Museum brings modern influences to exhibits

“Free Concerts. Interesting Lectures. Great Art. You can find all these things at the Akron Art Museum. Since it’s reopening in 2007, the museum has reinvented itself and focused on procuring new and interesting exhibits. Downtown@Dusk, the free concerts and lecture series, continue each Thursday through Sept.”

Free Concerts. Interesting Lectures. Great Art. You can find all these things at the Akron Art Museum. Since it’s reopening in 2007, the museum has reinvented itself and focused on procuring new and interesting exhibits. Downtown@Dusk, the free concerts and lecture series, continue each Thursday through Sept. 11. The concert series has a wide range of genres including Latin, jazz and brass. Their Web site, akronartmuseum.org, lists a full concert calendar.

Current notable exhibits include Bill Brandt: Shadows and Substance and Smells like Teen Spirit: Posters from the Akron Art Museum Teen Council. The Shadows and Substance exhibit presents 67 photos taken throughout Bill Brandt’s five decade career. Though Brandt began as a photojournalist his photos evolved to encompass the surreal and focus more on feeling and perception rather than concrete realities.

The collection is visually stunning because of its focus on light and shadow and Brandt’s masterful use of the black-and-white photograph.

I prefer the very contrasting black-and-white effect. It looks crisper, more dramatic and very different from color photographs, Brandt wrote. Brandt was a very innovative, experimental photographer and this collection shows the modern influences of his work.

A second modern exhibit has its roots in the Akron area. The Teen Spirit Exhibit, showing through Oct. 11, features hand-screened concert posters made by professional artist Jon Hicks and local high school students. The students created hand-screened posters for each of the Downtown@Dusk bands. They tried to capture each band’s individual musicality in their posters.

Trying to visualize an artist’s music is a greatly challenging and rewarding thing to do, Hicks said.

These posters are bright, pop-influenced and very original. They represent the individual talents of the bands and the students and bring a modern, fun edge to the museum. During the Thursday night concerts the teens will be available to answer questions about their posters and auction off their art.

In addition to these rotating exhibits, the museum’s collection of art from 1850-Now is also always on display.

Upcoming exhibits include John Heartfield vs. Nazi Germany, a study of photography as a weapon, and Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play, a moving, sculptural display.

Student Admission to the museum is $5 and on the first Tuesday of every month admission to the collection is free.