Saturday, September 5, 2015

Inside/Out Art

Major art museums across the country have been taking their famous paintings outdoors.  The Akron Art Museum started to participate in this community art project this spring and now, 30 reproductions of art from their collection are on display in different neighborhoods in and around Akron.

Today's tour utilized a trolley that took guests to see 10 paintings on display in the Highland Square/West Akron neighborhoods.

We started at the library (which had its own cool art) and then visited a variety of stores, restaurants, parks, and historical sites that are the current homes to these art reproductions.

The first painting is a memorable one that we have seen at the museum.  It is called "Man Eating Trees" and symbolizes how we are destroying Earth.  Kind of disturbing.

We learned that the Inside/Out paintings are made to withstand some of the Ohio weather but they will all be taken down November 1 and stored for the winter.  When they go back up in the spring they will be in different locations.  I guess it keeps the process interesting.  You can either just come upon them in your normal day-to-day activities or go on a tour or your own self-guided scavenger hunt.

Grace and I decided that we should go to the museum with our brochure from today to see if we can find all the original paintings.  Although we agree it was cool to have these outside, we know that the original artists' works are more vibrant and memorable.

I also learned that the Akron Art Museum trains the docents to give tours.  Ours, named Claire, said she had just started giving tours and she will try to do 24/year.  She had a clipboard with notes about each of the pieces we saw today.  She also seemed to like to share the "back story" about the artist's life.

Akron is full of history and interesting little neighborhoods.  This garden is open to the public but it is behind a Chinese restaurant.  Apparently, the vegetables grown in the garden are used in the restaurant and you can order your food and take it out to eat at the picnic tables tucked in the shade.

An impressionist painting called "Bedford Hills" was at the base of the Glendale Steps at the Glendale Cemetery.   These 242 sandstone steps were built in 1936-1937 and there is an expansive view of Akron from the top.  I didn't climb.  But Grace did.

This primitive-looking painting was at the Perkins Stone Mansion - another place I have never been. The artist received a postcard of the mansion and created the art with that as his inspiration.  Personally, this was not my favorite, but you can see why people appreciate his unique interpretation of this historical landmark.

We will have to try to see the other two neighborhood Inside/Out exhibits this fall.

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