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Living with Art

The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery

Museums are designed for the ultimate art-viewing experience. White walls, tall ceilings, perfect lighting. Yet, many people encounter art most often not in this kind of setting, but in their homes, filled with their furniture, decorations, knick knacks, family members, and friends. This was the inspiration for the Living with Art exhibition, on view in the Akron Art Museum’s Corbin Family Foundation Gallery February 5th through April 5th, 2015.

The exhibition was dreamed up by the museum’s education department and designed by interior designer and owner of Hazel Tree Interiors, Karen Starr. Starr worked with local designers to select furnishings that would complement artworks from the museum’s collection, which she also chose. The artwork, including paintings, photographs, drawings, and prints, is installed as it would be in a home- above a couch or behind a dining table.

Starr says “I have had such an amazing time working on this exhibition over the last year with the museum staff, and also collaborating with local furniture and lighting designers. John Strauss and Kevin Busta worked with me to furnish the gallery, top to bottom, with locally-made furniture and lighting.”

Through this unique gallery experience, visitors can really imagine what it might feel like to live with artwork from the museum’s collection. Instead of standing in a gallery, staring at a wall, visitors can pull up a chair, have a seat, and spend some time with the art. Akron Art Museum Associate Educator Gina Thomas McGee adds “Visitors may anticipate a specific kind of experience in the galleries but the truth is, there is no right or wrong way to look at art. It seems like a dream take your favorite museum pieces home and live with them, but this exhibition allows visitors to experience just that.”

Living with Art is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by a gift from The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation.