by Claude Christensen

Ever been confronted with artwork at a gallery or museum that forced you to wonder what was the artist thinking? Wish the artist was there so you could ask them yourself?

I do. All the time.

During the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 at the Summit Artspace, gallery visitors to the 16th annual Kaleidoscope Juried Holiday Show will get to pick the brains of artists whose work is shown.

2017 Winner of the People’s Choice Award; “One Foot in the Grave” by John Sokol (Photo Courtesy of the Summit Artspace).

Artists are strongly encouraged to attend both the reception and to sit for the show, says Kamelia Fisher, executive director of the Summit Artspace, and Deanna Clucas, chair of the committee that runs the Kaleidoscope show.

And there’s some additional incentive for artists to open themselves to questioning from visitors. Although there are cash prizes awarded by the juror for first, second and third places, the real achievement is the titular award of the show, the “Kaleidoscope Award,” given to the artist who receives the most votes from visitors.

The jurors’ awards will be announced at the Nov. 30 reception. The Kaleidoscope Award, which is an actual kaleidoscope crafted by glass artist Bob Pozarski, will be awarded after the show has ended and visitors’ votes have been tallied.

In addition, the winning artwork will be used to promote next year’s Kaleidoscope art show. That can be a big deal for participating artists.

Presented by the Alliance for the Visual Arts, the show represents the best work from four of Akron’s revered artist organizations: the Akron Society of Artists, the Artists of Rubber City, the Women’s Art League of Akron, and the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center.

Members of these four organizations can submit only two works each. They cannot have been shown previously at the Summit Artspace, but they can be two- or three-dimensional pieces.

To eliminate bias, the committee overseeing the show selects a juror from outside the community who chooses artworks in a “blind” process, without artists’ names attached to their work.

2017 Kaleidoscope prize by glass artist Bob Pozarski (Photo courtesy of the Summit Artspace)

This year’s juror is Cleveland artist David Rankin. Known for his mastery of transparent-watercolor and skilled depictions of wildlife and landscapes, Rankin will select three pieces receiving cash awards and four honorable mentions.

The Kaleidoscope show was the brainchild of the late Betty Taylor, Akron artist and visual art activist. A founder of both the Summit Artspace and The Alliance for the Visual Arts, it was Betty who saw the need for the Kaleidoscope show and made it happen.

“She was a force to be reckoned with,” says Deanna. “She wanted the best there was.”

Kaleidoscope Annual Juried Holiday Show (FREE)
Summit Artspace
140 East Market Street
Opening Reception: Nov. 30, 5pm
Artist Panel Discussion: Dec. 13, 7pm

For more information: https://www.summitartspace.org/event/opening-of-kaleidoscope-holiday-show/

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