. Maybe you even read the label. During the Beauty Reigns exhibition, the museum invites you to take your experience a step further, and we’ve come up with some tools to help you do just that.

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

First, you can pick up a copy of the gallery guide as you stroll through the exhibition. This guide (a work of art in itself!) will let you in on the mysteries of the artistic process. The sketchbook-like booklet was created by local designer, artist, and educator Micah Kraus. He was inspired by the artwork in the exhibition and the aesthetic of Field Notes notebooks. The guide looks like an artist’s sketchbook and it can become one, as there are blank pages in the back dedicated to your personal sketches and doodles.

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

Beauty Reigns Gallery Guide Designed by Micah Kraus

As you finish looking at the exhibition and reading your gallery guide, you’ll be directed to a studio that has been constructed just outside of the gallery doors, in what we call the “video box”. Here, you’ll find a wealth of materials that will allow you to try out the techniques and processes you saw on display in the galleries. Continuing the theme of working with local artists, the studio includes an instructional film with original music and animation by Akron Art Museum staff member Gabe Schray, whose talents go far beyond his work in the museum’s External Affairs department.

Jerry and Patsy Shaw Video Box Beauty Reigns video created by Gabe Schray. Photo by Chris Rutan Photography

Jerry and Patsy Shaw Video Box. Beauty Reigns video created by Gabe Schray. Photo by Chris Rutan Photography

Finally, you can take a walk through an artwork. Literally. The museum commissioned local artist Jessica Lofthus to create a large-scale interactive artwork for the lobby inspired by Beauty Reigns. The piece is a walkable labyrinth that takes cues from the patterns, textures, and shapes found in the exhibition. Walking the labyrinth will add another dimension to your museum experience as you physically wind through the curves and turns of Lofthus’ design.

Akron Carpet Labyrinth designed and assembled by Jessica Lofthus with materials provided by Shaw Contract Group

Akron Carpet Labyrinth designed and assembled by Jessica Lofthus with materials provided by Shaw Contract Group

Akron Carpet Labyrinth designed and assembled by Jessica Lofthus with materials provided by Shaw Contract Group, photo by Chris Rutan Photography

Akron Carpet Labyrinth designed and assembled by Jessica Lofthus with materials provided by Shaw Contract Group, photo by Chris Rutan Photography

So, visit the museum. Look. Make. Create. Feel. Take in the exhibition with all of your senses. It promises to be a Beauty-full experience.

Here Comes Halloween

Halloween is coming a little early to the Akron Art Museum. Check out our Halloween-y art all week long and join us for Halloween inspired events on Thursday, October 24 and Thursday, October 31.

meatyard

Real/Surreal

Real/Surreal is the perfect artist treat to visit during Halloween. Come down to the galleries and experience how American realist and surrealist artists used details and imagination to create compositions with disconcerting undertones of seemingly ordinary scenes. Included in the exhibition are hooded figures, anatomical paintings, photographs of masked people and eerie streetscapes. This exhibition, while fantastical and peculiar, is suitable for children.

Included in Real/Surreal is the untitled work by Ralph Eugene Meatyard pictured above. Meatyard is best known for his photographs that examine the bizarre and mysterious realms that exist within our everyday world.  His enigmatic images illustrate a realm of disturbing and unsettling intimacy, creating scenes of haunting ghostly figures and children wearing monstrous masks.

In the Galleries

Lee Bontecou has always been deeply affected by social issues, war and politics.  In the work below she expressed those attitudes through her choice of materials and an abstract visual language:  the grid of entrapment, sharp edges that “mentally scrape the viewer” and ominous black openings.

bontecou

Free Thursdays

Gallery admission is free every Thursday at the Akron Art Museum. We’d love to see you put on your costumes and prowl around the galleries. Take your picture in front of Claes Oldenburg’s Inverted Q in the lobby and tag it with #iQAAM. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Trick or Treat on South High
Thursday, October 24 at 6:30-8:30 pm

Make sure you wear your costumes as you  trick-or-treat for art supplies in the galleries from 6:30-8:30 pm. T here will be art-making activities in the lobby and guided tours of Real/Surreal.  Advance registration required.

Arthouse Film: The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
Thursday, October 24 at 7 pm

Always wondering when that amazing indie film you see in the paper is going to make it to Akron? See the latest and greatest in new cinema before anyone else. This week you can whizz along with the intellectual film The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, a film that covers the ideology behind the films we watch. Through psychoanalysis Slavoj Žižek explores “the mechanisms that shape what we believe and how we behave.”

Check AkronFilm.com for up-to-date film listings and tickets. Tickets are $5 members and students, $7 nonmembers.

Attack of the Freakishly Short Animation Fest
Thursday, October 31 at 7 pm

Comic, dark and beautiful shorts make up this sixth annual event—a perennial favorite. Join us for a one-night tour of the best of international animation festivals. This annual event tends to be extremely popular, so reserve your seat online at AkronFilm.com. Tickets are $5 members and students and $7 nonmembers. Recommended for ages 16+.

Downtown@Dusk: Anne E. DeChant

The last Downtown@Dusk of the season will take place this Thursday from 6:30-8:30 pm featuring Americana, Pop and Country singer Anne E. Dechant. Attendees can also enjoy a gallery talk from Associate Educator Gina Thomas McGee and food from Urban Eats while kids enjoy art-making activities in the museum’s classroom.

Anne E. DeChant, based out of Cleveland, first appeared in the music scene in the band Odd Girl Out, showcasing her socially-aware music. After the band dissolved, she began a successful solo career, producing six albums. A five-time winner of Cleveland Scene Magazine’s Best Singer Songwriter award, DeChant delights audiences across America with her original, poignant music.  Her song “Girls and Airplanes” was recently featured in the major motion picture “Hot Flashes.”

This Thursday’s ArtTalks@Dusk will feature a gallery talk from Associate Educator Gina Thomas McGee titled “New+Improved” from 7:30-8 pm while DeChant takes a break from performing.

The class for the week’s ArtCamp@Dusk is “Atmospheric Landscapes,” where kids 6-12 will use oil pastels and torn paper to create a one-of-a-kind landscape. Free for members, $5 for nonmembers. Registration is required for this event. Sign up here.

The Museum Store and galleries are open during Downtown@Dusk until 9 pm. Admission to the galleries is FREE on August 15 for Third Thursday.

Exhibitions currently on view in the museum galleries include Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak, With a Trace: Photographs of Absence, Real/Surreal and Envisioning an Outdoor Sculpture Space: A Project with Kent State University. For information about these exhibitions and other events, please visit the museum’s exhibitions page and calendar.

Anne E. DeChant took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about herself and Downtown@Dusk.

You tailor your performances depending on the venue. What and where was your favorite performance and why?

That’s a really tough question.  More than an entire performance, I would say there are thousands of moments inside performing that I can recall being really special.  I think some of my best moments have been at The Barking Spider.  The crowd there is musically focused.  When people are listening it makes it possible for a vocalist/songwriter, to be really dynamic vocally.  Dynamics are what help to express a wide range of emotion and that’s what music is all about to me.  So it is those moments when I’m emoting all that I want to and the crowd is taking it all in that are most special.  It’s a symbiotic thing.

What is the inspiration for your songs and lyrics?

Life.  My life.  Other people’s lives.  My goal is to tell ordinary stories about every day people, in an extraordinary way.

After performing at venues such as the White House and Lilith Fair, what keeps you coming back to Akron to perform at Downtown@Dusk?

I love my audience.  They are the ones that have made it possible for me to lead a life I love.  They are a part of my life.  I want to see them, share some old favorites as well as my new music with them.  It’s like going to see your family over and over.  If there’s a wedding reception or a 4th of July party, you’re there!

What is your favorite memory of performing at Downtown@Dusk?

Not melting!

 

Downtown@Dusk 2013 is made possible by The City of Akron. It is presented in cooperation with 89.7 WKSU.

ArtCamp@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from The Howland Memorial Fun and the House of LaRose.

ArtTalks@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from the Sam & Kathy Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron.

Third Thursdays are made possible by a generous gift from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Downtown@Dusk: 15 60 75 The Numbers Band

The second to last Downtown@Dusk concert on August 8 from 6:30-8:30 pm will feature local Abstract Blues and Rock band 15 60 75 The Numbers Band. Attendees can also attend a lecture from Chief Curator Janice Driesbach and food from Old Carolina BBQ while kids can partake in fun and wacky art activities in the museum’s classroom for ArtCamp@Dusk.

Concert goers will enjoy rocking out to the 15 60 75 The Numbers Band’s boisterous sound and style.

The band, which formed over 40 years ago, has remained without a record label and therefore able to create original, uncategorized music. Formed after guitarist Robert Kidney opened for another band, Pig Iron, here at the Akron Art Museum, 15 60 75 The Numbers Band has continued to delight audiences across Ohio with their fun-loving sound.

Chief Curator Janice Driesbach will be giving a lecture titled Women of Surrealism for this Thursday’s ArtTalks@Dusk from 7:30-8 pm. Featuring more than 60 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs dating from 1930 to 1955 drawn from the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Real/Surreal examines how American artists used strikingly naturalistic details to imaginative images inspired by dreams and how they introduced disconcerting undertones into compositions that featured seemingly ordinary scenes.

Thursday’s ArtCamp@Dusk class is SOLD OUT! Sign up  for the final class here.

The Museum Store and galleries are open during Downtown@Dusk until 9 pm (admission is not required to shop in the store). Museum galleries and exhibitions will be open until 9 pm with paid admission.

Exhibitions currently on view in the museum galleries include Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak, With a Trace: Photographs of Absence and Real/Surreal. For information about these exhibitions and other events, please visit the museum’s exhibitions page and calendar.

Finally, 15 60 75 The Numbers Band answered a few questions about themselves and Downtown@Dusk.

The band was formed after Kidney opened for another group at the Akron Art Museum. Does the museum have any special meaning to the band?

That took place in 1968 when the art museum was in the very small building across the street.  We’ve been playing Downtown@Dusk since the late 1990s.  It remains the band’s favorite show of the year for many reasons; we’ve always been treated well by the people at the museum, it is also an opportunity for many fans with families who support our music to come out and hear us play.  We are always humbled by their respect and appreciation.

On the band’s site, it is stated that the band is in it for the music, not the fame. Has that affected the band in any way?

Yes, we are not famous.   We are not rich.  We are highly respected for our music which is truly unique and original because we have the freedom to do what we want to do creatively, and our fans expect it.  We are now in our 43rd year.  Music is an art form, and does not need to just be a commodity.  In my opinion, our culture at this point is glutted with entertainment and starved of artistic commitment.

After 40 years of shows and recordings, what keeps the band motivated to keep playing?

Two things; one is the continuing support of the people who come to see the band in northeast Ohio, the media and organizations like the Akron Art Museum.  Two, the band is in a constant process of creating new material, which is the driving factor that attracts people to the band in the first place, our original music.

What keeps the band coming back to perform at Downtown@Dusk?

You invite us, we love to play outdoors, we love the crowd.

What is your favorite memory of playing at Downtown@Dusk?

Looking out over the mass of people who come to see us, the diversity, and the fact that they are paying attention to the subtlety our music offers.

Downtown@Dusk 2013 is made possible by The City of Akron. It is presented in cooperation with 89.7 WKSU.

ArtCamp@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from The Howland Memorial Fun and the House of LaRose.

ArtTalks@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from the Sam & Kathy Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron.

Downtown@Dusk: The Speedbumps

This week’s Downtown@Dusk features Kent-area band the Speedbumps. Concert attendees can also enjoy a discussion from Collections Manager Arnold Tunstall and food from Old Carolina BBQ  while kids are entertained by fun art activities during ArtCamp@Dusk  in the museum’s classroom.

Concert goers will be delighted by the Speedbumps’ eclectic sound and organic feel.

Through the utilization of hollow-bodied instruments like cello, upright bass, ukulele and acoustic guitar, the Speedbumps produce music that is both approachable and relatable to any audience. The Speedbumps have opened for many well-known artists including Amos Lee, Andrew Bird, OK GO and the Verve Pipe.

Collections Manager Arnold Tunstall will be leading a discussion titled “Cycle Maniacs and Reckless Women” for the ArtTalks@Dusk (http://akronartmuseum.org/calendar/arttalksdusk-cycle-maniacs-and-reckless-women/3889/) on July 11 from 7:30-8 pm.

The theme for ArtCamp@Dusk is “Cityscape Collage,” where kids will create their own vibrant city using images from magazines and postcards. Free for members, $5 each session for nonmembers. Registration is required for this class. Sign up at http://akronartmuseum.ticketleap.com/artcampdusk2013/#view=calendar.

The Museum Store will be open during Downtown@Dusk until 9 pm (admission is not required to shop at the store).

Exhibitions currently on view in the museum galleries include Danny Lyon: The Bikeriders  and Draw Me a Story and Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak. For detailed information on these exhibitions and other events, please visit the museum’s exhibitions page and calendar of events.

Want to know more about the band before you see them perform? The Speedbumps were kind enough to answer a few questions about themselves and Downtown@Dusk!

How has your newest album been received?

“Our new album comes out in October! But we will play a few new songs at Downtown@Dusk.”

Where and how do you gather your inspiration for new music?

“Our music tends to be autobiographical, so many of the songs we write are personal. The people we love or the places we go and the experiences we have with those people and places have a lot to do with what we create. Music is all about the human condition.”

You’ve played for some well-known bands like Amos Lee and Andrew Bird. What keeps you coming back to play for Downtown@Dusk?

It’s always fun to play for Downtown@Dusk. It’s really a chance to touch base with family and friends in Akron. We are happy to be coming back again this year!

What is your favorite memory playing at Downtown@Dusk?

…the thing about Downtown@Dusk is the vibe of the people. We always leave in a good mood and I think that is a direct reflection of the people who frequent the concert series. True art and music fans.”

Downtown@Dusk 2013 is made possible by The City of Akron. It is presented in cooperation with 89.7 WKSU.

ArtCamp@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from The Howland Memorial Fun and the House of LaRose.

ArtTalks@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from the Sam & Kathy Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron.

Downtown@Dusk: Robin Stone

The Akron Art Museum’s popular concert series Downtown@Dusk will continue on Thursday, June 27 from 6:30-8:30 pm with a performance from singer Robin Stone. Concert goers can also enjoy a sneak preview of the upcoming exhibition With a Trace: Photographs of Absence from Senior Curator Ellen Rudolph and food from Urban Eats while kids are entertained and educated by fun hands-on activities during ArtCamp@Dusk in the museum’s classroom.

Concert attendees will thoroughly enjoy Stone’s  soulful, intelligent groove music and be inspired by the personal hardships she has endured and overcome. For the past few years, Stone has struggled with health issues that have affected her life in many ways. In 2008, Stone was diagnosed with a tumor on her vocal chords causing loss of voice. One year later, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. Instead of succumbing to these ailments, Stone succeeding in starting a record label, She Loves You Records, and released a new record and live album. Stone was also awarded “Best Vocalist of 2009” from Scene Magazine.

Senior Curator Ellen Rudolph will be giving a sneak preview of the upcoming exhibition With a Trace: Photographs of Absence  for the ArtTalk@Dusk this Thursday. The exhibition features images that do not merely capture a single scene but create unique, individual moments in time. Unlike many digital photographs today, the images in this exhibition, created by analog or camera-less photographers, include traces of human presence, atmospheric phenomena, the transmission of energy and experiments with light. The lack of specificity and context in the photgraphs heightens the presence of something uncanny, creating with them otherworldly scenes. With a Trace: Photographs of Absence will be on view July 27, 2013-January 26, 2014, in the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery.

While the adults enjoy the concert and museum galleries, children 6-12 can explore fun and wacky hands-on art activities in the museum’s classroom at ArtCamp@Dusk. This Thursday’s class is “Express Yourself,” where kids will use lines, shapes and colors to make an abstract painting and discover their artistic expression. Free for members, $5 each session for nonmembers. Registration is required for this class. Sign up here.

The Museum Store will be open during Downtown@Dusk until 9 pm (admission is not required to shop at the store). The museum collection and galleries will also be open until 9 pm with paid admission except for July 18 and August 15 when the museum premieres Third Thursday.

Exhibitions currently on view in the museum galleries include The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, Danny Lyon: The Bikeriders, Draw Me a Story and Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak. For detailed information on these exhibitions and other events, please visit the museum’s exhibitions page and calendar of events.

Finally, the Akron Art Museum would like to thank all who attended last week’s Downtown@Dusk concert. We hope you had a great time and return to see more great local music every Thursday evening at the museum!

 

Curious what Downtown@Dusk is like? Check out Summer in the City 2013: (Volume 2: Downtown@Dusk):

 

Downtown@Dusk 2013 is made possible by The City of Akron. It is presented in cooperation with 89.7 WKSU.

ArtCamp@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from The Howland Memorial Fun and the House of LaRose.

ArtTalks@Dusk 2013 is made possible by a gift from the Sam & Kathy Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron.