Akron Residents Invited to Make a Deposit in the 'Artbank'

Dec 27, 2019

Akronites can now enjoy a new art installation downtown that features pieces created by Akronites.

Artist Mac Love is mounting a year-long exhibition of public art at his space in a large, art deco former bank lobby. The pieces are all from people who simply want to display their work publicly. Love hopes the space will become a public gathering place filled with sculpture, paintings, and music.

“Life throws a lot of curve balls at us, and it’s important to have a place where community can congregate, where they can talk, meet new people, explore new ideas, [and] actually challenge themselves to try new things.”

Firestone junior Grace Mervis chose to display her pieces in one of the upstairs rooms in the large, former bank lobby. She hopes to be an animator.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Love says they’ll accept pieces that may be too large or too provocative for other galleries. He was inspired by a well-known, similar project from the 1800s.

“The Salon Des Independants started in France to allow artists -- whose work wasn’t being exhibited in the classic Salon shows -- a place to be seen. So it’s funny to think: artists like Van Gogh and Matisse and a lot of the French Impressionists -- their work wasn’t being accepted because it was considered too nontraditional. I want to continue to support nontraditional creative expression in Akron.”

The Artbank project replaces Love’s AtPlay exhibit, which began more than two years ago by bringing together art from every one of Akron’s neighborhoods. Many of those pieces will eventually be installed back in the neighborhoods. After the current public art project ends next December, the lobby will be refurbished by the building’s owners, who are turning the rest of the Law Building into apartments and offices.

For information on displaying a piece at the Artbank, contact Mac Love.