The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Aug 16, 2013

Summit Artspace hosts works by Akron Art Museum staff in standout exhibit

Posted by rdurbin

The title of the art exhibition “Well-Guarded & Institutionalized” is a good one, for it takes on special meaning. The display is of works by Akron Art Museum staff – guards mostly, as the title suggests, but also preparators, installers and other staff. So the organization’s members are putting themselves on display in the first floor galleries of Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee. The exhibit is a cool one.

According to Sandy Kreisman, director of Akron Area Arts Alliance, the exhibit is not all that unusual, for the Cleveland Museum of Art does something similar every other year or so, except theirs is relegated to the lower levels of the museum. Here, the works are given prominence in the first floor galleries of Summit Artspace.

But for the Akron Art Museum, a Knight Arts grantee, this is the first time.

The “gallery committee came up with the idea,” Kreisman commented informally. And it turned out well, for the exhibit looks fresh and exciting when you enter the galleries.

As with most displays, this one has considerable range of genres, from oils, pastels, prints, markers on paper, acrylic works, three-dimensional sculptures of plaster and the like, and collages.

Melissa Roth has some highly interesting and eye-catching acrylic works wherein she cuts away sections of the canvas and covers over the empty spaces with acrylic. The wall then becomes part of the piece, and thereby would change somewhat depending on where the work was hung. They are bright, vivid works and very appealing.

Melissa Roth, "Untitled #5." Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace

Collections manager Arnold Tunstall, who has appeared in several exhibits in Summit Artspace and elsewhere, has three silver-toned gelatin prints that catch urban scenery from odd and interesting angles.

Joe Walton’s reductive paintings are visual knockouts. The interesting aspect of his work is that he uses a sander, something he’s quite familiar with, according to Tunstall, for Walton often helps with painting the walls of the galleries for displays. “He knows paint,” Tunstall said informally. He certainly does.

Joe Walton, "Reductive Painting, 5x5 series Diptych, HC-10 and 2123-20." Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace Joe Walton, "Reductive Painting, 5x5 series Diptych, HC-10 and 2123-20." Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace

Another inventive process is seen in the works of Emily Sullivan. She takes prints in a different direction by including them in a box container with LED light shining on them. The work looks a lot like a box of coins or something – but certainly not for what it is.

Emily Sullivan, "Lumen." Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace Emily Sullivan, "Lumen." Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace

Come see the exciting works by 17 members of the Akron Art Museum staff. It’s well worth the effort to get there. The Akron Art Museum has some very talented and creative people on staff.

“Well-Guarded & Institutionalized,” which features the works of Akron Art Museum staff, is on display 12-9 p.m. on Thursdays and 12-5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St., Akron; 330-376-8480; Admission is free.

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