Dorothy Shinn

A more valuable Akron Arts Prize begins Saturday and runs through Oct. 1.

With art works on display in Summit Artspace during that time, popular and jury votes will determine who wins increased prizes amounting to $16,000. Sponsored by the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and coordinated by Downtown Akron Partnership, the Akron Art Prize features works by more than 200 artists in a variety of media.

All entries are displayed in Summit Artspace (140 E. Market St.) and open to viewing from 12 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays throughout the month. Consolidating the exhibit into one venue closes the proximity between artists and voters and will create a different feel for the experience. Voting begins at 5 p.m. Saturday and closes at 8 p.m. Oct. 1.

Prize levels have been restructured with the addition of categories and juried prizes. The overall winner receives $5,000 and the opportunity to display his or her winning entry in the Akron Art Museum for one month after the event.

First place in the two-dimensional category receives $2,000, second place receives $1,000; first place in the three-dimensional category receives $2,000, second place receives $1,000; and an Artists’ Choice Award winner receives $1,000. A juried component with two artists and two civic leaders has been added with four winners receiving $1,000 apiece.

A new opening night reception takes place Saturday outside of Summit Artspace from 5 to 9 p.m. Activities include music by the Dreemers, food trucks and cash bar. Entries will be available for viewing and voting through 10 p.m. in conjunction with the Downtown Akron Artwalk.

A meet-the-artist reception will be held at Summit Artspace from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15. This event provides the public and artists an opportunity to network while enjoying the sounds of DJ Ben Crazy and Kofi Boakye, a crosswalk painting activity with STEM middle school students featuring artist Random Cushing, along with light refreshments.

The fastest and easiest way to vote is with the Akron Art Prize app, available for free through the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. The app provides artist name, entry title, description and artist profile. Voters view entries, curate favorites and cast votes. The app can be downloaded and viewed anywhere, but voting is only allowed within the Akron Art Prize footprint, encouraging guests to attend and experience the art.

Each registered voter, age 16 and older, has up to five votes. Voters who cast all five votes and complete a short survey will unlock a sixth vote and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to the downtown Akron business of their choice. Voting kiosks are available on each floor of Summit Artspace for those without smart phone technology.

The Akron Art Museum is host for the finale reception from 8-10 p.m. Oct. 1. Announcements begin at 9 p.m. Entertainment is provided by DJ Ben Crazy with light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar available. The finale reception is free and open to all.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation provides additional marketing support for Akron Art Prize and presents artists with opportunities for growth through networking, building rapport with galleries and providing tools to promote themselves to patrons. This includes a meet-the-artist reception Sept. 15 that welcomes conversation between artists and the public.

Complete details are at www.akronartprize.org or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/akronartprize. Guests are encouraged to share Art Prize experiences on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook #akronartprize16.

Inside/Out

The Akron Art Museum launches its newest Inside|Out site Thursday at the museum, 1 S. High St. A docent-led gallery tour will start at 6 p.m. to provide more information about the Inside|Out artwork that is installed in Merriman Valley. Enjoy art activities, exhibitions Snack and Our Land, and music from Downtown@Dusk band Angie Haze Project. Gallery admission is free every Thursday.

RSVP to attend and/or share the Block Party on Facebook.

View the map to all 10 Inside|Out installations in Merriman Valley.

Visit all 40 Inside|Out installations using the Inside|Out tour app (no download needed: it works in your device’s web browser). Community partners in Merriman Valley are Summit Metro Parks and Weathervane Playhouse.

Family yoga

Parent-Child Yoga in the Garden (two sessions) from 11:15 a.m. to noon and 1 to 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

Best suited for infants to age 5.

Little ones learn best through intuitive, open-ended play that feeds their senses. Follow your child’s natural instinct to wiggle, squeal and make a mess while exploring the creative process. Stretch your imagination, meet new friends and create a masterpiece to carry home.

Limber up for tree pose and one-on-one baby-to-caregiver time in the garden space.

The play date involves a 30-minute yoga experience with a related art activity that follows and is limited to 20 participants per session. Instructor is Melissa Cugini of Nirvana Yoga. Cost is $15 (member-child, free).

Register by calling 330-376-9186

Dorothy Shinn writes about art and architecture for the Akron Beacon Journal. Send information to her at the Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640 or dtgshinn@att.net.