Making Your Mark

Realism is often a sticking point for viewers. “My kid can do that” is a refrain heard in many galleries. Working artists usually have a well-honed ability to render life realistically, but some of them choose to diverge from that representational approach. Seemingly simple works, bare squiggles on paper, require incredible control of a brush or careful cajoling of a monoprint plate.

The new exhibition Making Your Mark offers a panoply of fine craftsmanship. Included are works by nine regional artists, individuals employing their craft to engage our community. Many of the artists employ everyday tools to accomplish extraordinary results. From scraps of fabric to an X-Acto knife or crayons, the artists have crafted their own styles to express their unique visions. You can explore the works, along with the artists’ tools, in our online exhibition.

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Make Your Own Museum Game

As a holiday gift, we’re passing on a free tile-laying game for 2 to 5 players. Players pull 15 tiles from a bowl of tiles. The first person to be rid of all their tiles, wins. Download and print the game on hard stock.

On their turn, each player adds a tile:

  • Marble floors connect to marble floors.
  • Wood floors connect to wood floors.
  • Floors cannot go through walls.

If you can’t make a move, you need to pull a tile.

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Animal Abstraction

Feeling a bit stuck? Need a diversion? Your pets can be a source of creativity. No pet? What about your plants? Yourself? Anything can be the start of an abstract masterpiece.

Most phones allow you to change the colors of images and draw on pictures. Can you create an abstract masterpiece from an image of your pet? Post your best creations and tag us @akronartmuseum #animalabstraction

Here are some samples to get you thinking.

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10 Local Writers to Explore

This fall, the Museum commissioned ten writers to be inspired by the Museum’s collection for a piece of microfiction. These writings were then used as the source for a series of postcards used in the Akron Art Mail installation. Some of these writers were also featured in On Process, the Museum’s speaker series which highlights artists and writers and their interviews are available to watch on our YouTube channel. Explore these ten writers along with their written works and Akron Art Mail postcards featured on the Museum’s website..

Theron Brown is a professor of Jazz Piano at Kent State University and a resident of Akron, Ohio. He is immensely involved in promoting jazz music and the arts and he is the founder of the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival. For more information on Theron, watch his On Process interview.

Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (2020) and The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018). He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University. Watch his On Process interview for more information about his work.

  Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found, and The Story Hour. She is a Distinguished University Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

  David Hassler is the author or editor of nine books of poetry and nonfiction. He directs the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. His play, May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970, was produced in 2020 as a national radio play by the WKSU NPR station. For more information on David, watch his On Process interview.

Joanna Wilson draws upon her academic background in film history and philosophy to create insightful commentary on television, movies, and popular culture. She is the author of four books on Christmas entertainment. Watch her On Process interview for more information about her work.

Holly Christensen is an award-winning columnist at the Akron Beacon Journal and teaches writing at the University of Akron. She’s currently working on her memoir, Becoming the Mother I Wanted.

Dr. Mary E. Weems is an accomplished author, poet, playwright, and social and cultural foundations scholar. She has authored thirteen books and her plays and excerpts have been published or produced for nearly two decades. For more information on Dr. Mary Weems, watch her On Process interview.

Brad Warner grew up in Akron, Ohio and Nairobi, Kenya. He is the author of Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen, Hardcore Zen, and several other books. Watch his On Process interview for more information about his work.

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in 2017 and was named a book of the year by multiple publications including Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, and The Chicago Tribune.

Mary Biddinger is a writer, editor, and professor who lives in Akron, Ohio. Her poems have recently appeared in Court Green, The Laurel Review, Poetry, Southern Indiana Review, and Sugar House Review, and her prose is forthcoming in On the Seawall.

Akron Art Mail is made possible with the generous support from the Huntington-Akron Foundation with additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee.

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Drawing Game–Art Dice

Drawing can feel scary. This game helps you loosen up your style or just have fun.

How do you play?

  1. Print out the three dice. Fold and glue them together.
  2. Grab some colored pencils or markers.
  3. Find a few sheets of paper.
  4. Roll the dice.
  5. DRAW.
  6. If you’re with a friend, guess what they drew. OR Challenge them to draw something

Download the Art Dice.

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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10 Ways Studio Projects can help expand your horizons

Making art is a chance to express yourself, relax, and expand your horizons. We have many resources to help you explore a new medium, hone your skills, or learn from a master.

Many families are finding themselves as art teachers with kids learning from home. For those who have day jobs that don’t involve scissors and paste, coming up with projects for your young ones can feel daunting. Akron Art Museums creativity kits are free art supply kits available to families who visit the museum. We have easy projects associated with the kits available on the site.

Art can help young ones, especially those under reading age, to express themselves. This project can help families make a “movie.

  Making books is a great way to create handmade presents. We have many easy bookmaking tutorials.

  The Akron Art Mail installation features community made postcards, along with commissioned ones. Printmaking can be an easy way to make a postcard. Try the home printmaking tutorials online. Once you’re finished with your masterpiece, mail your card in.

Drawing better might be on your to do list. We believe everyone can make beautiful marks. We have many resources to help you gain confidence in your abilities. Drawing Day.

 Water can be an artmaking tool, and it’s pretty easy to get your hands on. Explore some of the water related artmaking projects. Art of Water.

Silverpoint is a specialized drawing technique. It uses simple materials, like metal and gesso, to make ethereal drawings. Learn more.

Silkscreens are fun to make. You can do them many different ways, including using a paper mask, cutting a vinyl stencil, or using drawing fluid. Even if you don’t have the tools at home, it’s worth watching how they’re made.

Abstract sculptures are easy to make from tools you have at home. You can make them with folders, straws, or paper, to name a few materials. If you make something you love, share it on social media and tag @akronartmuseum so we can revel in your creativity. Dog Days of Summer.

Keep coming back to our studio projects throughout the year. We have projects at our For Families section of the website and also in the Studio Hours section of AAM at Home.

Studio Hours are 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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Educator Resources

MOMA Artful Practices for Well-Being

National Gallery of Art Guided Meditation
Childe Hassam
Alma Thomas

National Gallery of Art Reflection

General Art Education

You Tube PBS The Art Assignment

The Art Assignment is a weekly PBS Digital Studios production hosted by curator Sarah Urist Green. We explore art and art history through the lens of things happening today. Check for new episodes every other Thursday!

The Arty Teacher Art Resources

MOMA K-12 Educator Resources

Arts Edge Various Lessons

Google Arts and Culture App
This amazing site is constantly changing, so you never know what you might find.

Art Educator Professional Development

American Alliance of Museums Education Professional Network
With children and learners everywhere out of school for the forseeable future, museums across the continent have come together to share their distance learning with you.

National Gallery of Art Teaching Critical Thinking
Learn how to integrate works of art using Artful Thinking routines, effective strategies from Project Zero at Harvard University, in this interactive online course for teachers of all levels and subjects. 16 week course – FREE

Arts Edge Advocacy
Reaching Out to Board Members
Making the Case with Legislators
Sharing your students’ creative work

ART21 Teaching with Contemporary Art
An introduction to teaching with Contemporary Art

Art21showcases today’s contemporary visual artists & their groundbreaking creations

Artists in the Akron Art Museum Collection
Marina Abramovic
El Anatsui
John Baldessari
Lynda Benglis
Nick Cave
LaToya Ruby Frazier
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Jenny Holzer
Yun-Fei Ji
Barbara Kruger
Robert Mangold
Judy Pfaff
Lari Pittman
Doris Salcedo
Cindy Sherman
Yinka Shonibare
Kiki Smith
Nancy Spero
Jessica Stockholder
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Richard Tuttle
Ursula von Rydingsvard
Carrie Mae Weems

You Tube Meet the Artist

Nick Cave [4:53]

Richard Estes

Alex Katz [3:39]

Yayoi Kusama Woman Artists [Tate]

La Wilson

Sandy Skoglund

Paul Stankard
Video 1
Video 2

Mickalene Thomas

Richard Tuttle

TATE Artists in the Akron Art Museum Collection
Who is Yayoi Kusama
Who is Andy Warhol
Who is Frank Stella
Who are Guerrilla Girls
Who is Mark Rothko

Diversity & Inclusion

Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture & History
Talking About Race
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Anti-Racist Art Teachers

Student Resources KIDS

Tate Kids
5 Women Artists’ Stories

Interactive Programs & Games
Tate Paint
Tate Make
Art Parts
Create a Surreal Story
Draw a Sound Creature
Street Art

Student Resources TEENS

Tate Students Art School & Careers
Applying for Art School
How I got My Job at Tate

Asian Art Museum San Francisco Art Speak Interns

Audio Tours & Studio Lessons RESOURCES for THEMES

THEMES: Friendship; Food; Stuck at Home; Get Outside
Each THEME has 3 tours: K-5, 6-8, 9-12th grades.
Extra theme for 9-12g only: Artist Dealing with Stress and/or World Events TOURS are video/still images with voice-over content & covers 4 artworks. STUDIO lessons introduce a medium & art historical info by theme, and grade appropriate guides on supplies, steps, & suggestions for each lesson.

Instagram Mail Art
Tate #ArtWords
Mail Art Global Movement

You Tube Ed Emberley thumbprint art

Making ZINES
How to make a mini Zine
How to make a Zine
A Brief History Of Zines
Zines 101


Tate chocolate painting

Tony Feher
6 Artists – The Poetry of Discarded Materials
Louise Nevelson – Tate Shots

Getty games
Artful Bouquet
Getty at Home
Getty Games [needs a Flashplayer 8 for games]

Artist Dealing with Stress and/or World Events
You Tube coffee art | tea painting

How Art Movements Tried to Make Sense of the World in the Wake of the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Alain de Boton | Therapeutic Art Galleries

Analyzing Doodles

First Data on Covid-19 and Teens Mental Health

Self-Care / Well-Being

MOMA Artful Practices for Well-Being

National Gallery of Art Guided Meditation
Childe Hassam
Alma Thomas

National Gallery of Art Reflection

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ARTstrology: Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

Bay Skies Series, Provincetown, Joel Meyerowitz, (New York, New York, 1938 – ), 1977 (printed 1993), Chromogenic print, 9 in. x 11 1/2 in. (22.86 cm x 29.21 cm), Gift of David Cooper, 1998.63

Oh the places you’ll go! Whether it’s through books, movies, or art you love to chase novel experiences. No matter where you are, your sights are always set on a distant horizon. But travel safely Sags! Your sign tends to be impatient, so don’t forget to take a breath before setting out on your next adventure.

Sagitario 22 noviembre – 21 diciembre

¡Oh los lugares a los que irás! Ya sea a través de libros, películas o arte, te encanta perseguir las experiencias novedosas. No importa dónde te encuentres, tu enfoque siempre está puesto en un horizonte lejano. Pero, ¡viaja con cuidado Sagitario! Tu signo tiende a ser impaciente, así que no te olvides de respirar antes de emprender tu próxima aventura.

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

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10 Ways to Let Art Inspire Your Next Meal

Food can be one of the great pleasures of life. Artists have celebrated food and drink, sometimes documenting works and sometimes using food as a metaphor. All forms of art in the Museum’s collection served as inspiration for staff cooks this year in the series Cooking with the Collection.

Here are 10 food recipes and related collection items to try out at home and explore: 

Collection Inspired Recipes

When you have a sweet tooth, this Strawberry Buttercream recipe will certainly satisfy it. Inspired by Claes Oldenburg’s Inverted Q sculpture, the icing might even resemble the sculpture when presented on cupcakes.

If fish is on the menu, try this Cod and Okra meal inspired by Cod, an oil on canvas painting by William Merrit Chase.

  This dish was popular during WWII in the Japanese Internment Camps. This Weenie Royale recipe inspired by the Japanese Children’s Day Carp Banners, Paguate Village by Patrick Nagatani makes for a unique breakfast dish.

  This Herb Soup recipe, inspired by Le Modele by Pablo Picasso, will make you feel as if you’re in the South of France.

Inspired by Robert Motherwell’s screenprint on paper titled No. 2 from Africa Series, this abstract Chocolate Mousse is a recipe all chocolate lovers will enjoy.

Check out these Burger Buns and Pizza recipes inspired by Flying Pizza and other works by Claes Oldenburg.

Food-Related Collection Items

Food City – This work by Photorealist painter Richard Estes depicts a bustling and jam-packed grocery store. Beauty aids, candy, evaporated milk, and canned fruit are some of the items that can be found at Food City.

SerialThis serial image by John Sokol features popular cereal such as Cheerios, Trix, Wheaties, Frosty O’s, and Cocoa Puffs. This work is a “pun on ‘cereal’ and ‘serial’- [the fronts of actual] cereal boxes lined up to form a serial image.”

The Dirty Dozen – These ceramic frosted chocolate cupcakes by Kristen Cliffel look good from far away, but up close viewers are confronted with some serious questions.

Cooking with the Collection is made possible with support from Acme Fresh Market, the Henry V. and Frances W.  Christenson Foundation, and the Samuel Reese Willis Foundation.

Acme Fresh Market
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GameFest Akron Trivia

Try your hand at trivia about games and art.

Board Game Trivia

Video Game Trivia

Art and Games Trivia

GameFest Akron is 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, the Henry V. and Frances W.  Christenson Foundation, and the Samuel Reese Willis Foundation.

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