“Streets and their sidewalks, the main public places of a city, are its most vital organs. Think of a city and what comes to mind? Its streets. If a city’s streets look interesting, the city looks interesting; if they look dull, the city looks dull.”

- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Downtown Akron was once full of life and energy. Today, much of its street-level infrastructure is vacant. This project will engage audiences through the physical transformation of the city's neglected and underutilized urban spaces. It will facilitate opportunities for unexpected and exciting encounters with the city and its buildings. To see sites under consideration for The Curated Storefront click the box below: 

Featured Storefronts

The Law Building, 161 South Main Street

In this series of work, Rack, artist Ivan Albreht was interested in the issue of individuality in the sociopolitical context of the western society. Specifically, in which ways technological advancement, consumerism and global politics influence the emergence of an individual. He finds this constructed individual dormant and passive. In his work, accessible through the Skywalk system via the Law Building, he speaks about this latent state.

Cascade Plaza, 1 Cascade Plaza

Displacement is an examination of space, material and pattern along with consideration of regional history and sense of place native to Akron. The two sculptural pieces of recycled tires, steel, and wood on view at Cascade Plaza were made by artists Drew Ippoliti and Charlie O’Geen with assistance from Julie George, Morgan Jones, Catie Newell, and Kayla Weinman.

O'Neil Building, 222 South Main Street

In the spirit of hope, rejuvenation, and the celebration of lovely beings, artist Jeffrey Fulvimari designed and illustrated Angels and Goddesses specifically for the historic O’Neil Building storefront. An Akron native who studied to become a professional artist, his professional career started in 1993, which began with commissions for Barney’s New York and Interview Magazine.

Building #2, 31-37 North Main Street

Reverie is a programmatic light Installation by Pittsburgh-based artist Ian Brill. Animated Architecture. 46 windows. 1610 LED-lit cells. 

106 North Main Street, Northside

Installation artist Kit Freund has interest in the transformational power of humble materials and simple forms, which he expresses in Four Lamps. In this exhibit located in the Northside District of the city, he used concrete, light, and wood to make the space mysterious and intriguing.

Polsky Building South, 225 South Main Street

First-year student artists at The University of Akron Myers School of Art created relief print patterns in printmaking class, some of which were made into banners to go on display during show change at the Polsky Building. Visit the south side of Polsky on State Street to see the five banner designs by Logan Mackulin, Kaitlyn Watts, Chase Mize, Shirer Delancey, and Claudia Napier as we prepare for our next exhibit.

Little Mayflower, 275-279 South Main Street

Artist Candy Coated installed graphic vinyl stickers to black PVC panels titled Energy Flows from Serpents Lips, Drips, and Butterfly Wings, 2018.  The symbols of transformation and renewal that decorate the neglected storefronts have renewed them, providing the way for future growth and prosperity.

Birth & Death Building, 368 South Main Street

Krunchworks' Dominic Falcione created a masking tape mural with 10 colors of tape on plastic film that was backlit to produce a bright and colorful nighttime display which enlivens the entire building. This installation was created one line of tape at a time and the overall colors and effect of the design is transformed by the changing of the background color of light.

The Law Building, 163 South Main Street

A graduate of the Myers School of Art at The University of Akron, artist Winnie Daulbaugh’s most recent works include autobiographical prints, sculptures and installations that address vulnerability, relationships, and celebration. Through examining her role in a family dynamic fractured by alcoholism, and with the new found sobriety of a loved one influencing her greatly, she is able to document and work through past, current and future struggles in her practice. My sweetest friend, you could have it all … my empire of dirt., 2018 is a site specific installation located in the Law Building. It is inspired by the same ideas where the imagery was created through analyzing memories and recent occurrences as well as dissecting music, she feels, describes a certain feeling, place or time in her life.

The Law Building, 165 South Main Street

Local gallerist and photographer Darlene VerSluys enjoys capturing beauty in nature and augmenting her images with vivid color. In this digital photography series, Movement of Water, she focused her eye on playful sections of water, made the images larger than life, and added her own touch of color theory to make the corner of Church and Main Streets downtown come alive.

68 East Mill Street, Greystone

The mixed media tableau installation, Hazel Tree Wonderland, is made of hand-dyed rayon, wool roving, silk textiles, two Akron architectural salvaged relics, and more. Designed to draw you in closer, peek into the back left window past the witchy black lace curtain and get a sense of the nocturnal feel and mood of this textile forest. Three artists, Karen Starr, Chelsea Uhl, and Sophie Franchi, worked together to create this fantastical storefront experience.