John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

How Inside|Out Was Made

By Roza Maille, Inside|Out Project Coordinator

Inside|Out is finally here! This April marks the launch of the two-year project and now everyone can enjoy the art in the streets and parks of Akron. This spring, there will be 30 art reproductions from the Akron Art Museum’s collection found at unexpected outdoor locations in Downtown Akron, North Hill, and along the Towpath Trail and Summit Metro Parks. Are you curious how we made this happen? Obviously there is no magic art duplicator, so we will let you in on the process.

Inside|Out poster. Inside|Out is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Inside|Out poster. Inside|Out is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

First, we needed to narrow down more than 5,000 objects in our collection to a selection of only 30 artworks. This was not easy task but we selected a nice variety of visitor and staff favorites that fit with the goals of Inside|Out. We also had to ask some of the artists and their estates for permission to use their artwork in this project.

Joe Levack photographs John Sokol's Man Eating Trees for reproduction for Inside|Out

Joe Levack photographs John Sokol’s Man Eating Trees for reproduction for Inside|Out, with Collections Manager Arnold Tunstall.

The next step was to then make sure we had high-quality photos of each artwork in order to get the best reproduction possible. Some of the selected artworks needed to be re-photographed in order to get the appropriate resolution for the reproduction.

In the spirit of this community project, we wanted to use local businesses whenever possible to construct the frames, fabricate the reproductions and to provide professional installation services. The frames were custom made by Jon at Hazel Tree Interiors. We selected a style and color of molding to accompany the reproduction and from there each frame was constructed to the exact measurements of each artwork. All of the reproductions included in Inside|Out are made one-to-one scale of the original artwork. The frames were then sent off to be clear coated in order to protect them from the weather.

Jeff, from Central Graphics, with Roz, making last minute adjustments

Jeff, from Central Graphics, with Roza, making final adjustments prior to printing

William Merritt Chase, Girl in White, reproduction being printed at Central Graphics

William Merritt Chase, Girl in White, reproduction being printed at Central Graphics

The high-resolution images of the artworks were sent to Central Graphics where they were printed on large-format printers, weatherproofed, and mounted into the frames. We even got a sneak peek at a couple of the images during the printing process.

Bill and Denny of K-Lite Signs installing John Sokol's Man Eating Trees (reproduction)

Bill and Denny of K-Lite Signs installing John Sokol’s Man Eating Trees (reproduction)

After everything was assembled, we were able to start installing in the predesignated locations. Bill and Denny from K-Lite Signs did the installations for us. You will find both wall-mounted and free-standing installations around town. Here is our first installation in North Hill, The Artist and His Wife by Elmer Novotny with the owner of Giovanni’s Barber Shop.

Elmer Novotny, The Artist and His Wife (reproduction), installed at Giovanni's Barber Shop in North Hill

Elmer Novotny, The Artist and His Wife (reproduction), installed at Giovanni’s Barber Shop in North Hill

On the first installation day, the International Institute of Akron took one of their English classes outside to incorporate the artwork into their lessons. Here the teacher is using The Seine at Andelys by Abel Warshawsky to help his students learn names of colors.

Clients and an educator at the International Institute of Akron using Abel Warshawsky's The Seine at Adelys (reproduction) for an impromptu English lesson

Clients and an educator at the International Institute of Akron using Abel G. Warshawsky’s The Seine at Andelys (reproduction) for an impromptu English lesson

The art will find new homes during each season of Inside|Out. In the fall, look for the reproductions in three different neighborhoods: West Hill & Highland Square, The University of Akron & University Park, and Cuyahoga Falls.

Learn more about Inside|Out.

Share your Inside|Out discoveries and experiences on social media using the hashtag #InsideOutAkron.

Paul Stankard Glass Sculptures and Documentary

By Betty Wilson, Director of Marketing Communication

Western Reserve PBS and Stankard DocumentaryCelebrated glass artist Paul Stankard is universally regarded as a master of his art. His paperweights and glass sculptures have appeared in galleries and museums throughout the world, including the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

And now his work is on long term view in Akron. The Akron Art Museum recently opened the world’s largest public collection of Stankard glass. The collection is a gift of Northeast Ohio concert promoter Mike Belkin and his wife Annie, who over a 30 year period amassed the largest holding of Stankard’s work in the world. Their Akron gift of 64 objects is their largest to a public institution. At any one time, about half of the collection will be on view. Objects will be rotated periodically from storage to give visitors a new experience when they return to the museum.

Stankard’s molten glass renditions of plants and insects are stunning simulations, miniaturized and preserved inside crystal-clear glass globes and cubes. Strongly influenced by the poetry of Walt Whitman, Stankard references the continuum of nature by portraying and exploring the mysteries of seeds, fertility and decay.

Through the generosity of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the museum is collaborating with Western Reserve Public Media in Northeast Ohio on a documentary about the artist, the donors and the collection. The documentary will soon air multiple times on the three channels of this PBS company and will be available on their website (http://westernreservepublicmedia.org).

In early September a television production crew visited Stankard in his south New Jersey home and studio. More filming followed when the artist visited Akron September 26-28 for the collection unveiling. The numerously Emmy-nominated production team now has the daunting task of editing days of taping into a 27-minute documentary. It is especially challenging because, as Stankard tells it, he “has the gift of gab.” Quite the story-teller, the artist shares colorful tales of his early years, influences and lampwork/flamework technique.

After the initial PBS airing, museum visitors will also be able to view the documentary. The glass collection is on display in new exhibition space designed especially for the gift and includes a video monitor.