Voting for winners of the first Akron Art Prize has begun. Beginning with the Downtown Art Walk on September 1, votes started rolling in.
According to Rich Hoselton, director of events for the Downtown Akron Partnership, 200 people had registered within the first hour of competition. There are 150 artists, Hoselton added in the interview, representing 137 pieces (some artists worked together). Because of the volume, and also since some artists were finishing up pieces at the very last minute, information about each art object is kept to a minimum. Only the artist’s name (or whatever alias was chosen) appears along with the needed accession number that is vital for recording the vote.
The 137 entries will be on display at five different venues and are clearly indicated by signage:
Millworks Gallery, 106 N. Main St., where 20 different works are on view in the lower gallery and at the entry to the facility.
Redlight Gallery, 111 N. Main St., where 27 pieces are being displayed in the upstairs gallery hallways and designated rooms.
We Gallery, 20 N. High St., where six works are clustered in the main gallery of the building.
Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St., outside on the corner of High/Market streets where four works are being shown.
Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St, where the largest number – 80 different works – can be seen on the first and third floor of the building.
Anyone over the age of 16 may vote. The catch, since voting is being done through telephone texting, is that voters must be within a two-mile geographical footprint of the display areas, according to Hoselton.
The easiest way to get started is to register via smart phone within the defined area by texting the word “Akron” to the number 25827. A response will come with a link so that your telephone number will be entered to control the number of votes (you can only vote once per piece, whereas you can have up to 10 votes total to match the number of finalists being selected).
You can also register in person between 5-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through September 21 at We Gallery, Millworks Gallery and Summit Artspace, officials say.
When you are ready to vote, simply text to 25827 the word “Akron” followed by the number that has been assigned to the work.
Once the 10 finalists have been chosen, those works will be gathered in Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee, for the selection of the top winner and five runners-up through additional balloting on September 21 and at the Downtown Akron Artwalk on Saturday, October 6 when the winners will be announced.
Applicants in the contest include professional and amateur artists. The works include paintings (oil, watercolors, acrylics and pastels), along with outdoor installations, costumes and fabric pieces, three-dimensional wall hangings, clay and pottery works, sculptures and metal works (both new and scrap).
Akron Art Prize voting will continue in down Akron through October 6. For more information, call 330-374-7676 or visit www.downtownakron.com/artprize.