Lectures & Performances

If you have questions about modern and contemporary art, or just want to learn more about it, consider attending one of our lectures or symposiums. Throughout the year, scholars, experts, and other arts professionals give informative and entertaining presentations about the museum's collection, special exhibitions and other hot art topics.

Art Talk: Brian Bress

November 29, 2018, 6:30 pm

Learn about Bress' unique process including character development, costume creation, performance and film-production as the artist illustrates how he arrived at making his hybrid painting-videos.

Art Talk: Brian Bress

November 29, 2018, 6:30 pm

Art Talk: Brian Bress

Learn about Bress' unique process including character development, costume creation, performance and film-production as the artist illustrates how he arrived at making his hybrid painting-videos.

Free and open to all.

Image: Brian Bress, Organizing The Physical Evidence (Gradients on Gradients), 2018, high definition dual-channel video (color), two high definition monitors and players, wall mounts, framed, 49 x 39.5 x 3.25 in., TRT: 16 min., 36 sec., loop, Courtesy Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles

Dig In: Jenniva Cummings, Special Effects and Makeup

December 13, 2018, 6:30 pm

Join us for a performance by one of three reknowned local African-American artists. Each of the featured artists will create a work of art inspired by Donaldson that will be performed live in the museum. Video of the performances will be presented throughout the run of the exhibition.

Dig In: Jenniva Cummings, Special Effects and Makeup

December 13, 2018, 6:30 pm

Dig In: Jenniva Cummings, Special Effects and Makeup

Akron arts publication The Devil Strip teamed up with the museum to create video profiles of three African-American artists in the Akron community that will be on view in the museum’s Jerry and Patsy Shaw Video Box during the run of Jeff Donaldson: Dig. Each of the featured artists will create a work of art inspired by Donaldson that will be performed live in the museum. Video of the performances will be presented throughout the run of the exhibition.

Free and Open to the Public

Talk: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell

December 15, 2018, 2:00 PM

In 1968, Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell founded AfriCOBRA with artists Jeff Donaldson, Barbara J. Jones and Gerald Williams. The couple, who now live in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, will give a talk about their careers.

Talk: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell

December 15, 2018, 2:00 PM

Talk: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell

In 1968, Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell founded AfriCOBRA with artists Jeff Donaldson, Barbara J. Jones and Gerald Williams. Headquartered in Chicago, the group gathered in Wadsworth’s studio to develop an approach to art that was inspired by the colors, rhythms and patterns that the artists found in the music, fashion and art of the African continent, creating a style and identity that celebrated the richness of their creative heritage and delivering strong, positive messages for black communities. The couple, who now live in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, will give a talk about their careers.

Wadsworth Jarrell’s work is found in the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the High Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Art. Jae Jarrell’s work has appeared in several major exhibitions, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s 2014 exhibition Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s 2015 exhibition How to Remain Human. Her garments belong to private collections as well as to a permanent collection in the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Live Music by Missile Toe

December 20, 2018, 6:30 pm

It was the Thursday before Christmas and all through the museum, every surface was vibrating with Missile Toe’s upbeat rock and roll versions of holiday classics.

Live Music by Missile Toe

December 20, 2018, 6:30 pm

Live Music by Missile Toe

It was the Thursday before Christmas and all through the museum, every surface was vibrating with Missile Toe’s upbeat rock and roll versions of holiday classics. What better way to spend a chilly December evening than shopping in the museum store, dancing to the world’s greatest Christmas band and enjoying a cocktail with friends? Unwind and kick off your holiday celebration at the Akron Art Museum.

Free and open to the public.

Photography by Tim Fitzwater

Synapse Lecture: Fred Tomaselli

March 7, 2019, 6:30 pm

Drawing on art historical sources and Eastern and Western decorative traditions, Fred Tomaselli’s works explode in mesmerizing patterns that appear to grow organically across his compositions. Hear him speak about his work. 

Synapse Lecture: Fred Tomaselli

March 7, 2019, 6:30 pm

Synapse Lecture: Fred Tomaselli

Drawing on art historical sources and Eastern and Western decorative traditions, Fred Tomaselli’s works explode in mesmerizing patterns that appear to grow organically across his compositions. Tomaselli has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been included in international biennial exhibitions. His work has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Albright Knox Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA.

Free and open to the public. 

Funded by the Knight Foundation, the University of Akron Synapse series explores enlightened collaborations between art and science.

Fred Tomaselli, Black Star, 2013, mixed media and resin on wood panel , 60 x 60 in., Courtesy the artist

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