It’s running a little close to the wire, but for those who can get projects done quickly, there’s still plenty of time.
The Rubbertop Review is accepting short stories, poetry and creative nonfiction for publication. Last year, I’m pretty sure this was just University of Akron-driven, but they’re pulling in from outside now. I’m intending to get at least one good story in before deadline.
Massillon Museum of Art’s Canstruction competition is already getting started, but there’s still a week before the deadline of Jan. 29 to get the entries in. Each team has a $50 entry fee and they have to provide their own cans, but all the works will be displayed in the museum after the opening and judging. I can’t wait to see some of the creations coming up, based on what I saw last year.
Better late than never - good luck!
It really always surprises me just how many people show up to the colder First Fridays. At least, it seems like there are always big crowds when it’s freezing. On the other hand, we might all just be hanging out in the same areas to try to stay warm.
There was only one place to hang out to stay warm this (pseudo-)First Friday. The theme might’ve been “Fire and Ice,” but most of us were content to hang around the fire. There were a couple that dared to dance with it, though.
The Jackson majorettes spun flaming batons for a quick show before running back to coats for warmth. Definitely pretty cool, though I wish my camera had behaved a little better to capture a few of these shots.
Some Canton South students also had the chance to show off some art that wasn’t as volatile.
I’m a big fan of that swan in the center; I also liked a dolphin over by 2nd April Gallery (that I mistook from across the street to be a bear; sorry!).
Beyond the art in that gallery, Anderson Creative was doing a really neat show called Blind Date, in which writers and artists paired words and images for an overall effect. I really want to take the time to read some of the work if I get the chance before it comes down.
My favorite work of the night was an ice chimney that brought the elements together in a strange blaze. I’m still not exactly sure how it works, but it was amazing.
Happy New Year! Even though I’ve been hearing lots of horror stories about missing money for Akron events, I was looking forward to First Night Akron from Christmas night. It’s such a strange amalgamation of arts and other events that it’s always a lot of fun.
This year, I started out at the Akron Art Museum, where I caught Case Sensitive, a teen band with some really nice choices of cover tunes and a few original pieces. They definitely had some talent, and they might bring extra drumsticks along next time.
In the Greystone Hall Ballroom, I listened to the Akron Derbytown Barbershop Chorus. I intially headed that way because I thought it’d be a little curious, but it ended up being a lot of fun, with some songs that got the crowd moving and singing along - there was a guy behind me really belting it out along with the chorus.
I grabbed a traditional hot pretzel at the John S. Knight Center (someone needs to step it up - I almost didn’t finish the thing) and went to the Summit Art Space to see Creatures of the Midnight Sun, of which the lion up there is one. Blacklights can be really tricky to work with, but everyone there seemed to be having a lot of fun with the art. I really hope the art space can keep up little interactive shows like this.
I finished up the night doing some ice skating at Lock 3 - the first time I’ve done any skating for a few years. I didn’t fall once, but it wasn’t for lack of flailing around. I sort of scooted along the outside edge as 6-year olds blew by me backward in the center. I didn’t know it was actually so easy to rent skates out up there; I’m thinking I’ll be doing that again before the season is over.
The night finished with dancing to radio tunes (dear radio people: can we please put a moratorium on that song? You know what I’m talking about) and finally, the thing I was waiting for most:
Merry Christmas to everyone out there! Not a lot of local art going on in these past few weeks, but it’s time to spend time with family anyway! Happy holidays to you and yours!
One of the things that I’ve wanted to highlight in a little way with this blog is the chance to get involved in the community and be a part of things, and this is definitely the time of year to do that. There are lots of very worthy causes out there right now, but the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is both local and important to people in need, right in our own community.
I’ve written about Ryan Humbert before, probably because I run into him now and again through my day job and First Friday events, but I knew this had to get its own mention. Humbert and his band came together with a string quartet, keys and a percussionist to perform a Christmas concert at the Akron Civic Theatre to benefit the Foodbank, Strung Out For the Holidays. An acoustic set is a twist on his normal show, but it went even farther by including a lot of songs not usually considered holiday fare from the Beatles, Sinatra and Elton John. Honestly, I think the huge variety in the set list was my favorite part of the evening, even though they sounded really good.
Beyond the show, the Foodbank pulled up a huge truck in which went all the donated food, so people could see what a difference could be made even with a few small donations. Check the Foodbank’s site for more information on how to get involved there, and look for other places to help someone this holiday season.
Even though it took me 20 minutes to find a parking space and cold rain was drizzling over everything, Light Up Downtown, put on by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, managed to brighten an otherwise dreary December night for me.
I showed up a little bit late for the stage show about Christopher Pop-In-Kins (for which I am, admittedly, a little old), but was marching through the street right when the lights burst on and fireworks started fighting the rain. Instant smile.
Lots of local school groups got a chance to show off, too. There were choirs from at least three schools, though I only really saw the Jacks-N-Jills of Jackson High School. With the stage show, there were dance teams and even faux Rockettes.
Honestly, my favorite part about the night was the same thing that I end up liking about First Fridays during the winter: no matter how cold it really is, there are enough people out doing things that there’s sort of a heat in the crowd. There are some times when I’m down there for events like this where I’m fooled into thinking that Canton is a much larger city than it really is.
The holiday lights will be up for a while, so take some time to go check them out before Christmas comes around.
I refuse to believe that November is here, especially in that the days are starting to get shorter and colder. Despite a little bit of a chilly night, plenty of people showed up to First Friday November: Harvest Moon.
I was out there with a coat and scarf, and I was still a little cold. I sort of wanted to get a warm snack, so I stopped at Sheri’s Sweets. I ended up choosing a pumpkin spice cake, but it was tasty enough that I didn’t really worry about heat. While I was there, I got to listen in on the sounds of several performers in the Canton Idol contest, which I had forgotten about entirely. To the little girl (I didn’t catch your name) who was singing “Soak up the Sun,” best of luck; you sounded really good!
The galleries were pretty packed, and I saw a few new pieces that I liked over at ACME Artists. I can’t believe I’ve gone so long with First Friday without mentioning this gallery here, since they consistently have visually interesting pieces up. I was really getting into a couple of the new Mona Lisa mashups they had on display.
Since I had gotten to the party a little late, I finished off by heading down to Muggswiggz. Actually, I went and got my car, and then drove down to Muggswiggz, because I did not want to walk all that way. I know, I know, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold!
Last year, unsuspecting filmgoers were terrified by a series of haunting and sometimes gruesome shorts in the merciless Freakishly Short Animation Festival.
Now, it returns to thrill a brand new crowd with the Revenge of the Freakishly Short Animation Festival!
No, seriously. Akron Film got to setting up the Halloween mood at the Akron Art Museum with an animation festival filled with more than a dozen great shorts. Several of the films, like The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! and Who’s Hungry? cut right to the heart of what makes the season so much fun by being so unsettling.
Not everything was gore, though. Several of the films, including one of my favorite segments, went to the absurd. I couldn’t find a full version of Hello (my actual favorite part of the night), but here is Mameshiba, a tiny bean dog that unnerves people who are about to eat them with disturbing trivia.
It was all a build up to Seeds of the Damned, made by local Akron animator Cory Sheldon, and Please Say Something, a literal story of cat and mouse.
Thanks to the site, I found out that Hello ended up winning the crowd’s favorite award, so at least one vote I made recently counted!