News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

NOCHE

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


Rethinking the Akron Art Museum
New director Mark Masuoka describes a more gallery-like role.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
New AAM Director Mark Masuoka comes to Akron from The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha.
Courtesy of Akron Art Museum
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The new director of the Akron Art Museum has been on the job for one month now. You might not see any changes yet, but he says they’ll be coming – on multiple fronts. He sat down and talked with WKSU’s Mark Urycki about what the museum should be.
Listen: Masuoka discusses the future

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:16)


The new director Mark Masuoka came to Akron just as the Knight Foundation awarded the museum a $750,000 grant. He says that will help them look at programming in the future. But the foundation also wants them to rethink the very role of the museum. 

“Museums have finally come to realize if they don’t really make the case to the people who live in the community about what the role of that museum is in the community and how is it making their lives better and how is it contributing to the quality of life of everyone who lives and visits the museum then the question of relevancy comes up fairly quickly."

Flash mob 
Masuoka talks about expanding the role of the museum to beyond the walls.

“When does art museum meets flash mob? And we have’ll have such great communication with our members that we can get hundreds of people to show up at a pre-existing activity on behalf of the art museum. Really show to the community the support we already have.” 

The Honolulu native doesn’t have the curatorial background that most directors have. Masuoka began as a sculptor and then a gallery owner. His interest is contemporary art, which he says best reflects our current culture. And like a gallery owner,  he enjoys working with artists to develop and implement projects, even outside the museum.

“I love the idea that you can take this relationship you have with an artist from beginning to end. 

To help market that artist?

“I think it can be seen as that. Getting the word out is definitely part of the process for the museum. It’s based on communication but it’s also sharing our excitement about the artist.”  

The next big thing
Art museums generally attract the most visitors with the hits – well known artists, even if their works are not clearly understood. Akron’s collection ranges from 1850 to present day but Masuoka would like the Akron Art Museum to work with what’s on the cutting edge.  

“Isn’t it for us as an art museum to be on that leading edge and not only reflect what’s happening now but reflect what’s going to happen in the future? Offering people something maybe before it becomes the next hot thing.”

Please touch 
Masuoka is concerned that people are intimidated about walking into museums with their hushed atmosphere and signs telling you what you are forbidden from doing. 

“There is no wrong way to walk into an art museum.”

One change he’s considering is allowing people to snap phone photos. On a grander scale, Masuoka would like to meet with all the regional art museum directors and talk about what they do for the state. 

One activity citizens can weigh in on is the museum’s new Rogers sculpture garden, which is just entering the planning stages. 


Related WKSU Stories

Craft beer and local food at Akron's "Art and Ales"
Friday, April 5, 2013

Akron Art Museum sculpture garden planned
Friday, December 21, 2012

Akron Art Museum director says he's leaving on a high note
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

Third-grade charter school students fail state testing
A partisan anti-charter group came out with analysis that ODE says is based on incorrect data. So why is this a story? It doesn't seem to rise to WKSU's typic...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University