By Mark Masuoka, Executive Director and CEO
2014 has been a year in which we sought to connect the energy that drives great art to that which drives our great city: the energy of ideas. In every exhibition, program, event, and conversation, we strove to stimulate ideas and encouraged everyone to look at what they already do in a new light, and to recognize the ways in which we all Live Creative. What follows is a brief recounting of what we did to Live Creative, to reach out to our community and to initiate a new civic presence that will revitalize the cultural health and wellness of Akron. Thank you for being a part of the Akron Art Museum in 2014; join us for all that we will do in 2015.
Jamie Burmeister’s Message Matters began a yearlong love affair with Akron. The project’s blinking lights were switched on in the east stairwell of the art museum’s 1899 building on February 14, 2014, sending out the Morse code message LUV U to the community.
La Wilson: Objects Transformed was the backdrop for the artist’s 90th birthday and a mini retrospective that assembled works from the art museum’s collection and from private collections throughout Northeast Ohio. The works in the exhibition spanned her fifty-plus year career and brought together her family, friends and fans to celebrate her art and her life.
Tony Feher’s Buoy brought renewed attention to the museum’s world-class architecture and begged the question, What the heck is that red thing hanging from the museum’s roof?
Invitation to Stare was also an invitation to share the museum’s renowned photography collection. The exhibition highlighted recent acquisitions and the museum’s long-standing commitment to photo portraiture that deserved a long hard look.
Butch Anthony: Vita Post Mortum featured the unconventional mixed media works that revealed the inner life of an unlikely art star.
Community Conversations became the art museum’s rallying cry and provided an opportunity for the art museum to seek public opinion. The conversations also allowed us to explore the nontraditional role of community facilitator and social organizer in an effort to better understand what is uniquely Akron.
Diana Al-Hadid: Nolli’s Orders created a new focal point for visitors as they entered the museum’s Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries. The room-sized sculpture proposed a new form and function for the gallery and offered a memorable art experience.
VIEW Magazine underwent a cover-to-cover overhaul, aesthetically revitalizing its look, feel and flow through its new design that connects the art museum’s online and digital experience with its seasonal print publication.
Trenton Doyle Hancock: Twenty Years of Drawings exhibition began with a two-week installation process that handed over the museum to Trenton to continue his creative process by re-contextualizing his work by drawing, writing and painting directly on the walls of the art museum.
Live Creative began as a way to brand the art museum’s education program and quickly grew into the art museum’s current mantra. We are not just asking people to be creative, but to find ways every day to live creative. It’s more than just a catchy tagline; it is a way of life. #LiveCreative
Inside | Out brought Raphael Gleitsmann’s painting Winter Evening out of the art museum’s McDowell gallery and into the community. Perfectly installed in downtown Akron at the site of its inspiration, the painting brings to light what Akron was in 1932 and what it can be in the future. #InsideOutAkron will bring more art from the art museum collection into Akron neighborhoods in 2015.