Connecting Art with Our Community
As the Akron Art Museum continues the process of reopening, the AAM team has been working to provide the community with many opportunities for connecting with art. Our galleries are open for visitors, and we have implemented guidelines to ensure their safe enjoyment of the art on view. We’ve also kept many of our programs virtual. We want to create a variety of options for our audiences so they are able to experience the museum either in person or from the comfort of their homes. Through our social media platforms, we offer collection-focused content each week for those who prefer digital exploration. We also provide creative content, like collection-based games and studio videos from talented regional artists. And our newest series, On Process, will feature interviews with artists sharing details about themselves and their unique, creative processes. This series will include 27 regional artists; their full conversations will be highlighted on Saturdays starting in the fall. In addition to providing a space for these artists to thrive, AAM is doing its part to reach communities where access to art may be limited or where a visit to the museum may not come easy. We want to create a welcoming environment so that anyone can come to the museum and feel both included and inspired.
In an effort to make the museum accessible to a wider audience, we are thrilled to extend our offer of free admission through December 31, 2020. We are also extending our hours for the holiday season. Special holiday hours will begin on November 5, with the museum open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. We understand that schools are back in session and that many other activities are restarting, so our goal is to give visitors a chance to come to the museum when it is convenient for them.
Our newest exhibition and community project, Akron Art Mail, aims to put art and writing into the hands of people throughout our community. The project has three main components: commissioned art postcards offered free for patrons, an exhibition of community-created art postcards from October 15 to February 21, and an e-book catalog of the project. For the first of these parts, the museum commissioned fifteen regional artists and ten writers to produce postcard-sized works. The postcards will be distributed through the Akron-Summit County Public Library and additional community partners around Akron. This project allows the museum to continue to invest in the local arts economy and to provide emerging artists a platform for engaging with the community, while also maintaining the safety of those involved. Despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic, the program allows the museum to create a community-wide impact by making the postcards available for free.
The project also hopes to spark individual creativity, as the museum will distribute blank cards for community members to use to create their own art. These cards will be addressed to the museum and, if sent back, will be included in an exhibition of the community’s submissions, alongside the commissioned art postcards from local creators. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Isroff Gallery. As additional postcards are returned, this display will continue to expand to more and more surfaces around the gallery—with enough submissions, the museum hopes to have the space thoroughly enveloped by these community creations. The exhibition will also be presented in full online. We hope that community members of all ages, backgrounds, and artistic levels will participate in this program and enjoy having their own art displayed in an exhibition at the Akron Art Museum.
The Museum also has a new exhibition coming to our galleries on November 5 titled Making Your Mark. The first installation of the show includes nine regional artists, and we’re focusing attention on their diligent, skillful work in many ways. The purpose of the show is to help audiences get to know different types of artists, such as printmakers and sculptors, through their work. In addition to labels next to the art, viewers will see quotes from the artists and even displays of some of the tools they use. All of the artists have created audio tours out of pictures and sounds from their studios to give an intimate sense of their craft. The show will be in the galleries until March 14.
On December 19, the museum is inviting everyone to join us for a free virtual performance from the rock and roll Christmas band, Missile Toe. They are self-proclaimed as “The World’s Greatest Christmas Band!” and have performed at AAM for several years. By holding the concert virtually, we hope visitors from all over will tune in to the show on YouTube and join us for some holiday fun!
AKRON ART MUSEUM
One South High Street
Akron, Ohio 44308