Transforming Akron to a viable and attractive urban destination through the arts.
The Curated Storefront is a series of ongoing exhibitions that activates unused storefronts with multimedia art installations in downtown Akron, Ohio along Main, Market and Exchange Streets.
“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:
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.
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
Painter Max Markwald, a recent graduate of The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art, explores iconic figures and gender identities in his work. By painting large scale realistic portraits of ordinary people, the artist transforms his subjects into icons. The two largest oil paintings on display measure 90 inches by 72 inches and easily fill one set of windows. The scale of these two works alone, invites you to further investigate the detail used to define each iconic character.
Polsky Building Corners, 225 South Main Street
To enliven both corners of the Polsky Building drawing attention from one block to the next, artist team Steve Levey and Casey Vogt installed a series of colored filtered lights titled, Color Me Impressed #1-#4. The intermixed fluorescent and LED lights can be easily viewed both day and night and can be seen from the far parking lot behind the Akron Civic Theatre.
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.
225 King James Way, Polsky Building North
A curated selection of student work by the Myers School of Art, The University of Akron, Painting League is exhibited in the north display of the historic Polsky Building. Led by artist and professor of painting and drawing Matthew Kolodziej, the students in the intermediate and advanced painting courses explored their own interests, researched, and developed compositional ideas which led to their final pieces. Passion for image making and exploration of how materials can form content are what link the works on display.
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
Summit County artist, Micah Kraus, created new work by responding to surroundings and things he encounters in his neighborhood. By combining laser engraved monotypes, paper, ink, gold leaf, wood, and digital video with inspiration from the words of artist George Georgiou “remind myself of the significance of the ordinary and familiar that is right in front of my nose.”, Board-Up / Gilded Storefront emerged.
263 South Main Street, Mayflower Manor
Artist Dragana Crnjak likes to think of the drawing and painting process as structuring the air, embracing its absurdity yet believing in its potential to reveal meaning. In her latest body of work, As if Staying, she uses images of collected patterns found within Siberian ethnic embroideries. The process of manipulating and enlarging these domestic and small-scale elements into abstracted landscape-like fields, conceals and transforms the scale and nature of something mundane and familiar into something unknown, new, and even peculiar.