Art-making Advice from the Oracle

Do you need a bit of inspiration for your art-making pursuits? Well, our in house oracle has you covered. Ask for advice on where you should go with your creativity.

Advice on Art from the Oracle

Advice from Ms. V. A. Oracle

Ask me what you want to know and click on the A


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Lunchtime 5: Creativity Invitation


Need a little inspiration? Sometimes all it takes is a prompt, suggestion, or idea. Tune in to get a creative spark inspired by the museum’s collection and exhibitions.

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Up Close with Making Your Mark

The special exhibition Making Your Mark celebrates the power of surface and craftsmanship in authentic works of art. While these aspects of art are better appreciated in real life, the digital does allow viewers to get closer than you can in the galleries.

Omid Shekari’s detailed drawings are set off by glistening, textural passages. Upon close inspection one sees the surface is composed of metal shavings. Shekari grinds shell casings with a grinder before applying the metal to his drawings.

Detail of Can’t go, 2019. Omid Shekari (Iranian, born 1986, Damavand, Iran). Ink, gouache, powdered bullet shells on paper. Collection of the artist
Installation view of Shekari’s work alongside his grinder.

Erykah Townsend uses modge podge to create her composition. The pixelated still life is composed of squares, each denoted with a letter/ number combinator denoting the color.

Detail of Holographic Meatloaf: (Crayola Box 8) Brown= S16, Red= S34, Orange= S04, Yellow= S27, Green=S20, Blue= S11, Purple=S22, Black= S13, Keep Blank= S01, 2019. Erykah Townsend, (American, born 1997, Cleveland, Ohio). Printed paper, collage paste, acrylic, fiber paste. Collection of the artist
Installation view of Townsend’s work

Wilhelm photographed slips of paper in her studio and then employed a lithographic process to create this pair of prints. Seen up close, the view can catch snippets of text written in the artist’s fluid script.

Detail of Other As Identity, 2017. Rebekah Wilhelm (American, born 1986, Cleveland, Ohio). Algraphy lithographic print. Collection of the artist
Installation view of Wilhelm’s work
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Lunchtime 5: Get Art

Explore InterPlay Akron

What is Interactive Art?

Hear about a new interactive augmented reality experience from the Akron Art Museum and learn how all art can be interactive.

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Life Advice from the Art Oracle

We’re hoping for a great 2021, especially given how challenging 2020 was. We have an ace we can call on to give us advice for the best future. We call her the Venerable Art Oracle; Ms. V.A. Oracle if you’re being formal about it. Use the interactive to get any advice you need. 

Advice on Life from the Art Sage

Advice from the Art Sage

Ask me what you want to know and click on the A


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ARTstrology: Capricorn

December 22-January 19

Foins, Cahors 1959, Édouard Boubat, (Paris, 1923 – 1999, Paris), 1959, Gelatin silver print, 14 in. x 9 3/8 in. (35.56 cm x 23.81 cm), Gift of Kenneth G. Futter, 1986.69

Working hard, or hardly working? You, tough Capricorn, fall in the first category. Capricorns don’t see problems, they see solutions. You have a tendency to be hyper focused on your goals, but don’t let that focus narrow your view. Take a step back and make sure you can see the forest for the trees.

Capricornio 22 diciembre – 19 enero

¿Trabajando duro o apenas trabajando? Tú, fuerte Capricornio, caes in la primera categoría. Los capricornianos no ven problemas, ven soluciones. Tienes una tendencia de ser hiperconcentrado en tus metas, pero no dejes que ese enfoque reduzca tu visión. Toma un paso para atrás y asegúrate ver la imagen completa.

ARTstrology is made possible with support the Henry V. and Frances W.  Christenson Foundation

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Finish Strong: Our Favorites

We’ve been so busy making content this year, and we’ve shared so much. So we’re finishing this series strong by sharing our most popular resources.

Research Mysteries from Quarantine: Part 1 shows how a collection mystery was solved. Museum staff explored Main Street, Cleveland by Ora Coltman and discovered a few interesting facts along the way.

#5WomenArtists at AAM showcases 5 pioneering women artists in the Museum’s collection. Each one of these talented artists’ works featured are currently on view in the galleries.

  Fashion Finds explores fashion-forward outfits featured in the Museum’s collection. Learn more about each artwork and all of the trends that are fit for the runway.

  #TryThis: Shaving Cream Marbling offers a way to get creative with shaving cream and other household items. This shaving cream project is easy to do, and the finished product is truly something to marvel at.

What’s in a label provides an inside look into what museum labels consist of and how they are made. Learn how the label for Elliot Torrey’s painting Surf was created.

Artful Interiors explores some of the spaces shown in artists’ work in the Museum’s collection. We’ve all gotten very familiar with the inside of our homes the last few months, take a look at these ones for some new interior views.

#TryThis: Pipecleaner Prints teaches viewers how to make their own prints with household materials. The only materials required are paper, cardboard, pipe cleaners, and ink to make unique prints at home.

5 People on your Zoom Call describes what your work video call might look like if your co-workers were artworks from the Museum’s collection. See if you spot any familiar characters.

ARTstrology posts go up each month and they relate a horoscope to a work of art in the collection. If you’re a Sagittarius, see whether this work of art is spot on for you.

Research Mysteries from Quarantine: Part 2 explores Bookstalls Along Seine, a print by T. Frank Simon. Museum staff take a deep dive into this print as they try to find an answer to the question, ‘Who?’ in this case of mistaken identity.

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Downloadable Chess Set

Grids and squares are instrumental elements of many of our works of art. Inspired by the ways artists mix colors, we made this simple downloadable mini-chess set. Enjoy a colorful holiday.

Download the printable

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Island of Misfit Toys- at Home!

Happy December, everyone. For over a decade, the museum has hosted the annual Island of Misfit Toys event in December. During this fun-filled, festive day, we take broken, well-loved toys, smash them to bits, then reassemble them into wacky, wonderful sculptures. It is one of our favorite days of the year. The creatures and structures that come out of the workshop are covered in googly eyes, sparkles, doll arms, and are bursting with creativity. 

While we can’t all get together this year to build our misfit toys masterpieces, we do have some ideas on how you could bring this tradition home. Here are a few simple project ideas you could create with the whole family.

First up, using toys as tools. There are many a broken toy lying around my house these days. Instead of being tossed in the trash, they can be transformed into painting tools. Simply gather whatever you have lying around that you don’t mind getting a bit messy. You’ll also need paper and paint. 

Use the broken toy pieces as brushes or stamps by dipping them into the paint and then dragging, dotting, and stamping them onto the paper.

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Finish Strong with Music

Music is a regular part of the Akron Art Museum’s program calendar, with Downtown at Dusk and the Family Concert in the summer and Midwinter Blues and Other Tunes in February. This year, we’ve had to enjoy music in new digital ways. Explore some of the ways we’re enjoying music now.

Many of our artworks connect to music:

In Revery by Thelma Frazier Winter, a young woman is lost in the song she plays. What do you think she’s performing?

Revery, Thelma Frazier Winter, (Gnadenhutten, Ohio, 1903 – 1977, Cleveland), 1937, Oil on paper, 27 1/4 in. x 21 1/4 in., Gift of Mr. Harvey R. Griffiths and Mr. Julius Faysash, 1951.11

Pablo Picasso’s Femme Couchée et Guitariste shows a reclining woman strumming away. Playing music for fun is a great way to relax.

Femme Couchée et Guitariste, Pablo Picasso, (Malaga, Spain, 1881 – 1973, Mougins, France), 1959, Linocut on paper, 20 1/2 in. x 25 in., Gift of Wayne F. Anderson, 1971.23

  Herman Leonard photographed many musicians, including James Moody. Imagine what sounds will come out of the saxophone, when he puts it to his lips.

James Moody, NYC, Herman Leonard, (Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1923 – 2010, Los Angeles, California), 1951 (printed later), Gelatin silver print, 12 3/16 in. x 8 3/4 in., Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2008.131

  Many of us are missing seeing live music. Pictures like Leonard’s of the Royal Festival Hall remind us why we’re isolating and what we have to look forward to.

Count Basie Band, Royal Festival Hall, London, Herman Leonard, (Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1923 – 2010, Los Angeles, California), c. 1960 (printed later), Gelatin silver print, 13 3/8 in. x 16 3/8 in., Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2007.99

This year has meant the performances had to go digital. While we missed the chance to be together, it does mean you can enjoy these tunes whenever and wherever.

Downtown at Dusk: Sammy DeLeon brings us music that gets us on our feet and ready to dance. As one of Northeast Ohio’s most recognized bandleaders, DeLeon and sextet perform Latin Jazz sounds like you’ve never heard them before.

Downtown at Dusk: Curtis Taylor’s lyrical and improvisational style demands attention. This award-winning trumpeter and Bedford native brings us feel-good jazz music for any occasion.

Downtown at Dusk: Timi Funk is an Akron native, a songstress, and frontwoman for many different music projects. She brings us an impressive vocal range and Neo-Soul/Blues beats that are sure to set the mood for a good evening.

Downtown at Dusk: The 15 60 75 Numbers Band has been praised by almost every national music publication and several international publications. Expect nothing short of excellent from this group’s performance.

The music will continue throughout the winter.

Missile Toe is said to be the best Christmas band ever. You get two chances to enjoy them in December, in AAM After Work: The Holiday Variety Show on December 16, and the Holiday Concert with Missile Toe on December 19. Both events will be streamed on the Museum’s Facebook page and YouTube channel from 6:30–8:00pm.

Join us for Midwinter Blues and Other Tunes in February. The Akron Art Museum’s annual winter concert series, Midwinter Blues & Other Tunes showcases local talents in music, visual art, and organizations in Northeast Ohio. Each of the last 3 weeks in February will feature a community partner, a visual artist, and two musical acts surrounding a theme. The Museum has partnered with Akron Recording Company to pre-record 6 musical performances in the Haslinger Galleries—giving you a taste of the Museum wherever you may be! Midwinter Blues will be streamed on the Museum’s YouTube and social media pages.

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