Press Releases

news release: Partnership with Transformer Station Brings Choice: Contemporary Art from the Akron Art Museum to Cleveland Audiences

For Release: August 4, 2015

Akron and Cleveland, Ohio—This fall the Akron Art Museum shares a selection of the highlights of its collection with Northeast Ohio, with an exhibition at Transformer Station, the contemporary art space on Cleveland’s near west side operated by the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation. Works included in Choice: Contemporary Art from the Akron Art Museum testify to the role that groundbreaking exhibitions for artists, among them Cleveland’s Julian Stanczak, and prescient purchases, including El Anatsui’s Dzesi II in 2006, have played in the Akron Art Museum’s commitment to assembling an outstanding collection with modest resources.

Artworks in Choice speak to the impact of visionary directors and curators as well as generous donors in the community and beyond the immediate region. George Segal’s Girl Sitting against a Wall II was acquired in 1972, while two years later another signature sculpture, Lee Bontecou’s untitled relief, entered the collection as a gift from New York gallery owner Leo Castelli. “Choice offers an exciting opportunity for the Akron Art Museum to partner with the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation and Transformer Station to present an exhibit in Cleveland of outstanding artworks from our collection,” comments Akron Art Museum Chief Curator Janice Driesbach.

The Akron Art Museum is notable for showcasing the accomplishments of regional artists alongside recognized artists working throughout the country and the world in its contemporary art galleries. Julian Stanczak’s Dual Glare and Matthew Kolodziej’s Good Neighbors, installed alongside canvases by Al Held and David Salle in the Transformer galleries attest to the museum’s role in celebrating Northeast Ohio artists and contributing to a vibrant arts culture in the region.

According to Mark Masuoka, Executive Director and CEO of the Akron Art Museum, “Choice is also part of an extensive community engagement initiative that shares the museum’s collection with communities outside of Akron, and invites the public back to the museum to further experience the museum’s collection, world-class architecture and its new public garden space.”

“The Akron Art Museum has taken a leadership role in the region to advance and celebrate contemporary art. That leadership has been an important catalyst for artists’ careers from international art stars like Cindy Sherman to important artists with roots in Ohio like Diana Al-Hadid,” said Fred Bidwell, co-founder along with Laura Bidwell of Transformer Station. Laura Bidwell added, “We’re very excited to see some of the great works of the Akron Art Museum in a new context and seen by new audiences. We hope that this show will persuade many who are unfamiliar with the Akron Art Museum to make the short trip to see one of Northeast Ohio’s most wonderful cultural treasures.”

Choice: Contemporary Art from the Akron Art Museum opens on Friday, September 11, with an opening reception for members scheduled for Saturday, September 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

About Transformer Station:
The Transformer Station is a project of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation that is designed to bring original contemporary arts exhibitions, events and programming from around the world to the west side of Cleveland. Combining a landmark historical building with a contemporary minimalist addition, the Transformer Station is a new anchor destination in Cleveland's rapidly evolving Ohio City neighborhood. The project brings a new cultural facility to a mixed residential and industrial neighborhood within walking distance of the restaurants and shops of the Market District and blocks away from the Gordon Square Arts District.

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