Streetscapes: Akron in Plein Air

Urban Photography and Plein Air Paintings on Display at Summit Artspace August 12-September 17

Come see your city through the eyes of artists at Streetscapes, Akron in Plein Air, an exhibition of paintings and photography inspired by downtown Akron.  Organized for Summit Artspace Gallery by guest curator Brian Shellito, he and 15 local painters took easels to the streets this summer.  Their creations will be on display August 13 through September 17 along with wild, vibrant urban photography by David Bryan Lile. The public is also invited to a meet-the-artists reception on Friday, August 12 from 5 to 7 pm.

“Gallery visitors will never look at downtown Akron the same way again,” said Jessie Raynor, director of the Akron Area Arts Alliance, which operates Summit Artspace in cooperation with Summit County government.

Shellito, a designer for the Beacon Journal newspaper, initiated the idea for the urban plein air exhibit.  Plein Air is a French term meaning “open air.”

“I have enjoyed viewing other plein air shows and competitions around Northeast Ohio that were focused on rural landscapes,” he said.  “As an artist who likes to paint people and buildings, I felt it would be great fun to bring this approach to an urban setting in Akron.”

On July 23 and 24, artists painted outdoors at four downtown sites selected by Shellito.   They were East Market and High Streets near the Akron Art Museum, the High Street Courthouse area, Canal Locks 2, 3 and 4 plus Broadway and University Avenues near St. Bernard’s Church.  The artworks were delivered to Summit Artspace at the end of each day for consideration for exhibition.  Participants could submit more than painting and were assured that at least one of their works would be exhibited.

Guest judges Mitchell Kahan, director of the Akron Art Museum, and Meg Harris, owner of Harris Stanton Gallery, selected paintings to receive the prizes for best of show, 2nd place, 3rd place and honorable mention.  Winners will be announced at the opening reception.  The Beacon Journal and sponsored prizes for all winners, including a $525 print and web promotional package for the best in show artist.

Complementing the plein air exhibition are exciting photographs by David Bryan Lile, who through digital manipulation adds strong, resonating color and texture to bring unexpected perspectives to photographs of city streets and architecture.

“Bold color is the crucial element that inspires my viewers to take pause and see beauty and energy within commonplace urban landscapes,” Lile said.

Free Summit Artspace Events
Meet-the-Artists Reception
Friday, August 12, 5 pm-7 pm

Saturday, September 3, 5 pm-9 pm

Sunday Sampler
Sunday, September 4, 12 pm-5 pm

Show card artwork by Brian Shellito


Summit Artspace is supported by



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