FRONT starts at Quaker Square, art museum; pianist Diehl at Blossom

ByJames I. Robertson

Jul 14, 2022

FRONT kicks off in Akron

Two Akron Arts Organizations — Showcase organized and the Akron Art Museum — will organize opening celebrations for FRONT International 2022: Cleveland Contemporary Art Triennialwhich kicks off Saturday at 30 Northeast Ohio locations.

A reception at Quaker Square will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, with works by artists Alyssa Taylor Wendt, Chakaia Booker and Charmaine Spencer in art galleries enabled in the former Quaker Square shops and restaurants at 135 S. Broadway, Akron. No registration is required. (Gallery hours will continue from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday through October 2.)

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Also on Saturday, Akron Art Museum will be hosting a free opening party from 7:30-9:30pm with light snacks and a cash bar. Pop-up tours will take place throughout the evening at 1 S. High St., Akron.

FRONT 2022, titled “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows,” will run until October 2. Its title is inspired by a verse by Langston Hughes, who moved to Cleveland as a child. This year’s theme encompasses art as an agent of transformation, a mode of healing and a therapeutic process.

FRONT, a free, public contemporary art exhibition in Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin, features more than 100 artists from across the country. The event was launched in 2018. For more information, see

Stefanie Batten Bland

‘Embedded’ at John Brown House

New York choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland and his dance company visit Akron across the Akron National Choreography Center (NCCAkron) to reimagine his dance “Embarqued: Stories of Soil” as a gallery installation in the former home of abolitionist John Brown.

A free opening event, “Embarqued: Stories of Soil” will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at 514 Diagonal Road, Akron, including an outdoor reception and discussion with the artists.

Batten Bland’s original work of African-American dance theater – an oral, visual and physical history of slave ships – is the inspiration for an art installation reimagining the sails and sets of the work. The installation is open to the public from Friday to September 3, in partnership with the Summit County Historical Society. The NCCAkron project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Raphaël Kaney Duverger of SBB in Stefanie Batten Bland's

Aaron Diehl in Blossom

Columbus-born jazz/classical pianist Aaron Diehl will perform Mary Lou Williams’ masterpiece “Zodiac Suite” with the Cleveland Orchestra at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Blossom Music Festival at 1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls. Also on the program are Respighi’s symphonic poems “Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome)” and “Pini di Roman (The Pines of Rome)”.

Pianist and Columbus native Aaron Diehl will return to the Blossom Music Festival on July 16 to perform Mary Lou Williams'

Flag tickets from $36 for adults and $15 for children; lawn tickets start at $26. Two Under 18 Lawn Tickets are available for each adult Lawn Ticket purchased. See or call 216-231-1111.

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Kent Blossom Music Festival

The Miami String Quartet and pianist Spencer Myer will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ludwig Recital Hall, 1325 Theater Drive, Kent State University.

The cost is $30, $25 for seniors, $10 for students, and free for those under 18.

The Miami String Quartet, the festival quartet in residence for the Kent Blossom Music Festival, will perform at Kent State University's Ludwig Hall Recital Stage on Tuesday.

In other festival concerts this week, young artists will perform free concerts at 2 p.m. Friday at Laurel Lake Retirement Community, 200 Laurel Lake Drive, Hudson; 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ludwig Recital Hall and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hudson Library and Historical Society, 96 Library St. Hudson.

Call 330-672-2787 or visit

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Downtown at dusk

Downtown at dusk The kick-off concert, which has been delayed for a week, will take place with a free performance of Gleam by Chris Coles (jazz-fusion originals) from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden at the Museum of Akron art, 1 S. High St., Akron. Admission to the gallery is also free.

Saxophonist Chris Coles

The performance originally scheduled for July 7 is postponed to August 4, with Anne E. DeChant or TBA. Call 330-376-9186 or visit

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