Release Date: December 1,2020

Seniors Bring Meaningful Art to Life During Pandemic

Artwork will be on temporary display at Akron-Summit County Public Library

December 1, 2020, Akron, OH — Through a unique partnership, Summit Metro Parks staff and Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer have engaged local seniors to contribute to a stunning piece of community art.

Members of the public may view the 7-foot high, 12-foot wide artwork at Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library (60 S. High St., Akron) December 3 through February 1, 2021. Hanging in an open area of the library just outside the auditorium, visitors are able to easily enjoy the artwork with physical distance from others while respecting the library’s existing COVID-19 guidelines. As a bonus, those passing by the library on High Street may be able to see the artwork from outside.

Designed to offer a sense of hope and togetherness during periods of lockdown this year, the artwork consists of dozens of birds each uniquely decorated by residents of 12 senior homes in Summit County. Summit Metro Parks Interpretive Artist Danette Rushboldt, who designed the piece titled “Birds of a Feather,” explained the meaning behind the art: “Through the challenges of 2020 and in any year, this collective work symbolizes that we are never alone, there can be safety in numbers (even virtually!) and that we’re all heading in the right direction.”

“Originally meant to be created through a series of in-person events, staff pivoted the strategy for this project in a way that allowed Summit Metro Parks to reach members of the community in a safe and meaningful way,” added Chief of Community Engagement Demetrius Lambert-Falconer.

After the library exhibition, the piece won’t need to travel far to find its permanent home on an empty wall inside Judge Stormer’s courtroom. With many services for elderly members of our community, this project has been especially significant for the office of Summit County Probate Court.

"Despite the pandemic, seniors created Birds of a Feather together while far apart. We are excited that our partnerships and Danette Rushboldt’s vision created a project that engaged seniors in senior housing and congregate care from Hudson to Summit Lake and many places in between. We are grateful to Summit Metro Parks, Direction Home and all of the senior housing and nursing homes who shared this with their residents so that we will have a piece created by seniors for all to enjoy in our courtroom," said Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer.

For more information on opportunities to view the artwork, please call the Akron-Summit County Public Library at 330-643-9000.

Summit Metro Parks manages more than 14,000 acres, including 16 parks, several conservation areas and more than 150 miles of trails, with 22 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Annual attendance averages 5 million visits.

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