Assemblage Pencil Holder

Most of these #TryThis projects are easy for people of all ages, but no project screams “easy for all ages” like a pencil holder. American artist Louise Nevelson serves as the inspiration for this project. Printmaker and sculptor Nevelson is probably best known for her monochromatic assemblages employing found pieces of wood, like the Akron Art Museum’s work.

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Louise Nevelson, (Kiev, Russia, 1899–1988, New York), The Fugue, 1985, Painted wood, 49 3/4 in. x 39 in. x 9 in. (126.37 cm x 99.06 cm x 22.86 cm), Gift of the American Art Foundation in memory of Louis S. Myers

A prolific artist, a broader look at her work can be seen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s website.

Scrap cardboard/wood
Pool noodle

  1. For this project, you can use any base you have around the house ranging from a piece of a pool noodle to an old can.
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If you are using a pool noodle, you will need to scoop out the inside.

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2. If you want to follow Nevelson’s approach, cut chunks of cardboard or pieces of wood to be added to your pool noodle base.

3. Glue those shapes to the base.

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4. Paint your sculpture with a single color. Nevelson often used black.

#TryThis is made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine

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#MuseumGames #Crossword-April 5, 2020

Our weekly puzzle this week features clues from museums around the continent including: Air Force Space & Missile Museum, Akron Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Canadian War Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cummer Gardens, Eastern State Penitentiary, Fairfield University Art Museum, Go For Broke National Education Center, John Hay Library, The Kalamazoo Valley Museum, The Long Island Children’s Museum, Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum, Telfair Museums, The Adler Planetarium, The Cleveland History Center, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Demuth Museum, The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, The Erie Canal Museum, The International Printing Museum, The Johnson Collection, The McMaster Museum of Art, The Nasher Sculpture Center, The Pueblo Grande Museum, The Textile Museum of Canada, The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, and The Wolfsonian–FIU.

Play online. Or download it. (And last week’s answer are here).



What Walker Evan’s workers did, in a photograph from the Akron Art Museum.





10 Across

That other thing on the wall

12 Across


15 Across

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an Army unit comprised of Japanese Americans from Hawai’i and the mainland United States activated during World War II, initially trained at Camp ___ in Mississippi. The Go For Broke National Education Center can tell you more.

18 Across

Meeko at Cleveland Museum of Natural History for one

19 Across

This self-portrait by poet and artist Kahlil _______, author of The Prophet, is part of the largest collection of his visual art in the United States, housed at Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia. Check out Telfair Museums for more.

20 Across

A medical mission in Newfoundland and Labrador in the early 20th century that produced hooked rugs. Look at the Textile Museum of Canada for more.

22 Across

Cetus is not only a mythical sea monster of Greek mythology, but is also a constellation. Besides being called Cetus the sea monster, it is also known as this animal in English: Cetus the____. Look to the Adler Planetarium for a clue.

23 Across

Artist Dudley Vaill Talcott exhibited the Wrestler, the beloved sculpture/mascot of The Wolfsonian–FIU, at this New York modern art museum in 1931. The Wolfsonian–FIU can help.

26 Across

This starchitect designed San Francisco’s most cubic museum. The Contemporary Jewish Museum can give you a hint.

29 Across

Gallery Stop

30 Across

What green wayfinding sign in the Nasher Sculpture Center was such an engineering/manufacturing feat when the building opened in 2003, one was acquired for the MOMA collection? The Nasher Sculpture Center can help.

31 Across

225 Parsons Street was home to this instrument maker for almost 100 years. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is the place to find out.

34 Across

Out to __

36 Across

The only remaining weighlock building in the United States is located in this New York State city. The Erie Canal Museum has a hint.

37 Across

Elihu Vedder’s Sleeping girl’s complexion. Give the Akron Art Museum a look.

38 Across

Charles Demuth was one of the leading artists in which art movement, seen particularly in his later architectural works? The Demuth Museum can give you a clue.

40 Across

Quick message

42 Across

This Astrochimp was the first hominid launched into space on January 31, 1961 through Project Mercury from Cape Canaveral. Check out Air Force Space & Missile Museum for more.

43 Across

Planet, often

44 Across

An amatuer archeologist, this person’s finds became a 5,000 piece collection housed at the last farmhouse in Manhattan. Learn more at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum.

46 Across

Even’s pair

47 Across

Pucci’s tool to add shape to this “Hippie”: minidress, from the Cleveland History Center.

48 Across

Hoop holder from this Dassonville portrait from the Akron Art Museum.


1 Down

Visitor’s services tool

2 Down

In Inuit art, this animal is often depicted dancing, perhaps signifying the joyful transformation between shaman and spirit helper. The McMaster Museum of Art is the place to find out.

4 Down

First name of this famous 20th century magician, billed as the “Dean of Magicians”. John Hay Library can help.

5 Down

____ the Dog was sentenced to life in prison at Eastern State Penitentiary for allegedly killing the Pennsylvania governor’s cat in 1924. Thankfully, the dog was really just donated to increase prison morale. Eastern State Penitentiary is where you can learn more.

7 Down

This British Decoration, the ______ Medal, is considered ”the animal’s Victoria Cross” . The Canadian War Museum can help.

9 Down

Opposite of Plain

11 Down

Largest known flying animal to have ever lived. The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History can help.

13 Down

This sculptor — a student of legendary ceramicist and UC Berkeley professor Peter Voulkos — mixes allusions to modernism, middlebrow culture, & specific pop sensibility of Northern California in exquisitely formed works, often no bigger than a few inches. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) can help.

14 Down

Museum part

16 Down


17 Down

Oy in other words

18 Down

Members of the Children of Peace were active participants in the Upper Canada ______ of 1837 calling for political reform. Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum can tell you.

21 Down

Frida Kahlo depicted herself with her pet ________, named Fulang-Chang, in her self-portrait in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s collection.

24 Down

This famous author published and printed her own writings, as well as those of her contemporaries T.S. Eliot and Gertrude Stein, under the name Hogarth Press. The International Printing Museum can give you a clue.

25 Down

A vessel with a likeness to a human or animal. The Pueblo Grande Museum is the place to find the answer.

27 Down

Harlem Renaissance sculptor Selma Burke’s best-known work can be found on which U.S. coin? Visit The Johnson Collection for more.

28 Down

What Roman author told the story of this heroic rescue in his “Metamorphoses”? Fairfield University Art Museum is the place to find out.

32 Down

Nickname for story + ART, an early childhood program at Long Island Children’s Museum. Long Island Children’s Museum can help.

33 Down

The jewel in the crown of the Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by female landscape architect Ellen Biddle _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Learn more.

34 Down


35 Down

Pair with Wrong

39 Down


41 Down

Museum Activity

45 Down


MuseumGames 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, the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, and the Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Foundation

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#MuseumGames #MuseumCrossword March 29, 2020

#MuseumGames is a global initiative where we work with museums around the world to play. Every Thursday the puzzle shows up on our blog. The clues are available on social media on Sundays at museum sites around the world. (The institutions are listed at the end of the post). Play with us every week.

Thank you for playing along last week. We hope that you enjoyed exploring all those collections. At the bottom of the post, you will find last week’s answers.

Now for this week’s puzzle. To play online. To download pdf.

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Little Red Schoolhouse in Cedar Falls, Iowa was originally what color? Learn more at Cedar Falls Historical Society.


This photographer known for capturing dancers and motion was also a co-founder of Aperture magazine. The Asheville Art Museum has the answer.


Aplacophora are mollusks that lack what? Learn more at the Delaware Natural History Museum.


Wish on this.


Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Late Lucy for one. Check them out for more.


What prize did George C. Marshall receive for his plan? Learn more at the George C. Marshall Museum & Library.


Pine and oak but not banana.




First name of one of America’s first female published poets and wife of one of NJ’s signers of the Declaration of Independence. Morven Museum & Garden is the place to find out.


This is the busiest National Park in the country. Check out the Akron Art Museum for the Answer.


Artist Nina Chanel Abney cites this small digital icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc. as a source of inspiration for her work. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art can help with the answer.


Heavily involved in the beginning of many arts organizations in Mississauga, Ontario, including the Art Gallery of Mississauga, this artist was well known for her water colours. Find out who it is here.


Duchamp-Villon’s bust of Baudelaire might look like marble but it’s actually another other white artmaking material. The Nasher Sculpture Center has your answer.


This British-born architect designed Eastern State Penitentiary and its revolutionary hub-and-spoke design. Learn more at Eastern State Penitentiary.


What was the car company for the limousine Woodrow Wilson rode in every day and owned after he left the White House? Learn more at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.


This farmhouse is said to be in the ___ Colonial Style. Learn more at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum.


The only Hebrew letter that floats above the line. Learn more at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.


Frida Kahlo lovingly painted a self-portrait for this exiled revolutionary figure. The National Museum of Women in the Arts can help with the answer.


What Bronze Age monument was discovered at Holm? Lynn Museums (part of Norfolk Museums Service) can give you a hint.


Weaver who brought Bauhaus design principles to Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center could let you know more.


Howard Pyle is known for his painting of which mythological figure of the sea. Find out more at the Delaware Art Museum.



This German-American aerospace engineer developed Redstone, Jupiter, and Juno rockets for the U.S. Army. His magnum opus, the Saturn V, helped deliver American astronauts to the moon in 1969. Explore Air Force Space & Missile Museum for more.


What famous ice cream business Joliet, Illinois in 1940? Learn more at Joliet Area Historical Museum and Old Joliet Prison.


In 1966, this nature center was born when this Cleveland-area community blocked an effort to build a freeway through its neighborhood. Discover where here.


The first female director of a planetarium (acting as Director of the Adler Planetarium from 1937–1947) was Maude ____ Check out the Adler Planetarium for more.


This lovely desk set including a calendar, blotter, was inlaid with ____. Learn more at the Delaware Art Museum.


A large vessel used to mix wine and water in ancient Greece was known as a _______. Ones known as “volute” have elaborate scrolling handles, like this one at the Getty Villa. Learn more at the Getty.


Circus magnate John Ringling completed his __Gothic-inspired mansion in Sarasota, FL in 1926, and named it “Ca’ d’Zan,” which translates to House of John in this Italian dialect. The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is your place for the answer.


Only 8 known examples survive of the swan vase by this famous china and porcelain company. One remains in the lobby of the Plant Museum. The Henry Plant Museum is the place to learn more.


What magazine has multiple covers in the Knights of Columbus Museum’s collection? It’s also a current publication of the Knights of Columbus. Learn more at the Knights of Columbus Museum.


What is the athletic synonym for a mutation in plants? Check out Historic London Town and Gardens for more.


Who wrote the Rights of Man and Common Sense? Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life (part of Norfolk Museums Service) is a great place to find out.


The Father of the Poster. Learn more at Poster House.


The Wheat Stalk in M.F. Hussain’s mural symbolizes India’s ________ Revolution. Learn more at Heritage Lab.


The famous cartoon turtle who taught children to “Duck and Cover” under their school desks in the 1950’s. Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum is the place to find the answer.


The ship that made radio famous. SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention can give you more.


This Brooklyn artist repurposes broken toys and other “trash” to create sculptural pieces that challenge viewers to think about their impact on the world. Learn more at theLong Island Children’s Museum.


What under pressure substance did fireless Porter locomotives use for fuel? Learn more at the Toronto Railway Museum.


Media for the shoes in Bing’s photograph at the Akron Art Museum.


Used throughout Victorian society as a muscle relaxer, cough suppressant, and more, this medicine is highly addictive, the International Museum of Surgical Science has more.


This furry friend named Touc, painted by Henri Tulouse-Laurec, is a fan favorite at the Hammer Museum at UCLA. What kind of animal is he? Learn more.


Another word for work. These guys in this print at the Akron Art Museum are doing it.


Central heating made these obsolete, but these radiators used this to heat spaces.

List of Participating Museums:

The Air Force Space & Missile Museum

The Akron Art Museum

Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life (part of Norfolk Museums Service)

The Art Gallery of Mississauga

Asheville Art Museum

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

Cedar Falls Historical Society.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Delaware Art Museum.

Delaware Natural History Museum

Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum.

Eastern State Penitentiary

George C. Marshall Museum & Library.

Heritage Lab.

Historic London Town and Gardens

Joliet Area Historical Museum and Old Joliet Prison.

Lynn Museums (part of Norfolk Museums Service)

Morven Museum & Garden

Shaker Lakes Nature Center

SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention

The Adler Planetarium

The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

The Delaware Art Museum.

The Getty.

The Hammer Museum at UCLA. What kind of animal is he? Learn more.

The Henry Plant Museum

The International Museum of Surgical Science

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The Knights of Columbus Museum.

The Nasher Sculpture Center

The National Museum of Women in the Arts

Poster House

The Toronto Railway Museum.

The Long Island Children’s Museum.

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum

For last week’s answers, access this link or pdf.

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Close Looking

While the museum might feel far away right now, let’s take this opportunity to get close and take a look at the details of some favorite works. We will explore unique textures, unusual materials, hidden symbols, and surprising sources.

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Radcliffe Bailey
JRed House, 1996
Mixed media and found objects on wood
Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Bruce and Barbara Berger 2012.28

Objects and symbols coalesce in JRed House to tell a story with deeply personal roots that relates to the broader history of the African diaspora. In this exploration of history and memory, Radcliffe Bailey layers images and shapes. The composition is dominated by the red, black and green colors of the Pan-African flag and by an anvil, an emblem of strength identified with the African Methodist Episcopal church. Scattered across the painting are Adinkra symbols, such as the one pictured here. This particular one is hye won hye, which translates to “that which will not burn”. This symbol gets its meaning from traditional priests that were able to walk on fire without burning their feet, an inspiration to others to endure and overcome difficulties.

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Julian Stanczak
Dual Glare, 1970
Acrylic on canvas
Museum acquisition fund 1970.48

Julian Stanczak was a pioneer in perceptual abstraction or Op art, a prominent style of the 1960s in which complex geometric patterns create illusory effects. The artist drew upon his understanding of how color is perceived to create dynamic abstract compositions. In Dual Glare, three saturated colors of equal intensity but different wavelengths — cadmium red, green and blue — preclude the eye from focusing on a single color. As a result, colors combine and appear to emit light. These effects are heightened by the symmetrical composition, groups of crisp vertical lines that become thinner as they move toward the center, and the artist’s flat application of paint.

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El Anatsui
Dzesi II, 2006
Aluminum liquor bottle caps and copper wire
Purchased, by exchange, with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Reed II 2006.25

El Anatsui is known worldwide for his shimmering wall hangings composed of discarded materials. Dzesi II is made from thousands of liquor bottle caps, which recall the alcohol brought by Europeans to trade for slaves and other commodities. To construct the work, Anatsui and his assistants flattened the caps and joined them with copper wire. As in Ghanaian kente cloth, narrow strips are made and assembled to form vast patterns.

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Matthew Kolodziej
Good Neighbors, 2009
Acrylic and ink on canvas
Museum Acquisition Fund 2009.28

At a distance, Good Neighbors appears abstract, but closer inspection reveals references to the real world. The painting originated with photographs Kolodziej took of construction sites before digitally combining them into a collage, which he then translated into a linear drawing using a computer program. Using tubes designed for cake icing, Kolodziej then squeezed lines and layers of acrylic paint onto the canvas, creating a highly textured surface.

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Frank Stella
Diepholz, 1981
Enamel, acrylic, oil and metal flakes on aluminum
Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Purchased, by exchange, with funds from the John Lyon Collyer Fund and the Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation 1981.16

This work is part of a large series of paintings and prints that Frank Stella named after international circuits for auto races — Diepholz is a German track. While the painting’s frenetic energy may parallel the drama of race car driving, it is not a depiction of a particular place or event. Its snaking curves derive instead from art tools — ornate drafting templates such as French curves (shown here) and ship curves used in nautical design.

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Tadaaki Kuwayama
Untitled, 1961
Acrylic, pigment with silver leaf on Japanese paper mounted on linen
Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred E. Ordover 1970.13

Tadaaki Kuwayama was trained in the strict Japanese tradition of nihonga painting, which is characterized by delicate images of the natural world rendered with ink brushes using pigment, water and animal glue. Despite shifting to abstraction, Kuwayama maintained some of the material elements of his training in this body of work, wrapping his canvases in traditional nihonga paper. Here, the artist contrasts a deep, flat red with airy silver leaf applied to the surface in paper-thin sheets.

Virtual Tours are made possible with support from the Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation, The Sisler McFawn Foundation, The Welty Family Foundation, Dana Pulk Dickinson, and the Lloyd L. & Louise K. Smith Memorial Foundation.

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Elias Sime Opposites Tour

The title of the Elias Sime exhibition is Tightrope, which is the artist’s way of highlighting all of the tension in his work. You know tension, right? The feeling of two opposite ideas, thoughts, obligations, etc., pulling you in two directions? You might be feeling it right at this moment. Instead of clenching your jaw and fighting through it, take a little tour of the opposites in the Elias Sime exhibition. First up? Large and small.

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At first glance, this work looks like the grand, gridded farmland or massive, dense cities you’d see from the window of an airplane. You can just imagine walking through the streets or driving past the green fields. Up close, it is a different story altogether. Tiny wires and minuscule computer parts make up the three sections of this work.

Next, we’ll look at fast and slow.

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This work puts technology front and center. The artist has used the electronic pieces and parts that help us connect with each other all over the world in the blink of an eye. Information travels through these bits and wires at lightning speeds. On the other hand, the work itself takes a long time to create. Look closely at the red lines and black dots. Those are wires that have been meticulously braided by hand and then tacked down- an act that would have taken countless hours to complete.

Finally, we’ll observe something old and new.

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If this artwork feels familiar, it may be reminding you of a kind of art-making that is thousands of years old: mosaics. Traditionally made of tiny glass or stone pieces, mosaics are often installed in churches and other public spaces because they are built to last (There is even one at the museum, which dates from 1899). There is no glass or stone here, though. The tiny tiles in this work are actually keyboard keys, a very new technology compared to mosaic tiles.

The contrasts in Sime’s work reward close inspection and slow looking. So, take your time and allow yourself to be surprised and delighted but these fascinating artworks.

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.

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.

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Make a Mini Zine!

#MuseumAtHome #TryThis

Need a quick way to creatively get out your stay-at-home stresses? A new style of sending a message to a friend? A fun approach for adults and kids alike to make a mini-story? Try making a zine!

Zines, short for magazines, are self-published, easy-to-make projects that have zero-to-no stipulations. Zines used to be created as a way for science fiction fans to add onto their favorite narratives, often through cutting and pasting paper together to form a small book or issue. Now, zines can be found as more formal, published material, often produced by a master printer.

Using one piece of standard size paper, make an 8-page zine and get started with your own narrative!

History of Zines: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/88911/brief-history-zines

Locations of Zine Libraries across U.S. and world: https://zines.barnard.edu/zine-libraries

Supply List:

8.5×11 inch paper



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Hot dog fold

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Open up fold

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Now, hamburger fold

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Open fold, and turn paper

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Fold bottom half up to the hamburger fold’s crease

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Fold top half to meet bottom half at hamburger fold

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Open up folds

(Can you see the 8 pages?)

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Turn paper, and hamburger fold, again!

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Use scissors to cut along this center crease to the center point

(This cut will allow the paper to fold into a zine)

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Open paper

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Hot dog fold, but prop it up like a tent

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Push the two tent ends into the center

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Fold together 3 of the 4 flaps

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Take that last flap, and fold into the rest of the flaps

(This is your back cover)

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Be sure to crease all the seams well!

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Behold- a tiny, baby zine!

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Bring out all the goods!

Using stickers, stamps, tape or objects to glue in, can help

to alleviate the pressure to draw or write

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Happy zine-ing!

#TryThis is made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine

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Op Art Folders

#MuseumFromHome #TryThis

The Op Art movement is often associated with Julian Stanczak, whose first major show at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York was called Julian Stanczak: Optical Paintings. His poetic works use repetition of line in constrained color palettes. Stanczak’s virtuoso linear paintings are a testament to craftsmanship. Attempting to lay down a grid with Washi tape, one gains an appreciation for the quality of the real works of art.


Solid color folder
Washi tape

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  1. Find a folder with a singular color.
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2. Explore the museum’s large holdings of Stanczak for inspiration. Once you’ve decided on a composition, pick thin washi tape for the best effect. Lay down the tape slowly so that you can keep the lines straight. Imagine painting so many lines!

3. Feel free to play with color and patterns. The final product is visually appealing AND useful.

#TryThis is made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine

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Ellsworth Kelly Desk Organizers

This is not only a chance to spruce things up in the home office, but also get organized. Many of us have impulse buys sitting around; good ideas never put to use. Those banal pieces of office equipment are easily improved.

For this project, we’re taking American painter and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly as our inspiration. Kelly’s abstract works often feature pared-down forms and colors. Akron Art Museum’s lithograph, for example, includes only green and black. Kelly’s paintings featured uniform expanses of color on shaped canvases.


Colored Paper
Base Object(s)

This project is just as easy to adorn any surface in the office that needs color and style.

  1. Find your base, like these bookstops.
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2. Look for colored paper. This paper has a sticky back, but you can use a glue stick to affix the paper to your surface. Go online to the Akron Art Museum’s collection, as well as other notable collections, to explore the work of Ellsworth Kelly. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have some nice examples. Once you have a good handle on the ways Kelly plays with shape, cut your own.

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3. Affix your shapes to the base. Kelly was notable for the smooth polished surface of his paintings, so try to keep your paper smooth.

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#TryThis is made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine

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#TryThis Projects for Home

The Akron Art Museum is hoping to find ways to meet the new needs of our patrons. With so much free time, many people are looking for new ways to be engaged and active. We’ll be posting regular features to keep you living creatively.

Many of us are facing weeks of working from home, a new endeavor for the masses. Spartan spaces can be pretty depressing, particularly for those used to being surrounded by colleagues and outside stimulation.

We’re here to help you dress up that blah desk into a colorful, creative space with a little inspiration from the collection in a series of posts from our new #MuseumatHome #TryThis series. Over the next few days, we’ll take your office from boring to exhilarating.

First up, let’s help you keep that desk free of coffee rings. Coasters are an easy, useful project for any part of the home. In this dreary time, color can transform your attitude. Color was integral to Josef Albers’ work.

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Albers was a 20th century educator and artist who was incredibly influential on modern art. He taught notable artists from the AAM collection like Robert Rauchenberg, Richard Anuszkiewicz and Julian Stanczak. In his Homage to the Square series, Albers systematically investigates the ways that the appearance of a color is influenced by adjacent hues. Alber’s rigorous exercise in color theory is the jumping off point for these coasters.


  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cardboard box
  • Fabric/Felt/Colored Paper


  1. Find an old cardboard box.
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2. Cut it down into 3–4 inch squares.

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3. Find colored paper or fabric. Felt works great. Use the cardboard as a guide, and cut the color to size.

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4. Cut squares of fabric or cloth from a similar color family to the base color.

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5. Glue each of your squares down, small to large, and then onto the cardboard base.

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Our collection is a wonderful place to explore the influence of Albers on modern art. For more about Albers, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation is worth a look. Check out the works by Robert RauchenbergRichard AnuszkiewiczJulian StanczakYellow Filtration is seen below (credit line), all students of Josef Albers in our collection.

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#TryThis is made possible with support from PNC, the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, the Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Kathy Moses Salem Philanthropic Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Richie Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Considine.

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Venerable Art Oracle Offers Inspiration

Our beloved Venerable Art Oracle knows that it’s hard sometimes, in the dead of winter, to find inspiration. But, there is no better place to turn than our own Northeast Ohio artists. The amount of talent close by is astonishing. Get your inspiration now.

Venerable Art Oracle Offers Local Inspiration

The Venerable Art Oracle Suggests Inspiration

Click the button for your inspiration

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