First Night Akron needs volunteers to lend a helping hand on Monday for the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration showcasing the arts to the community.
First Night volunteers greet guests, check for admission buttons, introduce performing artists, assist with hands-on activities, track attendance and act as bus hosts.
Volunteers are admitted free to performances and sites before or after their shift. Friends, families, couples and groups are encouraged to volunteer together. Volunteers receive a lanyard to wear at the event and an invitation to the annual volunteer party held in January.
Volunteer applications are available at www.firstnightakron.org/volunteers or by contacting the First Night volunteer coordinator, Jane Startzman at 330-535-3179, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers may sign up until Dec. 29.
Gallery receives grants
SPACES, Cleveland’s oldest artist-run gallery, has received grants from two of the leading foundations supporting contemporary art in the United States.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts have awarded the gallery grants totaling $150,000 for use in programming during 2013 and 2014.
The National Endowment for the Arts also has recommended SPACES for a $20,000 grant to support the SPACES World Artists Program.
SPACES will receive $50,000 from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration grants program for Tag, a multistage 2014 project where artists build off of one another’s creations.
Tag tests the definition of collaboration and involves the audience through web streaming of its evolution. Artists Reed Anderson, Kevin Jerome Everson, Jess Hirsch and Thu Tran will create work in adjacent galleries, then switch four times. The entire exploration will happen twice.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts continues its programmatic support of SPACES in the form of $100,000 to be paid out over two years. SPACES is part of the original Warhol Initiative — an invitational program designed to bolster the organizational capacity of small and mid-sized, artist-centered organizations across the country. Historically underfunded, these groups serve as vital breeding grounds for artistic experimentation, professional development and community engagement with art.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman said that SPACES is one of 832 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. SPACES is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support the SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP), a residency opportunity for national and international artists to realize new projects.
Workshops and lectures — Here are some upcoming offerings at the Peninsula Art Academy, 1600 W. Mill St., Peninsula. Contact info: 330-657-2248 or www.peninsulaartacademy.com: Glassblowing with Bob Pozarski, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; Beginning Weaving with Carol Adams, 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday; Glassblowing II with Bob Pozarski; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Picasso in Cleveland — Just opening, Picasso and the Mysteries of Life: Deconstructing La Vie, is the inaugural exhibition in the museum’s new Focus Gallery. The exhibit is the first to offer an intensive exploration of La Vie, a signature work in the museum’s collection that is considered Picasso’s culminating masterwork of the Blue Period. The exhibition includes related works on loan from the Museu Picasso in Barcelona — the most important repository of the artist’s early work — as well as works by Francisco Goya, Albrecht Dürer and Auguste Rodin drawn from the museum’s world-renowned collections. New sights are provided into the meanings of this complex, enigmatic masterpiece and its pivotal role in the artistic development of the young Spanish artist. The exhibition will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through April 21.
Gaudi Pop-Ups — Those who are as enamored of pop-up books as I am will be thrilled to learn of the new Gaudí Pop-Ups, published in October by Thames & Hudson. Seven pop-ups and 13 illustrations, all in color, fill the delightful 16-page constructed paper book. It can be found at http://thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/gaudi-pop-ups-softcover. Gaudí Pop-Ups celebrates the unique style of this visionary architect with pop-ups of some of his most famous creations. The inventive paper constructions of Courtney Watson McCarthy bring these spectacular works to life in a new and fascinating way that enables us to further appreciate the genius of Gaudí.
Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or email@example.com.