Akron Art Museum presents Michelangelo Lovelace: Art Saved My Life On View from May 4 – Aug 18

Akron, OH: Michelangelo Lovelace: Art Saved My Life will open at the Akron Art Museum in the Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries on Saturday, May 4, 2024. This exhibition will feature his iconic cityscapes of urban life, portraits of patients in his day-to-day as a nursing assistant, dioramas, and an immersive and interactive space inspired by the Museum’s recent acquisition of Lovelace’s Hood Life.

Michelangelo Lovelace pinpointed the origin of his artistic career with this story: As a teenager growing up in Cleveland’s King Kennedy public housing complex, Lovelace dropped out of school to support his family. When he was nineteen, he was arrested for selling marijuana and appeared before a judge.

In his own telling, the judge asked him: “‘What can you do?’ So, I told him I could draw. He said ‘Well, you come back down here again, I’m sending you to prison. You’d better stick to drawing.’” Lovelace took that advice to heart: “I’m one of those people who say, ‘Art saved my life,’ and it truly did.”

“Michelangelo Lovelace’s work is a result of him reflecting his world into life in its complexity, beauty, and familiarity.” Says CEO Jon Fiume. “He believes that art is for everyone, and that art is crucial when it comes to shaping, building, and healing ourselves.”

“Michelangelo Lovelace perfected a unique visual language, and he used it with truly impressive frankness and insight, sharing deeply personal experiences and addressing dire issues.” Says Senior Curator Dr. Jeff Katzin. “For me and my colleagues, it has been a privilege and also a responsibility to create an exhibition that shares his point of view in a way that is rich and full. I hope that visitors will not only gain an understanding of how Lovelace made art, but also of who he was as a person and how he saw the world around him—honestly and compassionately.”

For media inquiries and image requests, please email Matthew Hribar at mhribar@akronartmuseum.org.

For more information about the Akron Art Museum, visit akronartmuseum.org. Join the conversation on social media using #AkronArtMuseum and follow the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

Michelangelo Lovelace: Art Saved My Life is made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Lehner Family Foundation, Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, the John P. Murphy Foundation, and the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust. This project was supported [in part] by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.