Having 13 venues for the Akron downtown art walk and new downtown art works events on May 5 didn’t seem to bring any bad luck. The weather was perfect, the crowds plentiful, the art stops and transportion spiffed up and eager to please, and the celebratory atmosphere charged.
Downtown art walk met downtown art works and made it work.
There’s an art walk monthly in the downtown area that is rife with museums, studios and trendy galleries. What was new on this occasion was the addition of a host of local entertainers roaming from one art stop to another; a fashion show; a highly focused and fun film festival; and a new artist being introduced with his first ever opening. The latter two represent the merger of the combined events.
The Short Attention Span film festival (by Akron Film + Pixel) was ingeniously conceived. It was perfect for a stop-and-go art circuit party like this. Shown in four different spots, including on the side of the John S. Knight Center, the festival was touted as “20 films in 20 minutes.” 12 entrants (some with multiple entries) were to keep them short. The public voted by registering and casting votes via mobile telephone.
The winners were British filmmakers Phil Sansom and Olly Williams for their highly captivating short film “The Black Hole.”
This work is about a beleaguered and sleep-deprived office worker who photocopies a black hole and sees its cosmic (and greedy) potential in his own small life. (To see the film, click here).
What fascinated me is that you can tell one heck of a story in under a minute.
All are worth attention but his “Soup or Salad” made me cringe over a restaurant experience I had as a kid that was freakily similar to this guy’s tale of being young and cluless about eating out. (Click here to view Grella’s film).
Portuguese filmmaker Antonio Silva was the height of brevity in his five-second film “Vampire Bush.” Art springs to life and dies a gory death from a lethal pencil stroke by the animator. (Check it out here).
Here’s hoping the Short Attention Span film festival returns annually in this format. It generated lots of interest.
As for the art walk side, the We Gallery/High Street Gallery took the opportunity to curate an exhibit for Benjamin Manista, a new artist to the Akron Community.
One of Manista’s works in particular – “Carolyn” – generated attention by going up for bid as more and more people came through the gallery and liked it.
The next combined event with downtown art works will be in September/October with the public voting for a new Akron Art Prize – a contest being formulated for visual artists for new works created over the summer. www.downtownakron.com/artwalk