Second annual Akron Art Prize winners announced

Arts / Article

The Downtown Akron Partnership had considerable success with the inaugural Akron Art Prize last year. Officials fixed up some of the administrative issues that became problematic and chose to continue with the second annual Akron Art Prize.

This year, as last, the process began with the monthly Downtown Akron Artwalk (on September 7 this year). A total of 123 entries were turned in, officials said, and put on display at art walk venues – Akron Glass Works; Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee; We Gallery; and Zeber-Martell Clay Studio and Gallery.

Viewers from age 16 and older registered to vote via cell phone text or computer tablets at each of the participating galleries. Each registered voter received 10 votes to cast for different artists. Total votes exceeded last year’s number by a thousand, according to officials. That’s a good sign to continue the tradition.

After tallying 3,125 votes over 29 days, Christopher Kovacevich has been awarded first place in the second annual Akron Art Prize. The competition, sponsored by The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, concluded on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Akron Art Museum (with over 500 people in attendance).

Kovacevich receives a $5,000 cash prize and the honor of having his winning art work on display in the Akron Art Museum, a Knight Arts grantee, through October 20 if you want to see it.

Christopher Kovacevich, “Me, in Lipstick.”

Kovacevich’s winning submission is entitled “Me, In Lipstick.” It is a 54″ x 80″ self-portrait on canvas comprised of 6,144 lipstick impressions. This piece reportedly was inspired by an accidental lipstick mark left on his shoulder while saying goodbye to a friend during the fall of 1989. The portrait took two months and 30 shades of lipstick to complete.

Kovacevich is a self-taught artist and has a master’s in arts education. This is his first endeavor back into the art world after a three-year hiatus.

Kovacevich will host a meet and greet at the Akron Art Museum on Thursday, October 17 from 7-9 p.m. as part of the museum’s Free Thursday event. Patrons are encouraged to view his portrait and ask questions.

Five runners up, each receiving $1,000, are Brian Parsons and Michael W. Marras of Akron, Carol Tomasik of Norton, Tom Baldwin of Cuyahoga Falls and last year’s grand prize winner, Ron White of Akron.

Winners were announced by Brenda Schneider, senior program officer, arts and education of The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation.