Press Releases

Slide Jam: Beauty Reigns

For Release: March 3, 2015

Slide Jam: Six Local Artists and Designers talk Beauty and Inspiration At the Akron Art Museum

Akron, Ohio – On Thursday, Mar. 19 at 6:30 p.m. the popular speakers’ series Slide Jam will return to the Akron Art Museum. Slide Jam is a slide show presentation format consisting of short talks of ten minutes or less delivered by members of the community. The topics are chosen to inspire discussion, creativity and ideas. This time, Slide Jam will feature five presentations by Northeast Ohio creatives, including artists, designers, and the CEO of a local company. Each of the speakers will talk about their approach to the idea of beauty in their work.

“What I like about Slide Jam is that it is illuminating to see how creative people in your own community approach their work. You never know just how that information is going to spark something in your own imagination, but it always does,” Dominic Caruso, Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator said.

Featured speakers include Sherry Simms, associate professor of Art and Coordinator of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area at The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art; Jenn Kidd, a historian and hairstylist with an impressive resume of print, stage, and film work; Justin Campbell, a fashion designer and illustrator; Krista Jordan, CEO of Flight 4 the Cure, a product line of hand-made fashion accessories with a charitable mission of sharing proceeds with cancer research organizations; and Joy Christiansen Erb , associate professor of Photography and Program Coordinator at Youngstown State University.

Speaking of her presentation, Joy Christiansen Erb said, “My children are the subjects of my work. I create portraits of them to better understand our individual relationships and to document their physical and emotional growth over time. I photograph my children to be close to them and to make physical documents of the beauty I see in them every day.”

For Krista Jordan, the idea of beauty comes from transforming tragedy and loss into stories of resilience and ultimately, happiness. She said, “I approach beauty in my work as not just something that is appealing to the human eye but something that also shares a beautiful story behind it.”

Sherry Simms has titled her talk “Accessories Adorned,” saying, “I am interested in mining and subverting the meaning of jewelry and other forms of ornamentation. I draw inspiration from the beauty industry, patterning and ornamentation, and historical models of adornment. In my work I create beautiful and seductive objects through obsessive surface treatments, pattern, texture, color, high craft, and repetition.

Jenn Kidd works to document and question issues of beauty. Her talk, titled “A Brief History of Peculiar Beauty Rituals,” explores her life-long fascination with the historical ideals of beauty and its interpretation and rituals over time.

Fashion designer Justin Campbell’s approach to the idea of beauty includes recognizing beauty in the everyday materials of life, stating “I propose that beauty is found in commonly shared materials, tools, spaces, ideas and experiences. In my work, I try to illustrate the glamour in things that everyone has access to and can see and touch, but may not have noticed."

Slide Jam is presented as an ongoing program coinciding with the exhibition “Beauty Reigns: a Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting,” on view at the Akron Art Museum through May 3, 2015.

Featured Speaker Information:

Sherry Simms
Sherry Simms is an Associate Professor of Art and the Coordinator of the Jewelry & Metalsmithing area at The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art where she has been employed since 2001. Simms has previously taught in the metals programs at the State University of New York in New Paltz, and at The University of Oregon in Eugene. Simms holds an MFA in Metalsmithing from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a BFA from The University of Akron. Simms creates jewelry and sculptural objects that challenge our cultural understanding of jewelry and ornamentation. Her work has been widely exhibited and has been published in both American Craft and Metalsmith magazines, and a variety of other art publications. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, which include three Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships, a University of Akron Summer Research Fellowship, and a Jentel Foundation Residency Fellowship. In 2008 Simms co-curated (with Sayumi Yakouchi) the international jewelry exhibition “Out of the Shell: Recontextualizing the Pearl in Contemporary Jewelry,” which was exhibited at the Gallery Loupe in Monteclair, New Jersey and the University of Akron’s Myers School of Art.

Krista Jordan (
I am a juggler, and not in the actual sense of juggling but I love to see how much I can juggle in my life at once. I am 20 years old and a student at KSU, majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, I own a handmade accessory company Flight 4 the Cure, I am assistant manager at lululemon athletica in downtown Akron, I am a student mentor to those starting businesses within the College of business, and in any free time I love to waitress at the Blue Door in Cuyahoga falls or if I am lucky read a good book. Outside of my career I love to create, run, practice yoga, sew, knit, crochet, and spend time with family and friends.

Justin Campbell
I am a fashion designer and illustrator living and working in Akron. I have studied Interior Design, Textiles and Arts Administration at The University of Akron. My work is inspired by my passion for decorative arts and architecture. As an artist, I am always initially inspired by the materials I have on hand. I see symbols, hardware, packaging and industrial materials as valid themes, on which to base my work.

Joy Christiansen Erb
Joy Christiansen Erb is a contemporary photographer whose creative research explores the subject of family, motherhood and identity. Her current body of work entitled “Portrait of a Mother” records the private moments within the lives of her family and domestic space. Her work has gained recognition through regional and national exhibitions and lectures. Recent exhibition venues include Newspace Center for Photography, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Christiansen Erb is an Associate Professor of Photography and Program Coordinator at Youngstown State University.

Jenn Kidd
Jenn Kidd has had a lifelong fascination with history as well as ideals of beauty, its interpretation and its rituals throughout. Having worked in the beauty industry for over a decade as a hairstylist, she has created looks for an impressive resume of film, stage and print work. Her experience as the Director of Education for Dino Palmieri Salons led to her becoming a seasoned educator in the hair industry, having taught countless stylists and becoming a mentor to many. An obsession with historical beauty spanning all cultures and time periods has led Kidd to conduct in-depth research on beauty standards and the lengths women have gone to achieve them throughout history. Kidd is currently in the process of launching a blog on the history of hair and beauty, showcasing both the beautiful and the bizarre.

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.

Museum Information
Address: One South High, Akron, OH 44308
Tel: 330.376.9185
Fax: 330.376.1180
Gallery, Store and iQcafé Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm, Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm, Closed Monday and Tuesday and most major holidays
Library Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Admission: Adult general admission is $7, Student and Senior (65+) general admission is $5, Children (17 and under) are FREE, members are FREE. Gallery admission is FREE every Thursday.


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Media Contact

Dominic Caruso
Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Phone: 330.376.9186 x229

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