Concerts

A Look Back into the Archives: Downtown@Dusk

By: Alexandra Lynch, Kent State University Practicum Student

 

It’s hard to believe that the Akron Art Museum’s Downtown @ Dusk has just started its 30th season! This season kicked off on Thursday, June 19 with American, Pop artist Anne E. Dechant with Director Mark Masuoka as MC. This year’s Downtown @ Dusk has a diverse line up, ranging from Indie Folk Groove to Old School R&B, and will be taking place Thursdays throughout the summer.

Downtown @ Dusk Concert Lineup:

June 26         15 60 75 The Numbers Band, Abstract Blues

July 3             The Wanda Hunt Band, Old School R&B

July 10           The Speedbumps, Indie Folk Groove

July 17           Zach, Singer Songwriter

July 24           Horns and Things, Jazz

July 31           JD Eicher & The Goodnights, Pop & Light Rock

August 7        Blu Monsoon, Jazz

 

“We’re free Thursday nights if you are.” Just like in the 1990s, the museum has brought back its Free Thursday! Stop by the museum early to explore the galleries and grab a cold one before the entertainment begins!

  Downtown @ Dusk Advertisement, summer 1990


Downtown @ Dusk Advertisement, summer 1990

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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: 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.

First Downtown@Dusk of 2013 is Thursday, June 20!

Beginning June 20, the popular free concert series Downtown@Dusk will return for its 29th season with Lost State of Franklin. Every Thursday this summer from 6:30-8:30 pm, the Akron Art Museum will be showcasing a lineup of fantastic music from a variety of local bands. Concert attendees can also enjoy a gallery tour with Director of Education Alison Caplan while kids are entertained by hands-on activities during ArtCamp@Dusk.

The Cleveland rock-a-billy trio of Lost State of Franklin will entertain concert goers with their unique sound: a combination of jazz, country, rock and bluegrass. Led by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter J. Scott Franklin, vocalist/percussionist Tyler Postma and bassist Jeremy Cottrell, the group has performed on multiple occasions in Europe and played over 500 shows in the United States. The group has also been nominated for several awards including Scene Magazine “Songwriter of the Year” and Free Times “Americana Band of the Year.”

Director of Education Alison Caplan will be providing an in-depth gallery tour about the current exhibition The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats  for ArtTalks@Dusk  this Thursday. The exhibition showcases the works of award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, whose more famous children’s books include Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, and The Snowy Day. Over 80 original works, consisting of sketches, painting and collages, will be on display in the Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries through August 4, 2013.

While adults enjoy the concert and the galleries, children 6-12 can explore fun and wacky hands-on art making in the museum’s classroom at ArtCamp@Dusk. This Thursday’s class is “Trash to Treasure”, where kids can use found objects and their imaginations to create art that will pop off the wall. Free for members, $5 each session for nonmembers. Registration is required for the class. Sign up today.

The Museum Store will be open during Downtown@Dusk until 9 pm (admission is not required to shop in the store). The museum collection and galleries will also be open until 9 pm with paid admission except June 20, 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 about these exhibitions and other events, please visit the museum’s exhibitions page and calendar of events.

 

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.

2012 in Review

By: Bridgette Beard Klein, Communications Assistant

Image

This image is from one of the most popular posts from our blog this year (and ever). Here the Inverted Q is shown through the Chromatic Vision Simulator’s Protanope filter. To view the Q’s typical appearance, visit the Akron Art Museum’s Online Collection.

2012 has been an exhilarating year for the Akron Art Museum. We continued to launch our new visual look, celebrated 90 years in the community, exhibited monumental art and made major leadership changes.

We really kicked off the year with our 90th anniversary celebration in February. The performance included abstract painter Al Bright in concert with the Jesse Dandy Band. In March, Ray Turner: Population opened featuring an ever-expanding series of portraits, including key Akronites from the University Park neighborhood and even some Akron Art Museum staff.

April and May saw the staff preparing for the sale of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #96 at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art – Evening Sale on May 8, 2012. The money raised from the sale created a new acquisitions endowment. We retained another 1981 masterpiece by Cindy Sherman from the Centerfolds series, Untitled #93 (Black Sheets), subsequently named Sherman the 2011-2012 Knight Purchase Award recipient and purchased several works from her Bus Riders series.

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui opened in June with the artist present in Akron! The Akron Art Museum was the first modern and contemporary art museum in the US to collect Anatsui’s work and is thrilled to organize the major traveling exhibition. Huffington Post recently called its presentation at the Brooklyn Museum one of “The 25 Most Anticipated Exhibitions of the New Year.” You can catch the exhibition on its national tour through 2014.

The summer sizzled with the always popular Downtown@Dusk concert series and the new to 2012 ArtCamp@Dusk for kids to enjoy while their parents listen and embarrassingly dance to music. In July, we launched our completely redesigned website and enacted two major admission changes. Children 17 years and younger are now admitted FREE to the museum’s galleries. Beginning in July, visitors receive FREE admission to the collection and exhibition galleries all day from 11 am – 9 pm, on the third Thursday of every month.

After 26 years as director, with one of the longest tenures of any art museum leader in the country, Dr. Mitchell D. Kahan announced to the Akron Art Museum’s Board of Trustees that his resignation, effective January 2, 2013, and assume the title of Director Emeritus. Janice Driesbach joined the staff in August after a yearlong national search, as the museum’s new Chief Curator and was named Interim Director in December.

The colder weather hasn’t slowed down this mammoth year. Sculpture exhibitions Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor  and New Artifacts: Works by Brent Kee Young and Sungsoo Kim opened in late October.  In November, tribute was paid to Dr. Mitchell D. Kahan during a formal dinner on November 10 and a community day on November 11. Holiday mART expanded its hours to reach more people this year and the popular Island of Misfit Toys once again sold out.

You might think all of this is enough for one year, but think again. Just as many people were planning their final holiday shopping or how to best spend the time off with family, the Akron Art Museum announced a pledge from museum supporters Rick and Alita Rogers as the lead gift for the design and construction of its long awaited outdoor sculpture garden. The completed outdoor gallery and multi-use space will bear the name of Bruce and Susanne Rogers, Rick’s parents, who are among Akron’s most devoted community boosters.

From September to December, we added 131 new objects, many of which were donated in honor of Mitchell.  The museum’s commitment to photography holds strong and over half of the works in the collection are photographs. You can check out the museum’s collection at www.AkronArtMuseum.org/collection.

As for the blog, some of the most popular posts have been The Q is Blue!, Staff Interview: Special Events Manager Sheri Stallsmith and Photographic Masks from the Collection.  We have some posts planned for the next couple of months that we can’t wait to share with you.

Don’t think the Akron Art Museum will rest on its laurel in 2013. As the search for a new director continues, the museum will open some amazing exhibitions and put on some great events.

 The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats pays tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), the first to feature an African-American protagonist in modern full-color picture books and will open on March 16, 2013. The exhibition Draw Me a Story (February 9 – August 4, 2013) will celebrate Keats’s legacy and the power of visual literacy and multiculturalism. Elementary students from area schools will created collaborative picture books. The student artists will also meet and work with award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh, who will be here in the spring.

Drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, Danny Lyon: Bikeriders highlights one of the artist’s most celebrated bodies of works. Now, nearly 50 years after their creation, the images retain their original power and raw energy. Line Color Illusion: 40 Years of Julian Stanczak showcases paintings and prints collected by the Akron Art Museum since 1970. The exhibition documents both Julian Stanczak’s impressive career as a master of color and the museum’s longstanding commitment to his work.

Art and Ale returns this year on March 8 and the galleries will even be open for the first hour! Get your tickets now to take advantage of special pricing. Meanwhile, kids and teens will be delighted with our studio class offerings, but don’t wait to sign up because these classes are in demand.

As always, check out the website, Facebook, Twitter and this blog for the most up-to-date Akron Art Museum information.

Last Downtown@Dusk of the Summer ft. Zydeco Kings

Thursday, August 9
6:30 – 9:30 pm

Come see the Zydeco Kings perform live at the Akron Art Museum on Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30 pm as part of the museum’s popular Downtown@Dusk concert series. Also enjoy a lecture from Collection Manager Arnold Tunstall, ArtCamp@Dusk for the kids, hot dogs and a cold beer from Elevator Brewing for adults. This is the LAST Downtown@Dusk of the season and is also a great chance to purchase work from local artists.

The Zydeco Kings have been celebrating the music of Louisiana for more than twelve years. The band consists of five members playing variety of instruments to create an old school rhythm and blues sound. Popular instruments like the guitar, drums, piano and bass are used, but different instruments such as rubboard and accordion are incorporated. This creates a unique sound that makes the band stand out. The Zydeco Kings play all over Northeast Ohio and on local news stations.

In honor of 90 years as a museum, Tunstall will breeze through artwork from the collection representing each of those years from 1922 to now. Not a historical highlight of familiar works, but a whirlwind tour through art historical movements and regional interests represented chronologically by our museum’s objects.

The Museum Store at the Akron Art Museum is happy to host regional artists Bili Kribbs, Morgan Mzik and Todd Jakubsin who will be selling their paintings, prints and sculptures onsite during ArtSale@Dusk.  Sorry members, but member discounts are not applicable on consignment items.

Bili Kribbs resides is Massillon and thinks that imagination is important for the human psyche. Escape from reality, day dreaming, fantasy… all these things help us hold on to our youthfulness and are why Kribbs makes art.

Morgan Mzik’s motivation for her artwork comes from a desire to understand the self and fully appreciate the world around her.

Todd Jakubisin has a passion for telling stories both verbally and visually highlighted with considerable emotion. Jakubisin prefers to take his time in portraying sweeping complexities with simple strokes while using shadows both figuratively and literally to stimulate the viewers’ imagination.

Concert goers may also visit the museum galleries to view Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, Robert Stivers: Veiled Image and The Anniversary Show: Commemorative Art Through the Years during the evening. Gallery admission is required. For detailed information on this and other museum events, visit the calendar of events at www.AkronArtMuseum.org/calendar.

Downtown@Dusk 2012 is made possible by The City of Akron. It is presented in cooperation with 89.7 WKSU.

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

ArtCamp@Dusk is made possible by a gift from the Harris-Stanton Gallery.