Summit Artspace invites local BIPOC+ (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists to apply for a funded solo exhibition. Through a blind juried process, one artist will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to support the creation of a solo exhibition in Summit Artspace’s Horizon Gallery. The organizational goal behind this exhibition is to actively undo systems of oppression and domination present in the art world. Summit Artspace is interested in the many ways in which BIPOC+ artists impact our communities through their art

The exhibition is dedicated to– but is not limited to – uncovering the following themes:

  • Exploring and advancing meaningful BIPOC+ narratives
  •  Re-contextualizing traditionally white-dominated genres to give new meanings
  • Restoring hope by envisioning a world where social justice has taken hold
  • Building support for social change, equity, and inclusion
  • Exposing and denouncing injustices to marginalized communities
  • Investigating new ideas and genres to transform viewer perceptions

Eligible artists will be Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color; they will live in Summit County, or surrounding counties and express an interest of making an impact through their artwork. All types of visual artists are welcome to apply for this opportunity.

The exhibition is funded in part through general operating support from Ohio Arts Council, Akron Community Foundation, and GAR Foundation

Important Dates:  

  • Application Deadline: November 20, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.  
  • Notification of Acceptance: December 15, 2023  
  • Public Announcement: January 2023  
  • Exhibition: April 5 – June 15, 202

Darius Steward & Gwen Waight

Darius Steward (1984) is an American Artist from East Cleveland, Ohio. Outliving the neighborhood, he grew up in, Steward is one of a select few whose determination got him out of the zip code. Completing his undergrad at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2008 and his MFA at the University of Delaware in 2010 he recognized the importance of education and mentorship, investing himself and his creative process in the future of humanity. Symbolically and literally, he addresses cultural and societal conflicts and opens conversation across racial, socioeconomic, gender and cultural lines. 

Steward also serves as the Program Manager for the Cleveland Museum of Art in their Education Department for “Currently under Curation.” He recruits and mentors inner city youth across interdisciplinary arts fields. Teaching them the art of curation in addition to numerous professional skills with the intended purpose of increased college application and attendance.  

Gwen Waight is an artist living and working in Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I have resided and worked in Ohio for 19 years. I received my degree from the University of Iowa in sculpture and worked in my dad’s ceramic studio for ten years. It was in my father’s studio that I learned my appreciation of three-dimensional space. It was also my dad’s non-sentimental nature of tossing/ burning all things deemed unnecessary clutter that rooted my deep need to covet and collect almost everything. I studied ceramics in college and love, really, all things clay, thus also why I have an awesome collection of cups, mugs and unomi. I however never felt like clay was the medium by which I wanted to express myself. With found objects and assemblage I truly discovered my voice. The objects I lean towards always seem to have lived and have a story to tell….some objects are complete memories for me and just as a writer will string words together to create a work I assemble objects to create my art. I love the fact that like words, smells and colors; objects hold meaning and memories. The wonderful thing is that sometimes the viewer has similar or completely different ones than my own. I feel that found object assemblage is just like painting in 3D or perhaps, collaging. For me, it is a better process because I don’t start with a blank canvas and I get to move my objects around without having to “paint” over something I don’t like or have to wait for paint to dry. Often in my studio I will have three or four different pieces going at the same time. I start sometimes with an idea first and search for the objects that are going to express that idea or I start with an object or several objects that shout so loudly that they need to be together.


Click here to submit!


January 12 – March 16, 2024
Betty and Howard Taylor Main Gallery
140 E. Market St | Akron, Ohio

Take your art in new directions using a FRESH perspective in the 20th Annual FRESH Juried Exhibition. Art accepted as part of this annual exhibition must be innovative and challenging to both the viewer and the artist. Accepted artists will have pushed the boundaries of what art can be– stylistically, conceptually, or technically– and will challenge the viewer to see the world through a new lens. Accepted work will feature non-traditional material, conceptual thinking and demonstrate a high level of technical skill. Artwork must have been created since January 1, 2023 and not previously displayed in Summit Artspace.

Juror: Pita Brooks, Executive Director of Akron Soul Train
Deadline for Entry:  December 1, 2023, 11:59 p.m.
Entry Fee: $15 (2 entries allowed for $15) If the $15 entry fee is a barrier, or if it would prevent any artist from entering, please reach out to for free or discounted entry.  
Notification of Acceptance: December 22, 2023
Drop Off: January 2, 2024 at 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Media: All media
Opening: Friday, January 12, 2024, 5 – 8 p.m.
Awards: 1st place: $200, 2nd place $150, and 3rd place $100 and honorable mentions.
Pick up: March 18, 2024 at 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Eligibility: The exhibition is open to artists who live, work, or attend school in Summit and surrounding counties.

Click here to submit!

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