Press Releases

news release Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration for Families at Akron Art Museum

For Release: December 13, 2017

The Akron Art Museum will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with an afternoon of family activities, including tech-free play, storytelling in the museum galleries, family portrait opportunities and a musical performance by award-winning pianist Kofi Boakye. The free celebration takes place on January 15, 2018 from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M., and is open to all children and their caregivers.

Akron Art Museum educator Amanda Crowe designed the event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of inspiring transformation of one’s community through shared, creative experiences. “Our shared creative experiences begin with families,” Crowe said. “Documenting the image of one’s family in the form of a carefully posed snapshot captures the essence of family, not merely surface detail. What’s underneath are the more meaningful components that make each family sacred, such as shared values, layers of personality and integral relationships within the larger community.”

Family-oriented activities were created with a relax-and-unplug sensibility, and include giant board games, colorful stories about featured artists, numerous art activity stations, and cooperative play.

Works on view in the Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries lend inspiration to the hands-on art activities for families, featuring artists who cross boundaries of time, place, culture and gender. Visitors are invited to explore the galleries and make personal connections with abstract expressionist paintings, elaborate jewel-encrusted collages and found object narratives by African-American artists such as Alma W. Thomas, Mickalene Thomas and Radcliffe Bailey. Influential contemporary African artists El Anatsui and Yinka Shonibare, MBE are also represented by significant artworks in the museum galleries. El Anatsui’s shimmering wall hanging and Shonibare’s fashionably clad, tightrope-walking mannequin provide added inspiration for art activities.

Children and adults alike will also delight in the interactive exhibition Ed Emberley: Better You Than Me in the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery. Using simple shapes and lines, beloved illustrator and picture book artist Ed Emberley has created enchanting worlds for generations of young people, while also giving them the tools to create worlds of their own. In Better You Than Me visitors can explore the array of dazzling artwork from the artist’s personal archive of hand drawn sketches, woodblock prints, mock-ups, and first edition books. The exhibition will also feature a stylized reproduction of Emberley’s drawing and light table from his home studio, where visitors of all ages can try their hand at his diverse and playful art making techniques.

Crowe said, “There are fun, memory-making activities waiting here for babies through school-age kids and adults. It’s all meant to evoke the kinds of things families long to do together during those rare moments when parents can actually set aside that much-coveted quality time with their children. But most importantly, it is a unique opportunity for children to see themselves as a valued part of the family unit. If you’re looking to spend an afternoon recharging that bond with your loved ones, this is the place to be.”

Family Days are made possible by the presenting sponsor PNC with additional support from the R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation and the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation.

For more information about exhibitions and programs at the Akron Art Museum, visit Join the conversation on social media with #AkronArtMuseum, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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