Art notes: Family films at the museum

By Dorothy Shinn
Beacon Journal art 
and architecture writer

The Akron Art Museum and Akron Film+Pixel invite film connoisseurs of all ages to the museum from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday to view engaging, fresh family features in the Charles and Jane Lehner Auditorium and discover exciting new films from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum’s annual Spark! Family Film Fest.

This year’s event at the museum at 1 S. High St. will begin with a collection of cool, zany shorts from the New York International Children’s Film Fest, followed by a special feature film curated by the expert eyes at Akron Film+Pixel.

Stay for the day or pick and choose which of the following activities work best for you and young movie-goers:

12:15 p.m. — Animated Shorts: Kid Flix Mix. 60 minutes (best for ages 3 to 6). A kaleidoscopic showcase of the best short film and animation from around the world curated by the New York International Children’s Film Festival.

2:30 p.m. — Full-length feature: Ernest & Celestine. 80 minutes. Tucked away in networks of winding subterranean tunnels lives a civilization of hardworking mice, terrified of the bears that live above ground. Based on the classic Belgian book series by Gabrielle Vincent, Ernest & Celestine won France’s César Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.

This event is free, seating available on a first-come basis. Activities are free for families; gallery admission is free for children. Spark is a co-production of Akron Film+Pixel and the Akron Art Museum.

Today, the action begins early and goes late. This is Third Thursday, an especially active day on the museum calendar:

11:15 a.m. — Story Time in the Galleries. Imagine the fantastic tales the museum’s paintings, drawings, photos and sculptures have to share. Join museum educators in the galleries to view picture books and a hands-on experience in the studio. No registration required.

11:30 a.m. — Third Thursday Collection Conversation. You don’t need to travel to New York to see great art. The Akron Art Museum’s collection is full of gems by well-known artists, as well as fantastic work by regional and outsider artists. Join the museum’s docents to discover the stories behind these treasures. This week, Esther Hexter will be speaking on The Artist as a Social Critic. There is no need to RSVP, just come and enjoy!

7 p.m. — Akron Film+Pixel Screening: The Missing Picture. In The Missing Picture, filmmaker Rithy Panh revisits his own memories of four years in the late 1970s when millions of lives were extinguished and a culture was almost eradicated in Vietnam.


The Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, has acquired two monumental works by photorealist painter Peter Maier.

The paintings are Horse-Power (Ben) (2011) and Madison Avenue at Speed.

The former, a 9-by-11.5 foot master-work first exhibited at the Butler in September 2013, is a portrait of a Budweiser Clydesdale and was painted with automotive paint on fabricated black aluminum panel.

The latter, on view in the Butler’s Donnell Sports Gallery, depicts Jeff Gordon’s race car at actual size.

Maier, born in 1945 in Brooklyn, N.Y., is the son of immigrants and grew up in a multi-ethnic environment. From his earliest memories, art was his passion. At 18 he was selected to work on the sculpture for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. After serving in Vietnam, Maier went to work for GM during that company’s heyday, and his imprint can be found on a number of their classic designs.

During these years, the young prodigy rose to the level of senior designer, yet his yen to create art drove him to the fine art world, forging a new pathway in realist painting, using a technique that blurs realism with reality, making startling larger-than-life paintings.


Reception — A free opening reception for Contemporary Views, an exhibit of landscape photography by Jeff Rich, Daniel Shea and Lynn Whitney, is being held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the University of Akron Myers School of Art Emily Davis Gallery. The show remains on view through April 11. For more information, call 330-972-5952 or go to; or


High School Art Show — The Canton Museum of Art, supported by Malone University, Kent State University Stark and Walsh University, presents the 23rd Annual Stark County High School Art Exhibition, on view through April 13 in the museum’s lower galleries. Admission to the exhibition is free.


Opening — Barbara Krans Jenkins and Elinore Korow An Adventure in Realism opens with a noon to 1 p.m. reception in the Fellowship Hall Gallery at the First Congregational Church, 292 E. Market St. (at East Market and Union streets), Akron. Information, call 330-338-9307 or 330-867-8796 or email


April 8 — The deadline for submitting entries to the National Midyear Show at the Butler Institute of Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown. Entries must be made with jpeg images on a CD and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The nonrefundable entry fee is $50. An entry form can be found at

Dorothy Shinn writes about art for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or



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