Gertrude Seiberling's paintings are alive and well on the grounds of Akron's Stan Hywet Hall.

The late wife of Akron tire baron Frank (F.A.) Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire, was an accomplished artist in her own right and many of her paintings depicted the estate and grounds — now a museum — where the family called home starting in 1915.

Many of her works are now on display inside of the manor home as part of this year's "Lasting Impressions" exhibit.

Northeast Ohio artists were then challenged to create 15 unique metal sculptures incorporating the paintings that would be put on display outside of the home and in the middle of its gardens.

Akron artist Megan Louise Shane created three of the works that are part of the "Fused: Garden Gallery of Art & Metal" exhibit that opens Saturday and is included with admission to the historic estate.

Shane said it was tough choosing just which one of Gertrude's pictures to work with.

The only rule for the artists was that two of their three works had to draw inspiration from the paintings found inside of the comfy confines of the sprawling home.

A weatherized aluminum reproduction of Gertrude's artwork had to be directly incorporated in the newly created artwork within an artwork.

One of Shane's works is situated in the estate's Elliptical Garden and uses Gertrude's autumn woods painting.

Shane chose to use 18 pieces of stainless steel that she cut and painted to look like the foliage of two trees that frame Gertrude's painting that is situated in the middle of two sturdy looking tree trunks made of mild steel.

"She had a wide range of beautiful paintings," the artist said. "But this particular one makes you just want to walk through her painted trees into the wild."

All of the metal artworks on display are actually for sale. Shane's "Wildwood Ingress" work is $5,400 or best offer.

One of her other pieces incorporates stained glass that is fused into the steel in a nod to Stan Hywet's iconic windows and a third called "Wild Tree Flower Wind Chime" hangs from a tree made of stainless steel near the estate's Corbin Conservatory.

Other artists whose works are part of the display include Mike Ensminger of Elyri and Kim Thomas of Seville.

Six more of the works are by Stan Hywet worker and artist Joe Ott, whose handy work can be found throughout the grounds from the popular children's ant slide to the holiday displays at Christmas time, including the larger than life gingerbread men.

One of his pieces on the West Overlook outside of the estate's music room is a nod to Gertrude's love of music and incorporates steel sheet music and musical notes with rose vines climbing around it.

Working at the estate has its advantages so when they were trimming the trees that frame the estate's famed Birch Tree Allee, he set aside some of the bigger limbs he then used to incorporate in his artwork "Walk Down the Allee."

And if you look closely at his work titled "A Gift of Thistle" not far from the Carriage House along the walkway to the estate, one might notice that the base of the towering flowering thistle — a nod to his Scottish roots — looks a bit like an old propane tank.

"I needed something with a round shape and that's what I had in the garage," he said with a laugh.

Sean M. Joyce, the site's president and executive director, said they are always looking for ways to collaborate with area artists and this exhibit was a perfect fit.

"We tried not to put any restraints on the artists," he said. "We wanted to get the best out of the artists."

The beauty of this particular exhibit that runs through Oct. 1 is that many of the works incorporate not only Gertrude's art but also the estate's lush gardens.

"As the garden grows around some of these pieces, it will be spectacular," Joyce said.

 

Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.