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What Do You Get When You Shuffle Akron Artists and Cultural Landmarks? A Winning Hand

Akron playing cards.jpeg
The Akron on Deck playing cards have already sold out twice. A third batch is slated to be available in time for the holidays. Proceeds benefit the artists, and each card also includes their contact information.

Landmarks from Akron’s North, South, East, and West sides now appear as clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds in a set of playing cards to benefit and showcase the city’s artists.

The “Akron on Deck” cards celebrate 54 landmarks ranging from the Zoo to the Peanut Shoppe, and from Dr. Bob’s House to the Weathervane Playhouse.

Organizer Mac Love – of the “ArtxLove” creative agency – says the idea came to him while staying home during the pandemic, when he remembered how much he enjoyed playing cards growing up, with his grandmother. So he reached out to the city’s arts community and the public for ideas.

"I'm just excited for families to be able to get together and to sit down and play euchre or poker or pinochle, and just get away from their devices for a second and discover all of this amazing talent and this treasure around Akron. Hopefully it'll make staying at home a lot easier and maybe more of a special experience for everyone."

Love added, "What's featured on the deck is not just visual art. There certainly is a visual on every card, but some of the artists featured are poets and musicians and sculptors, [dancers]. Everything is really in there to some extent."

The first 2,000 decks are already sold out, but Love says a third batch should arrive in time for the holidays. He says 40 percent of the proceeds from the cards go the artists.

You can order an "Akron on Deck" set here.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.