Monday, April 6, 2015

Inside|Out with Akron Art Museum

Inside|Out with the Akron Art Museum
by Joanna Wilson

The sun was shining and it finally felt like Spring had arrived.  On Easter Sunday afternoon, I was delighted to get out of the house, drive my car with the windows down, enjoy the fresh air, and look for art.  Look for art!?  Yup.  I was on a treasure hunt--in the best sense of the word 'treasure.'  The Akron Art Museum's new program Inside|Out--where they are placing copies of art from their collection outside the museum and inside our greater-Akron neighborhoods--is in full swing.  I spent my Sunday afternoon in search of the art pieces that are already up.

Untitled from the Scissors Jack Series (1965-66) by Larry Zox.  You can see this installation in Downtown, on the east side of the building where Crave is located (57 E. Market St.) Photo courtesy of Akron Art Museum.

The Artist and His Wife (1938) by Elmer Novotny.  This amazing portrait is located on the east side of Giovanni's Barber Shop in North Hill (343 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave.)

While some pieces were hung up last week, more are going up later this week.  Soon, there will be 10 public art installations in Downtown, 10 in North Hill, and 10 on the Towpath and the MetroParks.  The one-to-one scale, high quality reproductions from art in the Akron Art Museum collection is a community activated project that brings art into the city's streets.

Man Eating Trees (1989) by John Sokol.  This reproduction can be found in North Hill on the south side of the building where Lentine's Music used to be (844 N. Main St.)

Recognize this Downtown location?  It's the Haven of Rest (175 E. Market St.) The painting is Riverside Plant (c.1927-28) by Carl Gaertner.

According to Executive Director and CEO of the Akron Art Museum, Mark Masuoka, “Inside|Out helps us to have a much deeper conversation about the value of the arts and culture in our community. The project also allows us to deepen the conversation between the museum and the community by offering numerous opportunities to build strong partnerships and friendships across Akron’s diverse communities."  Roza Maille, Inside|Out project Coordinator adds, “One of the most exciting facets of Inside|Out is that it promotes exploration around Akron. It’s a chance to visit neighborhoods and outdoor spaces you normally don’t get to spend a lot of time in.”

The Seine at Andelys (1923) by Abel G. Warshawsky.  This installation is visible on the east side of the International Institute (207 E. Tallmadge Ave. in North Hill.) Photo courtesy of Akron Art Museum.
For those living in the neighborhoods with these works of art, interaction is encouraged--whether it's a block party, street festival, bike tour, or whatever inspires your imagination.  The International Institute did just that, last week when students from a language instruction class gathered around a new installation and began using the imagery in the landscape painting on the side of their building to exercise their English language skills.  Video of this lesson can be watched here:

Arrangement with Billboard (late 1930s) by Harvey R. Griffiths.  This reproduction can be better enjoyed near the entrance to Akron Children's Hospital in Downtown (1 Perkins Square.)

Girl in White (1901) by William Merritt Chase.  This reproduction can be found Downtown on the north side of the Kaiser Building (323 S. Main St.) across the street from Cilantro.

 The Museum encourages people to photograph themselves with the art works--and use #InsideOutAkron so everyone can enjoy what's happening at each location.  You don't want to dawdle too long on your own Akron art treasure hunt because these locations are merely temporary.  The thirty reproductions in Downtown, North Hill, and the Towpath and MetroParks will be up from now until mid-July.  Then the thirty art installations will move to the neighborhoods of West Hill/Highland Square, Cuyahoga Falls, and the University of Akron area until October.  

Another Downtown portrait: Miss Molly Duveneck (c. 1888-1890) by Frank Duveneck.  This gorgeous face can be found between the windows on Bricco (1 W. Exchange St.)

A copy of this abstract painting can be found in North Hill on the building next door to The Office (778 N. Main St.) across from Akron's Alcoholics Anonymous Archives.  It's Not Easy Being Green (1980-2000) by Julian Stanczak.
Let's have a little civic pride here!  Akron is only the second city to attempt this community activated art project.  It was first done successfully in Detroit--and now we are following through with it!  How awesome is that?

Go find this one for yourself!  It's the tall and skinny colorful abstract on the wall between the Peanut Shoppe and Baxter's (205 S. Main St.) in Downtown.  Firecracker II (1968) by Gene Davis.

Again, soon all thirty art reproductions will be installed.  The above photos and locations are just the beginning of this inspired program.  I purposefully took my photos to better reflect the location of each art piece--and not capture the beauty of the art itself.  I want to encourage you to go and find these pieces yourself! Let us each discover and enjoy the beauty of these art works in our neighborhoods for ourselves.

For more information about Inside|Out from the Akron Art Museum, check out:

They will be giving info about maps and apps soon.  Keep an eye out for those and stay close to website.  Happy Treasure Hunting!


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