Press Releases

Make Your Mark

For Release: May 2014

Akron Art Museum collaborates with local organizations to create
large-scale mural inside the John S. Knight Center
Beginning this week, the Akron Art Museum is partnering with several organizations to produce a community mural to encompass what the City of Akron has to offer its residents. Local artist Jesse Strother will create the large-scale public mural in the John S. Knight Center. The project and mural, called Make Your Mark, allows the community to contribute to art they will see daily.
“A public art project at the John S. Knight Center offers an opportunity for community organizations to partner together and also provide a project to showcase the talent of a local artist,” states Mark Masuoka, Akron Art Museum Executive Director and CEO.
“We are elated that the John S. Knight Center will be the canvas for the Akron Art Museum’s first off-site public art installation,” states Gregg Mervis, President & CEO. “The Center should be a place for public input to manifest itself as a work of collective art, as we are the Center of our All America® City.”
In September 2013, Akron Art Museum Executive Director and CEO Mark Masuoka, Akron-Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau President & CEO Gregg Mervis, and other community leaders travelled to Omaha, Neb., with the Greater Akron Chamber. During their time in Omaha, Masuoka and Mervis began discussing public art and the possibilities at the John S. Knight Center, conversations which later became about creating public art inside the Center.
In the true spirit of community collaboration, the museum and John S. Knight Center will be joined by Downtown Akron Partnership, Akron-Summit County Public Library and Summit Artspace as community partners.
Jesse Strother, a tattoo artist and painter is no stranger to public art. Strother created a mural on the side of Angel Falls Coffee Co. in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood in 2013.
Community members can contribute to the mural by attending events at the museum, the John S. Knight Center, the Akron-Summit County Library and Summit Artspace during the May. Events include the May 9 art opening at Summit Artspace, Oddmall at the John S. Knight Center on May 10, at the museum’s May 24 Family Drop-In day, and every Thursday in May during the museum’s Free Thursdays.  
Visit for additional locations and ways to participate.
Attendees will create sketches, doodles and word bubbles that answer questions about what they love most about the place they call home. Be it blimps, burgers or the parks, visitors will create drawings to show their appreciation of the region. Cutouts of the county and stencils inspired by local icons created by Strother and Akron Art Museum educators will spark participants’ imaginations. Strother will use those images and words as he plans for and paints the large-scale mural on the east interior wall of the John S. Knight Center.
The reveal of the finished mural will occur on Saturday, July 5 at 7:30 pm during the Downtown Akron Artwalk.
About the Akron Art Museum
The Akron Art Museum, dedicated to enriching lives through modern and contemporary art, showcases regional, national and international art created since 1850. The museum’s collection is presented in a spectacular facility designed by Viennese architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au and includes over 5,000 works of art, with a strong focus on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. Nearly a dozen exhibitions each year present prominent artists in various media including painting, sculpture, photography, video, design and glass.
In addition to its ever-changing collection and exhibitions, the museum offers many opportunities to discover new perspectives through programs that include films and video, lectures, workshops, tours and concerts.
About  the John S. Knight Center
Located in the heart of downtown Akron, Ohio, the John S. Knight Center is the region’s premier meeting, convention and exposition venue. Opening in 1994, the Center is celebrating 20 years of welcoming event planners and attendees for events that educate, entertain or celebrate personal and professional pursuits. Features include: 70,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exposition space, in-house culinary department, state-of-the-art communication systems and a dedicated and highly-trained staff. 77 E. Mill Street, Akron, Ohio, 44308, 330.374.8900, 800.245.4254,
About Downtown Akron Partnership
The mission of Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is to promote and build a vibrant and valuable Downtown. DAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life to the heart of Akron. Through strategic marketing, clean and safe programs and management of Downtown's resources, the DAP works to promote Downtown as a gathering place in the center of our community.
DAP's members include property owners, business leaders and government officials who want to improve the image of Downtown as a safe, convenient location for businesses, working professionals and families. DAP is governed by a Board of Trustees as diverse as the interests of our city. 

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