The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden
September 8 – December 17, 2023

The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden is already a masterpiece. But the Akron Art Museum is adding an exciting mixed-media work by Bahareh and Farzaneh Safarani to further enhance the space. Reflections debuts in the Garden on September 7 and will remain on view through December 17, 2023.

Bahareh and Farzaneh, together known as the Safarani Sisters, are twins who began painting at the age of thirteen in Iran. They received BAs in painting from Tehran University before relocating to Boston, where they still live, and earning MFAs at Northeastern University. The Safarani Sisters incorporate painting with video and performance art. Their hybrid works are thought-provoking and transformative experiences that weave loose but striking narratives.

Reflections is a 7-by-22-foot canvas with a projected video element. While the painting itself is striking, a mirror within the depicted scene is brought to life by a video montage of a diverse group of Akronites—couples, friends, parents with their children—shown talking, smiling, laughing, and just being with one another. The work celebrates the community’s uniqueness, charm, and beauty.

Creative writer and videographer Tyron Hoisten with the Akron Black Artist Guild traveled around the community inviting folks to participate in the artwork. Subjects were shown the sketch (see above) and given the premise of the project and then asked to imagine themselves in the mirror as Hoisten recorded.

The Safarani Sisters hope that viewers are drawn into the scene as active participants. They intend for this piece to be playful, positive, and uplifting, from the color and content to the impressions created.

Visit the Museum’s Garden to view Reflections. The best time to see it is at dusk or during the early evening.