Gifts For Mom at the Shop

What about a unique gift for Mother’s Day from the Shop at the Akron Art Museum?
Don’t settle for the typical Mothers Day gifts when you can find anything from our “Flowers” to “Kisses”, at the Museum Shop. We have many unique gift ideas available starting at around $8.

ImageA Glass Kiss is a lovely way to tell someone how very special they are to you.  This adorable piece of art glass created in West Virginia by Ron Hinkle will brighten any décor. $7.95

Flat Flowers are visible from both inside and outside. Created by Dutch designer Suseela Gorter whose goal in life is to create, “little moments of happiness.” Flat Flowers measure approximately 11.8” x 14.5″. $15.95

ImageThe Flower Loop Vase by Black + Blum is an elegant yet minimal flower vase made from free flowing steel wire. The form looks appealingly simple and unique from every angle.Removable water tube for easy refilling and a very high quality artificial calla lily which complements the design are included. Chrome steel finish. $36.00

ImageThis Cleopatra necklace from Renaissance Glass jewelry is made handmade from dichroic glass. Dichroic glass was first developed for scientific applications such as lasers and space mirrors. The brilliant colors are produced from light being reflected in the same way as in rainbows or dragonfly wings. $120.00
Not to mention the many books and other items available at the Shop. Don’t forget the new comfy T-shirt.

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19th Annual Wine Auction is around the corner

Thanks to all who came to Art & Ale it was a great success.


We have started to plan our biggest event of the year to be held on

Saturday, June 14, at 6:00 pm the 19th annual wine auction.


Duckhorn Vineyards form Napa Valley is the featured vintner

this year with over 40 years in the wine business.
ImageIn the past there have been unique experience packages along with wines, items in the Grand Cru that have given many auction winners the satisfaction of the experience but also the exuberance of that night. Lots of what will be auctioned off will be printed in the program as well as your name if you are a sponsor.

We are looking for sponsors and patrons to start populating not only the guest list but the other opportunities and packages that will be up for auction that evening.
The evening will include dinner by Executive Caterers, a silent wine auction, the Grand Cru that promises to be filled with wonderful possibilities.
Sponsorships are now available at many levels here.

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Everyone likes a good deal.
So do we. So here’s a chance for us to give you one.
Do you have an Instagram account on your smartphone? If the answer is yes, then you’re about halfway there. If not, download it… It’s a fun, simple and visual way to share what’s going on in your world.
Next, purchase an Akron Art Museum shirt. They’re awesome, extremely comfortable and have our logo in a metallic silver (the colors and sizes are listed below).
Here comes the deal part. Use your Instagram account; take a picture of someone wearing the shirt, (of course it can be a selfie) and post it.
Be sure to use the hashtag #aamshirt and get 15% off your next purchase when you shop at the museum. Make sure your privacy allow us to see it and direct message you.  We’ll direct message the coupon to your Instagram account. Simply show the coupon at the register and you’ll get your discount.
You’ll even get bonus points if you share it on Facebook and Twitter, but you can only get the discount if you use Instagram with #aamshirt. Sorry, points don’t actually matter, but we’d love to see you rockin’ the shirts all over social media.
akron art museum tshirt
T-shirt choices are
Women’s – Heather Gray, Pink (V-neck) S-2XL
Unisex –Charcoal, Storm (Blue) S-3XL

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Message Matters

A public art project for the Akron Art Museum
by Jamie Burmeister

“Message Matters” is a site-specific light installation that seeks to transform the Akron Art Museum into a beacon of love. The work features lights installed in the west stairwell facing High Street, in the museum’s 1899 building. These simple lights installed in windows fade in and out sending a singular Morse code message of “Luv U.”
The intent of “Message Matters” is to send a positive message of love throughout the city of Akron with the hope that Akron will love us back.
Leave us a love note back by commenting below and spread the love by sharing our Message Matters video.

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Art & Ale…What a Success!

By: Scott Wachtel, Communications Intern

artandale_002_hrLOW RES
Photo by Drew Smith Photography.

It was such a wonderful event and the museum felt alive with over 320 people enjoying themselves while also getting the chance to visit the museum. People took the opportunity to walk through the galleries and see the exhibitions and collection items on view.
We just wanted to say, THANK YOU. It was such a success. You sampled the many beers and foods from the local venders and told us how much you enjoyed the event. We hope you will clear a spot on your calendar for next year. We are already starting to make our plans.
The event raised over $10,000 for the museum, which will go towards continuing our education and community outreach programs.
Congratulations to Laura Snelson who won the giant basket of swag from the brewers. We also want to congratulate the brewers who won top beers of this year’s Art & Ale:

Our judges and people using the social media application, Untappd had some of the same tastes in sampling. Check out the Untappd page for the museum and see what tasted. Please feel free to go onto our Facebook page and tag yourself in some of the photos from Art & Ale and share them with your friends.

Art &Ale Judges: Mark Masuoka, Marc Bona and Rory O'Neil
Art & Ale Judges: Mark Masuoka, Marc Bona and Rory O’Neil. Photo by Drew Smith Photography.

We hope to see our members soon at other events and those who are nonmembers become members and reap the benefits. Keep in mind our next big fundraising event is the 19th Annual Auction on Saturday, June 14, 2014.  

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Exciting Changes Coming to the Akron Art Museum’s Martha Stecher Reed Library!

By Ellie Ward, Library & Archives Manager

Take a look at some of the changes in the library – the display case has been removed to allow for a line of sight view of artwork on the back wall. Currently on view is the local artist and former Kent State University Art Professor Brinsley Tyrrell’s work, Flooding, 2011, which is a beautiful composition of glass enamel on steel. 


New shelves have been put up to display books associated with the current Corbin Gallery exhibition, The Big Draw, where kids and adults alike are having fun expressing their creativity.



And the Pietro Annigoni portrait of Martha Stecher Reed, the library’s namesake, has been put back in a place of honor just as you walk into the reading room.


Watch for more changes to the Martha Stecher Reed Library in the near future!

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El Anatsui tour continues: De-install and packing at Des Mones Art Center

By Arnold Tunstall, Collections Manager
One of the most exciting things about this particular exhibition is seeing how the works are transformed to fit each institution. The works themselves are manipulated to fit each space where the tour is installed.  Des Moines Art Center installed the pieces throughout its three buildings and created interesting relationships to its own collection.

Peak near Des Moines’ Julian Schnabel painting (background).
Peak, near Des Moines’ Julian Schnabel painting (background).

Gli in the I M Pei building with natural light and the Des Moines Sol LeWitt wall mural behind.
Gli in the I M Pei building with natural light and the Des Moines Sol LeWitt wall mural behind.

Preparing the removal involves careful folding and rolling techniques that are used for each work. For instance, we dismantled Peak into 140 individual sheets. Each sheet is then folded and wrapped in plastic to keep them separated from one another and packed into three crates and ready for shipping.
Des Moines crew de-installing and packing.
Des Moines crew de-installing and packing.

This tour is unusual in many respects. We’ve had to invent ways of handling sections of each piece of art, how we are packing it for transport, and even ways of describing or classifying the condition of these objects. As each work is manipulated from its space in a museum and brought into its new space, some of the wires will come loose or break. In this instance, repairs are made as needed. The tools of the trade are wire snips and rubber lined gloves to protect our fingers from the cut copper wire.
Important installation tools.
Important installation tools.

Here I am doing some slight repairs to some missing wires and detail of wire, gloves.
Here I am doing some slight repairs to some missing wires and detail of wire, gloves.

The exhibition is en route from the Des Moines Art Center to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. The crew in Miami will then transform these beautiful works yet another time to fit their building. The process of unwrapping sections, putting on gloves and adjusting wire will yet again take place. Look for the next blog post from the warmth of Miami and see how it’s incorporated into their space.
Keep reading our blog to see our impressions of the exhibition as it is installed at the Bass Museum of Art.

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How To: Bathtub Snow Graffiti

By Amanda Crowe, Assistant Educator

Follow-up to “Winter Wonderland” Playdate, Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

When ice storms block your children from going outside, you can still give them the opportunity to be spontaneous and creative with nature by bringing the outside in.

Snow.  One of the most elemental, memorable art mediums from your childhood.  Recreate those memories for your little ones by making your bathtub the canvas!  With easy clean up and minimal effort, your child can be the bathtub graffiti artist of your household.

Materials needed:

  • Large empty container for carrying snow
  • Spray bottles filled with water and various colors

Note: Dilute a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolor into each bottle.  Crayola poster paints watered down will also work. Test surfaces for staining first before painting.

  • If spray bottles are unavailable, use old ketchup or mustard bottles, squeezable jelly containers, a turkey baster or ear and nose syringe
  • Bathtub full of snow
  • Apron and towels
  • Extras: Popsicle or craft sticks, marbles, toy people and animals, sand toys such as small buckets and shovels, stuff from the kitchen such as measuring spoons and rolling pins, essential oils such as lavender or peppermint, and, of course, glitter.
Bathtub Graffiti
Bathtub Snow Graffiti


For starters, I like to mix up three bottles of primary colors: red, yellow and blue.  That way, your child is not only creating, but learning about color mixing and combinations. The more colors, the better.  But even one bottle of colored “paint” will do.

For an educational yet playful experience, try lining up the bottles on the tub’s edge.  Refer to the spray bottles as your child’s “artist tools,” the colored water as the “color palette,” and the white snow as “your canvas.”

Now…start spraying!

Additional Idea Prompts:

Remember, you can adjust the spray nozzle for a lesson about lines – fat, thin, wiggly.  Or create a splatter effect and discuss street artists who use graffiti as a form of expression.  Use the toy animals to make painted animal tracks.  Arrange random toys to make a collage.  Hide items and take turns counting how many your child finds.  Spell words in the snow using magnetic letters or alphabet blocks.  Create a LEGO Arctic landscape. Once the fun starts, there are endless opportunities for spending meaningful time playing in the snow together.

If the snow is too cold for little hands, try an alternative:

Shaving cream and baking soda.  Stir equal amounts of each until the snow becomes a thick, mousse consistency.  This “snow” can also be combined with food coloring or watercolor paint.  Try fingerpainting with it on sturdy paper plates for a snowy masterpiece you can keep – as it will air dry and harden overnight.


Kids Studio: Lego Landscape
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Give your “mini figures” their own mini world by creating a diorama—an entire landscape in a box that you can carry with you.  The imaginative world you design may appear as a freeze frame in history or tell a story about the future, or both!  Build your dream-like diorama using a blend of mediums and materials, including: Lego bricks, acrylic paint, clay, plaster, found and recycled objects and wire.  Key sculptural works in the Museum’s collection as well as the current exhibition of artist Diana Al-Hadid’s “Nolli’s Orders” will be explored.

Studio class is 12-3 pm.  Cost per class $10/member child, $15/non-member child.  Registration is required. Ages 5-7. 

Story Time in the Galleries
Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Quilt, by Ann Jonas: A small African-American girl is overjoyed with the new patchwork quilt her parents have made. As she sleeps, it comes alive, turning into a fantastical dreamscape she must enter in order to find her beloved stuffed dog. Travel to the studio after the story and share stories with local quilters while you make your own “no-sew” story quilt.

No registration required.  

Story Time is 11:15 am – 12:15 pm on the third Thursday of each month, when the museum offers complimentary gallery admission to all visitors. No registration required.  ALL AGES welcome!

Family Day: Printmakingpalooza!
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Have you ever used a rubber stamp or peeled silly putty off newspaper?  If you answered yes, then you’ve created a print.  Experimenting with printmaking allows young artists to try out different techniques and to see cause and effect in action more dramatically than with simply painting or drawing. Your budding master printmaker will enjoy testing unusual mediums like Jell-O and shaving cream at our printmaking “buffet,” which includes: mono-printing on the tabletop, gyotaku, or Japanese fish rubbing, printing with wheels, mirror-image string prints, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, and muffin tin printing, and macaroni collagraphs.

12-4 pm. Admission is free for families. No registration required. ALL AGES welcome!

Lego Landscape

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New York City Galleries – A Weekend Tour

By: Jan Driesbach, Chief Curator
I started my first day in New York at George Adams Gallery , talking about Lesley Dill, whose lithograph I See Visions  will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Akron Art Museum called Language in Art (opening in April).
Also at the gallery were new works by Enrique Chagoya and amazing cut-outs by Kako Ueda.

An example of Lesley Dill’s sculpture at George Adams Gallery
An example of Lesley Dill’s sculpture at George Adams Gallery

Kako Ueda, Reciprocal Pain, 2009, acrylic on hand cut paper, string, 94 x 59 x 2 inches.
Kako Ueda, Reciprocal Pain, 2009, acrylic on hand cut paper, string, 94 x 59 x 2 inches.

I made my way down West 25th and West 24th Streets, with highlights including impressive new ceramics by Lynda Benglis at Cheim and Reid .
Lynda Benglis
Lynda Benglis

The second half of the day was devoted to catching up with Diana Al-Hadid (her massive sculpture Nolli’s Orders is on view at the Akron Art Museum.
Serra Pradhan from Marianne Boesky Gallery showed me two of Diana’s gorgeous new wall pieces before we enjoyed lunch together and departed for the artist’s studio in Brooklyn.  As always, Diana was a delight and had a bevy of projects—three-dimensional projects, wall pieces, drawings—underway or newly-completed.  It was fascinating to see and learn more about her process. Diana was delighted to hear about the interest Nolli’s Orders is generating in Akron.  I am looking forward to viewing work I’ve seen in process in her studio when it is exhibited alongside Medardo Rosso’s in a presentation by Marianne Boesky [] next month.

In Diana Al-Hadid’s studio
In Diana Al-Hadid’s studio

Friday morning I wended my way up Chelsea, admiring Donald Judd prints at David Zwirner and Jackie Nickerson photographs at Jack Shainman (will send an image).  And Jessica Stoller’s ceramics  offered amazing contemporary still lifes that invited close viewing.  At Galerie Lelong, talked about Jaume Plensa  installation that had impressed me on my previous visit.
Donald Judd at David Zwirner
Donald Judd at David Zwirner

Jessica Stoller
Jessica Stoller

Juame Plensa at Galerie Lelong
Juame Plensa at Galerie Lelong

Continuing down 26th Street, I spied evidence of Bansky’s New York residency:
Banksy in NYC
Banksy in NYC

I took my very first “selfie,” reflected in Mark Foxx’s metallic curtain at Robert Miller Gallery (also relevant to the upcoming Language in Art exhibition at AAM):
Chief Curator Janice Driesbach's first selfie.
Chief Curator Janice Driesbach’s first selfie.

Continuing my journey, I returned to 24th Street, where I found Radcliffe Bailey’s new work at Jack Shainman Gallery. A powerful new direction for this artist, the work is responding to the Middle Passage, which refers to the transport of kidnapped Africans to America during the Atlantic slave trade.  It was particularly interesting to see this new work in the context of an important piece in our collection, the artist’s J Red House.
Radcliffe Bailey, To be Titled, 2012, tarp, iron, vintage model ship, wicker basket, and glass, 120 x 188 x 89 inches. Jack Shainman Gallery.
Radcliffe Bailey, To be Titled, 2012, tarp, iron, vintage model ship, wicker basket, and glass, 120 x 188 x 89 inches. Jack Shainman Gallery.

Radcliffe Bailey, JRed House, 1996, mixed media on wood, 96 in. x 96 in. x 24 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Bruce and Barbara Berger.
Radcliffe Bailey, JRed House, 1996, mixed media on wood, 96 in. x 96 in. x 24 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Bruce and Barbara Berger.

Hordes of Denver Bronco and Seattle Seahawk fans were pouring into Manhattan by the end of the week, so an escape to the Bronx on Saturday to meet up with Tony Feher was a particular delight.  We spent time in his exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. During our visit, I noted a young boy’s immediate glee when he entered the gallery with his family, and Tony commented as to how well children respond to his work.
Tony Feher at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
Tony Feher at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Best of all were lunch with Tony and a visit to his studio, filled with the jars, marbles, plastic bottles and Depression glass the artist uses for his poetic gestures.  In addition to touring the space and seeing a number of projects underway, we reviewed plans for exciting new work Tony is making specifically for the Akron Art Museum that responds to our magnificent architecture.  
Tony Feher’s studio
Tony Feher’s studio

Tony Feher opens at the Akron Art Museum on April 12 and will be on view until August 17, 2014.

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Guided Visualization for Children, or How to Take a Trip with Your Kids Without Leaving Home

Follow-up to “Sunshine Playdate,” Thursday, January 9, 2014

Photo by Drew Smith Photography
Photo by Drew Smith Photography

Grown-ups and children alike are affected by the weather in Ohio.  Gray, cold days can take hold of anyone’s moods and when it’s too cold to go outside for days on end, your child’s abundant energy needs an outlet! Creative visualization is one way to take a trip while enjoying the warmth of your pajamas!  Let your child be the captain as their imaginations drift away by using simple storytelling and props on a fun, guided journey in the comfort of your living room. 
Materials needed:
A designated seat, preferably on the floor, such as a mat, cushion, blanket, pillow or soft throw rug.
While brainstorming your “adventure plan” (see below) you will create a list of “supplies” you may need on your trip.  Note: props can also be used to create special sound effects!
Examples of recycled props:
pillow = vehicle (boat, car, plane)
cardboard toilet paper tubes  = binoculars, telescopes
flashlight = lantern, headlight
aluminum foil = thunder
frisbee = steering wheel
scarf = sail
wooden spoon = oar
drinking straw = snorkel
toy blocks = dumped in a pile, arranged to look like a campfire
wax paper = ice
Extras: Sunglasses, hats, keys, umbrella, seasonal clothing and don’t forget your travel companions: stuffed animals, dolls or even the family pet!
HOW TO:  First, plan your adventure
Start off by brainstorming a far away (or even imaginary) place your child would like to visit.  Perhaps somewhere sunny and warm with a waterfall and a cabana nearby!  Ask your child to think of his/her adventure as a story web.  Start from the center (the main idea or setting of your adventure), then gradually branch out into the details, like a travel agent arranges the “where,” “what,” “why” and “how” of a trip.
Sample questions to generate ideas: “Where would you like to travel if you could go anywhere – and why?  How will you get there?  What will you do when you arrive, when will we come back home and how? Who might we meet there?”
…Enhance the mood or tone of your child’s storytelling by including background music as an added effect, and try speaking into an empty tin can as a microphone!  Your child will be entranced and transported to warmer climates in no time!
Story Time in the Galleries
Thursday, January 16, 2014
“Kokopelli & the Butterfly” by Michael Sterns is a book created for sharing with your children as we approach an important peacemaker’s birthday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Be part of the magical, tribal adventure of Kokopelli as he sends children a message of kindness, love, tolerance of diversity and peaceful conflict resolution then travel to the studio to create clay peace trading beads and terracotta coil pots to keep them in. Story Time is 11:15 am – 12:15 pm on the third Thursday of each month, when the museum offers complimentary gallery admission to all visitors. No registration required.  ALL AGES welcome!
Kids Studio
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Did someone say “Minecrafting” in the museum? Construct a 3-D “tilted” landscape, in which nothing is what it seems.  “Mine,” deconstruct and reassemble as you work with traditional and non-traditional architectural materials to create your own mini model environments while making aesthetic decisions about form, proportion and balance. Key sculptural works in the Museum’s collection as well as the current exhibition of artist Diana Al-Hadid’s Nolli’s Orders will be explored.
Studio class is 12-3 pm.  Cost per class $10/member child, $15/non-member child.  Registration is required. Ages 8-12. 
Family Day
MONDAY (Yes, we’re open!!!), January 20, 2014
Enjoy those closest to you while spending some time together working on peaceful, multicultural art activities in the Museum lobby.  Contribute to our 100 Acts of Kindness stained glass window art, celebrate skin color with painted portraits and create a “Hands Around the World” chain to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Join in a collaborative music ensemble then tour the galleries. 12-4 pm. Admission is free for families. No registration required. ALL AGES welcome!

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