Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Akron Art Museum “Auction”

 

Like so many former ‘rust belt’ towns, Akron is enjoying something of a Renaissance, thanks in no small measure to the Akron Art Museum. Modest in size but mighty in cultural impact, the Art Museum just finished converting its adjacent parking lot to a green oasis nearly one city block square – a mini ‘Central Park’ in the middle of the downtown area.

More than 200 supporters who gathered for the event had a chance to explore the new three-tiered space. A large, open plaza used as a performance area is at the street level. (Downtown at Dusk concerts will be held here later in the year.) The higher elevation levels two and three are planted with native grasses and defined by Corten steel walls to create an art walk, outdoor classrooms, and also a unique venue for private events.

Inside, guests wandered through an exciting mix of auction items, placed near the dinner tables set in the museum’s main atrium. Angular glass and steel with dramatic summer light streaming in highlighted the white-on-white banquet setting with its green herb and succulent plant centerpieces. Spice Catering, which sources from small, local farms, provided the meal.

Auction items leaned heavily on artwork and wine. Special live auction items also focused on private wine dinners in and around Akron, as well as custom-designed trips to vineyards in Watercolor, FL and Nashville, TN. The highlight of the live auction was the “Sideways” tour, inspired by the 2004 independent film. The real vineyard where much of the film was shot, Au Bon Climat Winery in Santa Barbara, was the destination of a special stay at Rancho La Cuna, with host Akron native, vintner Jim Clendenen. Au Bon Climat also provided wine for the reception and dinner.

The museum, originally housed in a public library, is now 95 years old and specializes in modern and contemporary art from 1850 on. The collection’s strength is in its photography and post-war painting and sculpture collections. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER

 

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