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Relief Podcast Episode 3: Motivation

This weekly podcast brings listeners joy and comfort for these uncertain times.

The Akron Art Museum’s staff shares insights from their own lives combined with conversations about the collection and interviews with regional artists and musicians.

Join us every Tuesday.

Motivation

This week the topic is Motivation. Seema and Gina share some of their thoughts about how motivation looks different during quarantine and how artists get themselves motivated.

Deep Dive with Reggie: Mickalene Thomas

Girlfriends and Lovers, Mickalene Thomas, (Camden, New Jersey, 1971 — ), 2008, Acrylic, enamel and rhinestones on panel, 108 in. x 144 in. (274.32 cm x 365.76 cm), The Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Endowment Fund for Painting and Sculpture, 2010.1

To hear Mickalene Thomas talk about what motivates her, click here.

Shop Talk with Arron Foster

Arron Foster is an artist and educator who works in a variety of media, including printmaking, book arts, video, and installation. Arron has exhibited both nationally and internationally, while also teaching university coursework in print media and book arts. This edition is especially fun since Katelyn had Arron as a professor at Kent State University. Hear Arron discuss Mickalene Thomas’s work, what drives his motivation, and his favorite (and very specific!) salty snack.

Website: https://arron-foster.squarespace.com
Instagram: @fosta1918
Zygote Exhibition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCp1S7V-ujA

Current & Forthcoming Exhibitions:
Virtual Exhibition: And the Band Played On- Failure, Catastrophe, and Absurdity. IN TOTO Gallery

  • 2020 Mid American Print Council Juried Members Exhibition hosted by Kent State University.
  • 2020 Screenprint Biennial- Hosted by Todd Gallery at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Past Lives Collaborative Book project- published by Risolve Studios- Lancaster PA.
  • Cul-De-Sac Print Exchange (Exhibition)- Gathered Glassblowing- Toledo, OH.

Relief Podcast Music

Jordan King is a multi-instrumentalist based in Kent, Ohio. Through his music project, Swell Tides, he has worked with Akron Recording Company and Electric Company Records. His work has been featured in the Devil Strip, Cleveland Scene, Akron Recording Company’s Where the Hell is Akron, OH? Vol. 2. Find Swell Tides on Bandcamp and Spotify, and stay in tune with upcoming shows on Instagram @swelltides

https://smelltides.bandcamp.com/

Relief Podcast is made possible with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

https://soundcloud.com/akronartmuseum/relief-podcast-episode-1-brian-bress

Relief Podcast Episode 2: Spring

This weekly podcast brings listeners joy and comfort for these uncertain times.

The Akron Art Museum’s staff shares insights from their own lives combined with conversations about the collection and interviews with regional artists and musicians.

Join us every Tuesday.

Spring

This week the topic is Spring. Seema and Gina share some of their thoughts about how the weather affects artists and their work.

Deep Dive with Reggie

Spring Thunderstorm, Charles Burchfield, (Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, 1893–1967, Buffalo, New York), 1955, Watercolor and charcoal on paper, 29 7/8 in. x 40 1/8 in. (75.88 cm x 101.92 cm), Gift of Mrs. Mary S. Huhn, Mrs. Dorothy S. Steinberg, and Mr. John F. Seiberling, Jr. in memory of their father, Mr. J. Frederick Seiberling, 1964.11

Shop Talk with Andrea Myers

Image courtesy of Sven Kahns

Andrea Myers is an artist and educator living in NE Ohio. Her work often utilizes painted paper, fabric, scissors, and a sewing machine to create her multi-layered pieces. Even with being a widely exhibited artist, those with a Summit County library card can rent her work through our Akron Art Library program. Hear Myers discusses her relationship with spring, her motivation during these times, as well as the work she is currently creating in her home studio.

https://www.andreamyersartist.com/
Instagram: @andreamyersart
“Neon Speed” solo exhibition: here
“Pieced+Painted” two person exhibition: here

“#fromthestudio” online catalogue and exhibition goes live June 19th: https://www.hammondharkins.com

Image courtesy of Sven Kahns

Relief Podcast Music

Jordan King is a multi-instrumentalist based in Kent, Ohio. Through his music project, Swell Tides, he has worked with Akron Recording Company and Electric Company Records. His work has been featured in the Devil Strip, Cleveland Scene, Akron Recording Company’s Where the Hell is Akron, OH? Vol. 2. Find Swell Tides on Bandcamp and Spotify, and stay in tune with upcoming shows on Instagram @swelltides

https://smelltides.bandcamp.com/

Relief Podcast is made possible with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

https://soundcloud.com/akronartmuseum/relief-podcast-episode-1-brian-bress

Fashion Finds

Since many of us have been living in our comfy clothes over the last few months, we thought a peek at some of the fashionistas and fashionistas in our collection would be a nice break from the norm. So take a moment to envision yourself at a packed, celebrity-filled fashion show. The lights come up on the runway, the music starts thumping, and here come the models!

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Girl in White, William Merritt Chase, (Williamsburg (now Nineveh), Indiana, 1849–1916, New York, New York), Oil on fabric, 84 3/8 in. x 40 in. (214.31 cm x 101.6 cm), Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw, 1955.16.

This little Victorian fashion icon definitely knew the value of accessorizing! Although her imposing brass walking stick and flashy feather hat were likely studio props, they add to the drama of this portrait. The model, Florence Irene Dimock, was only about 13 when this work was completed, but the belted natural waist and elaborate collar of her dress could easily be found on a fashionable dress of an adult woman from this era. Her dress is made of lace and silk, the latter of which was likely a reference to her father’s profession as a silk manufacturer.

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Gentleman Walking a Tightrope, Yinka Shonibare CBE, (London, England, 1962 — ), Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, rope , 89 1/2 x 122 x 45 1/4 in. (227.33 x 309.88 x 114.94 cm), The Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Endowment Fund for Painting and Sculpture, Rory and Dedee O’Neil Acquisition Fund, The Richard and Alita Rogers Family Foundation, and Museum Acquisition Fund, 2014.50

For the artist Yinka Shonibare, fashion is about more than just looking good. The clothes his figures wear hold a great deal of meaning about his identity as a British- born, Nigerian-raised artist. The textiles worn by this gentleman is made from “Dutch wax” cotton fabric, which was produced in Europe but exported and embraced in Africa. These brightly colored patterns became so popular on the continent that they are now associated with African identity and pride. To push the fashion symbolism a step further, Shonibare uses these patterned fabrics to create clothing influenced by Victorian British styles. The delicate dance between Shonibare’s Nigerian and British identities is underscored by the gentleman’s literal balancing act across a tightrope.

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Carmen in John Fredericks Hat, Kathryn Abbe, (Brooklyn, New York, 1919–2014, Brookville, New York), Gelatin silver print, 11 5/8 in. x 10 1/4 in. (29.53 cm x 26.04 cm), Gift of the artist, 1998.31

As its title suggests, the hat seen in this photo was designed by the renowned John-Fredricks hat company. This former household name was instrumental in the designs for the dramatic chapeaus found in Gone with the Wind. Although the company’s pieces were designed by John Frederics, the creative designer of John-Fredricks, almost all were handmade by female assistants in the studio, including an African-American milliner named Mildred Blount. She was a prolific craftswoman and created and influenced the look of some of the most iconic hats in Gone with the Wind. It’s unknown who made the hat seen in this photo, but it’s entirely possible that Blount may have been involved.

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Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse 1, Mickalene Thomas, (Camden, New Jersey, 1971 — ), Chromogenic print, 59 x 48 in. (149.9 x 121.9 cm), Museum Acquisition Fund, 2016.14

The best models don’t let the clothes wear them, they wear the clothes. And that’s certainly true of Din, the model who posed for this work by Mickalene Thomas. Sporting an afro and brightly patterned fabric, Din exudes a striking combination of power and beauty — but the clothes, hair, and make-up only serve to highlight what Thomas found innately remarkable about Din. More than a study in fashion, this work is a captivating portrait of a strong, self-possessed woman.

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Family Day: The Art of Water

No beach? No pool? No problem! Explore different ways to cool off this summer with water art-making activities that don’t require floaties or a vest.

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Motel Pool, Austin, Texas, Tod Papageorge, (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1940 — ), 1975, Gelatin silver print, 10 7/8 in. x 16 in. (27.62 cm x 40.64 cm), Gift of Huntington T. Block Insurance, 1992.101

Water takes on many forms during the summer. For some, summer means cooling off by swimming, playing in sprinklers, or simply drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Water moves in different ways with the museum’s collection, too. We have paintings of crashing waves (Torrey, Surf), abstracted landscapes of ponds (Thomas, Pond-Spring Awakening), and even works whose movement reminds us how water can flow from here to there (Frankenthaler, Wisdom).

On this family day, let’s imagine with water. Below you’ll find 3 creative prompts for you and your family. Share your creations and tag us @akronartmuseum. Happy creating!


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Surf, Elliot Torrey (East Hardwick, VT 1867–1949 San Diego, CA), c. 1920, Oil on Canvas, 30 in. x 36 in. (76.2 cm x 91.44 cm), Gift of Mr. A. H. Marks, 1923.1

Video: Elliot Torrey’s Surf-Inspired Fizzy Ice Cube Painting

Do you know the foam that happens from waves crashing in on a beach or even the sudsy bubbles in a bath? Vinegar and baking soda can cause the same sort-of fizziness! These ice cubes are magical when you add vinegar and a touch of experimentation.

Materials:

1 c. Baking Soda

1/2 c. Water

Food coloring

Ice cube tray

Vinegar

Mix the baking soda and water together. Pour and distribute this mixture into your ice cube tray. Add the food coloring to each individual cube mold- the more colors the better, right? Mix in the food coloring. Make sure you get the bottom of the mold! Place in the freezer. Once frozen and out of the tray, pour/spray/drip vinegar onto your colorful ice cubes. Watch as they fizz and make that sound, too!


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Summer Field Bouquet, Paul Stankard (Attleboro, Massachusetts, 1943 — ), 1997, Glass, 2 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. (6.35 cm x 8.89 cm x 8.89 cm), Gift of Annie and Mike Belkin, 2010.282.50

Photos: Paul Stankard-Inspired Ice Cube Creations

Need a way to cool-off but only have limited materials? These ice cube creations are two-fold: fun for now and for later. Create mini designs within an ice tray, let them freeze, and experiment! Will you put your creation in your drink? Watch it melt on the sidewalk? See it dissolve in a bowl of water?

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Ice cube creation materials

Materials:

Water

Ice cube tray

Small items or objects

First gather various items, like mini figures, small flowers or plant-life, rocks, beads, anything that you want to see in an ice cube.

Now, you can either fill the tray with water then put in your items or put your items in and let the water decide the composition!

If you want to be extra patience and experimental, you can fill the tray with a small amount of water and some items, let that freeze some, then add more water & items, freeze and keep repeating.

Now is the time for patience. Place your tray carefully in the freezer to freeze. Check back on them in a few hours. When they are ready, get them out of the tray. Examine their beauty & watch them melt!

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The ice won’t turn out to be completely clear. Why? The water is freezing from all directions, so air naturally gets trapped in the middle. The air pockets make them look mysterious!

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Pond — Spring Awakening, Alma Thomas (Columbus, Georgia, 1891–1978, Washington, D.C.), 1972, Acrylic on canvas, 68 in. x 55 in. (172.72 cm x 139.7 cm), Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, 1976.32

Photos: Chalk-Paint Printmaking

Spruce up your regular chalk drawing routine with a liquid version. Equal parts cornstarch and water, plus a little coloring, creates a fun medium you can dip sponges, mops, bicycle tires — you name it! Patterns, mark-making, big splashes, oh my!

Materials:

1 c. Cornstarch

1 c. Water

Food coloring

Objects to use as tools/stamps

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Chalk paint materials

Mix equal parts cornstarch and water. This mixture tends to separate over time, so be sure to keep your mixing tool handy!

Divide mixture up between containers if you want multiple chalk paint colors. If you want large amounts of each color, repeat first step for each color.

Add food coloring- start with a small amount. If you’ll be using a darker pavement, you might want to add more color for vibrancy.

Gather your printing tools! Household items like mops, sponges, and brooms can create great textures. Pick with caution: this mixture washes out well, but it might stain slightly.

Get printing! The water in the mixture will dry in the sun, leaving behind the cornstarch/food coloring. It will wash away with the next rain or with water, so take pictures for visual memories!

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Wet chalk paint, versus when it’s dry!

Family Days are made possible by PNC with additional support from the Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, The R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation and the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation.

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Modern Art for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

by: Maryann Wohlwend

Akron Art Museum collects work from 1850 to the present. The museum has a pioneering history in collecting and exhibiting photography, video, and video games as fine art, purchasing works by women artists with regional reputations & international stature, and by seriously collecting the work of working-class, self-taught artists who express their concerns about contemporary life. Akron Art Museum’s mission is to enrich lives through modern & contemporary art.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, who isn’t playing? Chances are you’ve found & foraged a wealth of fruit & firewood and developed your cultural tastes by differentiating real vs. fake art. Now it’s time to become connoisseurs of collecting modern & contemporary art for your very own museum. We want to enrich your (gaming) life by introducing AAM artworks that you can download, decorate, & display — no Nook loan required.

We used the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool to turn three of our artworks into scannable QR codes to use in your game. Browse 1000s of images of our collection at https://www.akronartmuseum.org/on-view/, upload them into the Pattern Tool, and generate your own QR codes for customization on your island…miles away from Ohio, the heart of it all.

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Winter Evening, Raphael Gleitsmann, (Dayton, Ohio, 1910–1995, Akron, Ohio), c. 1932, Oil on fiberboard, 39 in. x 44 in. (99.06 cm x 111.76 cm), Gift of Joseph M. Erdelac, 1981.26

This scene of a downtown Akron intersection, bustling with activity on a snowy winter’s evening, captures the feel of the city’s Main Street in the 1930s. Now seen as a glimpse into a vanished past, Winter Evening represents an ambitious young artist’s effort to show the city he knew best. After high school, Gleitsmann studied art with a couple northeast Ohio artists and instructors, but remained essentially self-taught, exploring new ideas and materials on his own.

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Narcisse (Narcissus), Laure Albin Guillot, (Paris, 1879–1962, Nogent-sur-Marne, France), 1934, Fresson print, 13 3/8 in. x 10 1/8 in. (33.97 cm x 25.72 cm), Purchased with funds from Mrs. Beatrice K. McDowell, 1996.11

“Photography,” claimed Laure Albin Guillot, “must be true to life and sincere; it must likewise be beautiful.” Unlike many of her contemporaries, for whom the image as seen through the camera lens was the single important aspect of the work, Albin Guillot regarded the mastery of photographic printing techniques as an integral part of the endeavor. “Few other photographers,” it was said of her, “possess the knowledge and mastery . . . [and] take the same care with the execution of a work . . . as with the taking of the view.”

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Indestructible Object, Man Ray, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1890–1976, Paris, France), 1923 (1975 edition), Metronome with cardboard, 9 1/4 in. x 4 1/2 in. x 4 1/2 in. (23.5 cm x 11.43 cm x 11.43 cm), Gift of John Coplans, 1979.10

Man Ray, a pioneer of Dada and Surrealism, was the only American artist to play a major role in developing those influential early 20thC movements. In 1923 he produced Indestructible Object which became the most recognized readymades in history. Ready-mades consist of everyday, mass-produced objects that attain status as a work of art through selection, slight alteration, and designation by an artist. Borrowing from the artist’s original title for this work, Akron Art Museum created the exhibit, Objects to be Destroyed (on view February 29, 2020 — August 9, 2020) full of unexpected everyday items as a way to draw attention to the items’ physical and aesthetic characteristics. The artists encourage viewers to reconsider the artistic process as an intellectual rather than a purely technique-driven pursuit.

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We’ve even included our museum logo to pattern your t-shirts, floors, & more.

How to scan QR codes from the Nintendo Switch Online app:
1. Open the app. find Animal Crossing: New Horizons under Game-Specific Services.
2. Find Designs in the Nook Link menu. follow the commands to scan a QR code. after you’ve scanned the design, save it in the app.
3. When you’re back in the game on the Switch, go to Custom Designs on your Nook Phone and hit (+) to download a design. Save it in a blank Design Pattern slot.

You can display your artwork, decorate as wallpaper, walk on it as floor tiles, wear it as clothing, or whatever you wish!

We would love to see how you used our patterns: tag us on social media @akronartmuseum

MuseumGames are made possible by PNC with additional support from Acme Fresh Market, the Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, The R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, and the Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Foundation

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Museum Meditation: Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler’s stain painting Wisdom has the feel of a watercolor. Frankenthaler actually employed acrylic to stain the canvas. The uneven tones of color are subtle, offering the eye a surprising topography.

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Wisdom
Helen Frankenthaler
(New York, New York, 1928–2011, Darien, Connecticut)
Acrylic on canvas
94 in. x 112 in. (238.76 cm x 284.48 cm)
Gift of the Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Family Collection in honor of Mrs. Galen Roush
1978.39

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Relief Podcast 1: Care

This weekly podcast brings listeners joy and comfort for these uncertain times.

The Akron Art Museum’s staff shares insights from their own lives combined with conversations about the collection and interviews with regional artists and musicians.

Join us every Tuesday.

Care

This week the topic is Care. Seema and Gina share some of their thoughts about how care has changed in the context of Stay and Home.

Deep Dive with Brian Bress

Click to learn about Brian Bress’s 2019 solo show at the Akron Art Museum, “Brian Bress: Pictures Become You

Learn more about Bress and watch his digital works: http://brianbress.com/ Bress can be found on Instagram @brianbress

Hear from Bress about his process and background:

VIEW More Brian Bress Pt.1
VIEW More Brian Bress Pt.2
VIEW More Brian Bress Pt.3
VIEW More Brian Press Pt. 4

Shop Talk with So Fun Studio

So Fun Studio is Erin Guido and John Paul Costello — a lively collaborative duo living in Ohio City. Together, they create joyful and light-hearted interactive public art and products. Some of which you may have seen around Cleveland and at the Akron Art Museum’s Please Touch! exhibit in 2017. Hear them talk about their love for Brian Bress, how creating is self-care, and their must-have desert island studio needs.

https://www.sofunstudio.com
https://www.eringuido.com
https://johnpaulcostello.myportfolio.com
Instagram: @sofunstudio @egweeds @Jpcform

So Fun Studio mentions:
https://ohpinkpartyshop.com
https://houseparty.com

Relief Podcast Music

Jordan King is a multi-instrumentalist based in Kent, Ohio. Through his music project, Swell Tides, he has worked with Akron Recording Company and Electric Company Records. His work has been featured in the Devil Strip, Cleveland Scene, Akron Recording Company’s Where the Hell is Akron, OH? Vol. 2. Find Swell Tides on Bandcamp and Spotify, and stay in tune with upcoming shows on Instagram @swelltides

https://smelltides.bandcamp.com/

Relief Podcast is made possible with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

https://soundcloud.com/akronartmuseum/relief-podcast-episode-1-brian-bress

Elias Sime: Tightrope

Complex tableaus made with nontraditional materials

Elias Sime: Tightrope, the first major traveling survey dedicated to the Ethiopian artist’s work, is on display at the Akron Art Museum through May 24. Sime’s March 29 artist talk has been canceled as part of public health efforts, but you can take a close look at his large-scale tableaus made of reclaimed electronic components and learn more about the artist’s work in his own words through this virtual tour on all AAM’s social platforms. Enjoy the #MuseumatHome.

Elias Sime: Tightrope is organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York.

Its presentation in Akron is made possible through the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Ohio Arts Council; The Tom and Marilyn Merryweather Fund; the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee; Katie and Mark Smucker; and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Kanfer.

Elias Sime, Tightrope detail, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel
Elias Sime, Tightrope: (9) While Observing . . . (detail), 2018, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel, 94 3/8 x 63 3/8 in., Collection of Robert and Karen Duncan, Lincoln, NE. Photo by Mike Crupi.

Each material I collect has its own story. It has its own language. Every story has a beginning. I think about the first person who thought or dreamed of it and all the people who transformed that dream into a material. I also think about the various people who used and reused the material before it landed in my hands. I never worry about how old or new the material is. My art is not about recycling or repurposing material but about expressing my ideas. For instance, when I first saw a motherboard, it reminded me of a city, of landscapes, as well as of the people in the factory who assembled it.
— Elias Sime

Elias Sime, Tightrope detail, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel
Elias Sime, Tightrope: Surface and Shadow 2 (detail), 2016, Reclaimed electronic components and buttons on panel, 9 ft. 5/8 in. x 17 ft. 5/8 in., Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH. Photo by Mike Crupi.

I have done a lot of work using clothes buttons. When you wake up in the morning, you open your button or button-up, and you do that with care. It is an expression of love. It puts you in contact with your body… [Buttons] tell the stories of the persons who used them; the human traces they hold are expressions of love. — Elias Sime

Elias Sime, Tightrope detail, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel
Elias Sime, Tightrope: Silent 1 (detail), 2019, Reclaimed electronic components on panel, 72 1/2 in. x 10 ft. 6 in., Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photo by Mike Crupi.

It took me a great deal of time to collect the keyboards. Keyboards have evolved very quickly — the ones today use a completely different technology from a couple of decades ago, but their colors are monochromatic, which gives an impression of silence. Sometimes, thoughts are expressed through noise, and other times, through silence. The keyboard is not loud, but it is full of symbols. — Elias Sime

Elias Sime, Tightrope detail, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel
Elias Sime, Tightrope: Hands and Feet (detail), 2009–14, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel, 71 in. x 10 ft. 10 1/4 in., Collection of Nancy and Joseph Chetrit, New York. Photo by Mike Crupi.

The only thing I think about when I pick the cellular phone motherboard, for instance, is the excitement of the person who owned it the first time they got it. The hope they felt about the future, the eagerness to use it. That, for me, is what love is all about. To realize that we are all connected and that human contact, that touch, is created in every object we take for granted. — Elias Sime

Elias Sime, Tightrope detail, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel
Elias Sime, Tightrope: (8) While Observing . . . (detail), 2018, Reclaimed electronic components and insulated wire on panel, 86 3/4 x 46 5/8 in., Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photo by Mike Crupi.

The materials I select, by the time they get into my hands, they’ve been touched by so many people, and now they’re in my hands. Even though it may not be visible, when you’re working on your personal computer, you leave a part of you on that. Then, when it breaks, there is somebody else who goes inside it and touches it: there’s that fingerprint, that connection that you can even have with the machine. Technology is very tactile. It’s connected to us. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be beneficial for us, 100 percent. It actually made us lose a lot of things, too. It gave us speed. But we have also lost that calmness, tranquility, and quiet. — Elias Sime

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Relief Printing

Relief prints are easy and flexible. The basic premise is that anything raised from the surface will transfer ink onto the paper. A stamp is essentially a relief print. Linocut prints and woodblock prints are two commonly used forms of relief printmaking.

At home, you can create a type of relief print using cardboard and foam stickers. If you don’t have foam stickers, you can use old styrofoam and hot glue. If you don’t have printer’s ink, you can brush acrylic paint onto the block. Any paper can be used for the print, but thicker paper often works better.

This type of printmaking is most successful when you work with big, bold shapes, rather than finely crafted, minuscule decorative elements.

The prints can be used for postcards or just decoration.

Family Days are made possible by PNC with additional support from the Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, The R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation and the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation.
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Objects to Be Destroyed

The artists in Objects to be Destroyed use unusual materials to create their works of art. They incorporate natural matter or manufactured products directly into their sculptures, assemblages, photographs or video.

Artists, curators and scholars use the phrase “found objects” to refer to non-art materials that are included in artwork. These items are found — or sometimes purchased — by artists, who value them for the way they look or the ideas they inspire. Found objects may simply be placed on a pedestal or wall and treated as works of art, or they can be modified by artists before display. Artists often use found objects in assemblages, which are artworks created by organizing multiple objects into a single composition.

Objects to be Destroyed is full of everyday items, including a clock, an umbrella, a lightbulb and two potholders. Here are five other things to spot in the exhibition:

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Food Dye

Tony Feher filled forty-nine glass bottles with water tinted by different proportions of blue food dye for his untitled 2013 work. The color progresses from dark to light and back to dark again six times. Feher compared this progression to the nuanced hues in the sky and ocean. The pulsating blue, he observed, resembles a rolling wave — the form energy takes as it travels through air or water.

Books

Nina Katchadourian was an artist-in-residence at the University of Akron in 2001 when she snuck thirteen stacks of books out of the Akron Art Museum library and placed them behind the reception desk. She arranged the books so the words on their spines formed short poems, stories or aphorisms, many of a humorous nature. These groupings are represented in Objects to be Destroyed by photographs that the artist made as part of a series she titled Akron Stacks.

Rocks

While on a walk in the West Texas desert in 2015, John Newman stumbled upon a small pile of stones. The way the rocks were stacked reminded him of a sitting figure, and their rich hues — including pink, slate gray and tan — caught his eye. Newman scooped up the stones and brought them back to his studio, where he created Tracking and Stacking in Self-Reflection (in Marfa). Inspired by the idea of reliquaries (containers housing holy objects), he crafted a pillow-like form to support the rocks and a dome-like structure with a mirrored interior to reflect them — and closely peering viewers.

Disco Music

For Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, a video made in 1978 and 1979, Dara Birnbaum paired footage from the 1970s television series Wonder Woman with the 1978 song Wonder Woman in Discoland. Following Birnbaum’s edited scenes from the TV program, written lyrics to the disco song scroll up the screen as the music plays in the background. These lyrics, including phrases like “Shake thy wonder maker,” highlight the sexualized nature of the show’s presentation of a superhero associated with female empowerment.

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Pipe Cleaners

Lucky DeBellevue twists colorful pipe cleaners together into loops, connecting them to build pyramid-shaped structures he displays on top of cafeteria trays. When he first started using pipe cleaners, DeBellevue said he “went with something that was very basic and memorable to me as a child, something I assume others had used in their arts and crafts classes as children or had some other kind of experience with.”

by: Theresa Bembnister, Curator of Exhibitions

Objects to be Destroyed is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

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