Engage Akron Window Art Project
Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) in cooperation with downtown artists, businesses, and property owners, embarked on a process to prioritize the voices of artists to assist the district in healing after experiencing vandalism on July 3rd. The effort was curated by a committee of Black artists who selected works through an RFP process to allow downtown’s boarded windows to convey hope, healing, and welcome as a place for all people. Original works were digitized for print on panels, or, in some cases, painted directly onto boards over windows awaiting repair. The project was made possible with support from Knight and GAR Foundations, and features the local artists identified below.
Bio: Nick Lee (b. 1996) is a painter and 2021 Kent State graduate. The work that interests Lee is the human condition and the diversity we have as people. The goal for Lee's work is to be more inclusive in American portraiture. His work strives for better representation of minorities like Lee, who is Japanese American. Lee paints his own personal story in his work to share with other Asian Americans.
Visit nicholasleeart.com to learn more, and follow him on Instagram @sirnicklee.
Bio: Randi Mull, Akron native, is a Wife to Michael Mull and Mom-preneur to six amazing children. A 4x Author, Ordained Minister and visual artist who desires to uplift others through her art; be it story telling, theater, photography, wearable art or affirmation artwork. She uses faith to create long lasting art to share the message of life, purpose and beauty.
“God is going to allow you to remember talents and passions from years ago,” is what Randi heard in her spirit in April 2021. This inspired her to create again. Randi felt it necessary to surround herself and others with positive affirmations infused with mixed media art. This step of faith led her to have feature opportunities in local black owned and women owned art studios 1474 Art Inc. and OH Snap Photo Lab and also to connect with the Akron Black Artist Guild to showcase her work in numerous exhibitions.
Contact Randi at
Bio: April Couch creates beautiful and intricate Zentangle-inspired art. Zentangle is meditation achieved through pattern-making. A Zentangle is a complicated-looking drawing that is built one line at a time. Simple tangles, or patterns, are combined in an unplanned way that grows and changes in unbelievable and amazing ways. When your mind is engaged in drawing, your body relaxes and anxiety and stress are reduced. Every piece, whether on wood or paper, is an unbelievably detailed, unique, and amazing work of art that can not be duplicated.
Follow April on Instagram @totallytangledcreations.
Micah Kraus is an artist and educator living in Akron, Ohio. He operates Work Studio LTD, an art and design studio specializing in printmaking-based processes for fine art and client-based projects. Kraus has shown in solo and select group exhibitions regionally and nationally. He has engaged in community-based public art projects through organizations like East Akron Community House, Lock 3 Summer Arts Experience, Door 2 Studios, Summit Artspace, Akron Art Museum, Lululemon Athletica, and Fleet Feet Cleveland. An art instructor at Archbishop Hoban High School, Kraus has led students in the development of artistically expressive skills for more than 21 years. His students engage with arts professionals in the Akron area and are recognized in regional and national art competitions. Micah Kraus has a BA in Art Education and an MA in Printmaking from Kent State University.
Visit genuine-article.co to learn more, and follow Micah on Instagram @genarticle.
Bio: Akron artist Lizzi Aronhalt is here for the buildings! Her architecturally focused work engages themes such as memory, place and the passing of time. She spent time in Southwest Ohio at Miami University where she obtained a B.S. in Art Education and a minor in 2-D media studies. She then lived for two years in Eastern Europe before returning home to Akron where she currently resides and creates.
Visit lizziaronhalt.com to learn more, and follow Lizzi on Instagram @lizzi_aronhalt_art.
Bio: It started in 2020 as a project "Project Sew United" after praying and asking God how I could help Him cover the land during COVID-19. I had no idea I would be lead me to my sewing machine. But, as a believer, I know that everyone has a purpose in the body of Christ and if we operate in it we can accomplish great things.
I started off making CDC approved cloth face masks during the pandemic and have expanded to include my namesake line of handmade globally-inspired décor with every space of your home in mind. I believe our homes to be our havens--our portion of space where creativity can take center stage, achieving the vibe that brings us the most harmony and joy. Project Sew United is the product of my imaginations which I pray helps make your home your happy place.
Visit dashikastreet.com to learn more, and be sure to stop by Da'Shika's downtown storefront, Street Craftery.
Bio: Andre Street was born and raised in Barberton, OH, but has traveled through the United States presenting and promoting art and culture presenting at national art exhibitions since 2002. Andre is a graduate of Oberlin College with a B.A. in Studio Art and Economics. Andre Street has shown in group and solo exhibits and installations in Akron, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York along with mural work in Washington D.C.
Kimmy is a self-taught local artist with a diverse portfolio that showcases her love of nature through mostly abstract pieces featuring bright and bold colors. Often spending time hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley with her family, Kimmy draws inspiration by surrounding herself in nature’s elements which is evident in her work of trees, botanicals and butterflies. She paints on canvas, wood, glass, walls, metal and does digital illustration.
Visit bipolarbutterflyproject.com to learn more, and follow Kimmy on Instagram @bipolarbutterflyproject.
My monochromatic colored penciled portraits came about during the start of the pandemic when I couldn’t find skin tones pencils. From that birthed my most popular pieces which I have had the honor of revamping multiple times and displaying in various locations.
Follow Derin on Instagram @baldartist_.
Follow Stephen on Instagram @stephenvazsonyi.