The 43rd Akron Arts Expo highlights beauty

Akron Arts Expo
This artwork is by collage artist Deborah Shapiro, who paints her pieces with intricate bits of torn magazine pages. She won the 2021 Best in Show prize at the Akron Arts Expo.

By Patricia Nugent

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but if you can’t experience the power of art firsthand, how can you know what you perceive is beautiful? Access is everything.

The 43rd Akron Arts Expo allows you to immerse yourself in authentic art, meet and chat with the artists who created it, do a little shopping, and even bring your children to play Picasso and paint on a wood panel themselves.

“In an open-air market at Hardesty Park, we bring together more than 100 fine artists from Akron, the Midwest and across the country,” says Artist Coordinator Penny Bomba. “Whether you are shopping for $10 handmade notecards, a $20 pendant, a $50 artisan-crafted ceramic serving bowl, or spectacular wall art priced at over $1,000, you’ll find it here. Our artists represent every medium, from pottery and drawings to fiber art, metalwork, different styles of paintings and multimedia pieces.”

Set for Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, the juried fine arts and crafts show kicks off with the Taste of Akron on the evening of Thursday, July 21. Look for a bevy of the city’s hottest food trucks and restaurants to serve up delish dishes.

What’s new this year?

Penny reports they are boosting the Children’s Area by partnering with several local organizations.

“We are thrilled to have kids create their own artwork by painting on wood panels,” she adds. “The finished pieces will be displayed at community centers throughout the city.”

Also new this year, along with the Akron Children’s Museum, the Expo is hosting a photo contest for children. The subject is “what you love about Akron,” and photos can be submitted online throughout the month of June.

Live musical groups and festival food and drinks complete the enticing ensemble.

The 43rd Annual Akron Arts Expo, held at Hardesty Park, located at 1615 W. Market Street, in Akron, takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24. Hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is put on by the City of Akron Recreation & Parks. For more information and a list of artists, visit