Students share artwork for Akron competition


Chad Uehlein

Uehlein’s artwork titled “Pizza Party!”

By Zaina Salem, Editor-in-Chief

Over 30 UA students have their artwork displayed in venues around downtown Akron for the fourth annual Akron Art Prize competition.

Clemon's artwork titled "Savages"
Hannah Clemons
Clemon’s artwork titled “Savages”

Many categories will be displayed, including painting, photography, graphic design, and sculpture.

Chad Uehlein, a junior majoring in printmaking, submitted his work entitled “Pizza Party!” It involves 25 different etchings of pizza with corresponding hand-printed pizza boxes.

Each print is composed of up to four different layers to create a pizza that is unique but still familiar. Finished pizzas receive their own box that includes one of four original designs Uehlein screen printed or stenciled on the lid. The finished pizzas and boxes are then hung in a grid on the wall for viewing.

“Above anything, I see my work as a reason to make and perfect my craft,” Uehlein said. “No matter what the work is, the most gratifying part is being able to constantly create and make.”

“Pizza Party!” can be viewed at the Rule of Thirds gallery on 115 E. Market Street.

Another contestant, Hannah Clemons, is a junior dual-majoring in Marketing and Sales. She submitted a painting entitled “Savages.” The piece is on two separate canvases: the top piece is a painting of a lion’s head, and the bottom is of a woman posing nude.

Clemons worked on the piece over the course of about six months, intending it to be two separate pieces before deciding to put them together.

Painted into the lion’s mane are the arteries to the heart, and the veins of the heart mimic scars on the lion’s face. Clemons said she painted the body in different shades of black and white because she didn’t want to take away from the focus on the body.

According to Clemons, the painting is a lesson for women about love.

“Love does not conjure within the vessels of our hearts, but the wiring of our brains. We think not with our heart but with the organ that controls every moment after this. A woman has been molded into this idea of an impotent creature, susceptible to damage,” Clemons said. “But we are opposite of this social construction of what the female creature should be. It is our job to love with our brains, roar with our thoughts and accept the one thing we will never have power over: our soul’s fate.”

Clemons’ art will be displayed at 43 Furnace Art Complex on 43 Furnace St.

First place winner of the Akron Art Prize will have his or her artwork displayed in the Akron Art Museum for one week, and will also receive $5,000. Five $1,000 runner-up prizes will also be awarded. A special “Artist’s Choice” award of $1,000 will be given to the entry selected by the participating artists.

The winners of the contest will be chosen by the public. Individuals can use the Akron Art Prize app on their iPhone or Android devices to cast votes. Voting closes on Oct. 3 and the competition ends with a finale celebration at the Akron Art Museum.

“I hope people find time to make it out to each venue and view artwork made by all walks of life,” Clemons said. “Each piece tells a story, and it’s up to the spectator to fill in where the artist left off.”