Akron artists host first Art Walk

Emily Cope

It takes about $70 to buy a new pair of Adidas tennis shoes, a college textbook or an iPod shuffle.

It also takes about $70 to throw an art walk.

Sandra Holata and Don Miller did just that Friday when they used $70 to create the Northside Arts and Cultural District’s First Art Walk in Akron.

“We did it on a wing and a prayer for about 70 dollars,” Miller said. “Most of the money was for printing costs and paper. We used every resource. We e-mailed and used word of mouth. You don’t need a lot of money; you just need a community that wants it.”

The art walk, which was from 5 to 8 p.m., featured 20 Akron art establishments and a variety of art, music and food. It was sponsored by Holata and Miller’s organization, Artists Resisting Mindlessness. Other sponsors were Car Gear and Architectural Greenery Inc.

The art walk was created to promote the art and culture already in Akron’s Northside, Miller said.

“The art walk started with me as a challenge,” Miller said. “The city had been trying to start a cultural district for awhile in Akron. With the walk we were trying to get up and say ‘Hey, there is one here already.'”

An additional goal of the art walk was to expose people to different forms of art.

“As Artists Resisting Mindlessness, we believe it is important for the community to be exposed to lots of art not just art they want to buy for their own homes,” Holata said. “It’s important to see thought provoking art. At the art walk you can see beautiful glasswork you might like to buy. But you may also see a sculpture that makes you think about a social issue or the environment.”

Nicholle Schauer, owner of the Erewhon Gallery in Akron, said her business participated in the walk. She said it was very successful and offered great exposure.

“When you’re an art place, it’s hard to get people to come out just to see one thing,” Schauer said. “But when you make an event of it people come. It lets people who don’t usually go out for arty things know what is in the community around them.”

Marsha Santomauro, of Akron, said she enjoyed the event.

“I liked that all the art was different – nothing was duplicated,” Santomauro said. “The walk let me discover new places. A couple of the galleries we went to I didn’t even know existed.”

Contact College of the Arts reporter Emily Cope at [email protected].