AKRON, Ohio — It’s art you can see, touch and ---- sit on.
A set of four A-shaped benches are being installed in the city of Akron as part of Art x Love’s @Play Project which was awarded a $240,000 Knight Cities grant in 2017.
“If you don’t have color, vibrancy and disruption, everything becomes a little more dull and stagnant,” said Mac Love, the Founder & Chief Catalyst of Art x Love. “We need this.”
Love said the idea for the benches came after a conversation with kids in Akron’s Sherbondy Hill neighborhood.
Jeremy Jenkins, a local artist and graphic designer, was brought into the latest project to create an Akron sculpture that would help promote and encourage exploration in the city. John Communale helped to weld and build the four sculptures.
“These A’s are not a replica of anything you’ll find in the country,” said Love.
The benches will be set up in four different locations across the city to encourage people to explore and discover.
- Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
- Firestone Park Community Center
- Soap Box Derby
- Summit County Historical Society
Its symbolism goes deeper than an A for Akron. The A almost taking shape of an arrow marking locations across the city. The space on top hinting to what’s next.
Even the paint has meaning. It’s product of the Akron-based APV Engineered Coatings company, which used the same coating that it used on a Goodyear blimp.
“Seeing people sitting in it, enjoying it in a way that’s it’s always been there…it’s like a natural part of the environment,” said Jenkins.
Love said they are looking into incorporating the “Destination Akron” benches into an interactive incentive program to encourage exploration in the city this summer. Visitors are encouraged to take photos with the benches using the hashtag #DestinationAkron.
“I think if you stop, get out of the car, go to a new place, you’ll find more and more reasons to love it here,”’ said Love.