Friday, October 5, 2007

Stan Hywet breaks new ground with artist hire

They say every castle needs a king .. or for you Lord of the Rings fans, a wizard.

Well .. now the Castle dwellers at Stan Hywet have a wizard of their own .. after hiring P.R. Miller, a man whose business cards dub him the "Grizzled Wizard", as the hall's new Artist-In-Residence.

For those of you unfamiliar with Miller's work, he's the controversial-and-yet-ultra-creative artist who uses recycled materials to make mammoth works of expression. Think giant frogs from a dozen cans of aerosol foam. His works are all over town already, and just like you know a Don Drumm when you see the sunshine, you'll know a P.R. Miller piece when you see one.

Still, for Stan Hywet in all of its splendor and English Tudorness to put its money where its Miller is, it's still a surprise. Actually, it's a pleasant surprise. Miller's certainly one of the most charismatic Akronites you'll ever meet. He doesn't just think and talk outside the box, he's already torn up the box, placed it in a blue bag, then shoved it in a large plastic container for one of Akron's one-armed mechanical trucks to haul away from the Devil Strip.

Somehow I can see an ABJ political cartoon showing recycled aluminum pieces being forged into a statue of John Seiberling, or a giant mound of old tires encompassing Stan Hywet's flower gardens .. but I really think Miller can add some vibrancy to the colors that already elevate the grounds to one of Akron's premier locations.

I saw Miller yesterday at the Ohio Mart Festival (highly recommend it by the way) as he was building an interactive arch of pumpkins. He's excited at the job, which carries a one-year contract as a full-time employee.

Stop and say hi when you see him; trust me, he's never at a loss for words.


sab said...

This is so cool and amazing that I can't believe Stan Hywet of all places has done it. It's so appropriate for a place trying to carry on for the Seiberlings, and so inappropriate for the stuffy folks running Stan Hywet. There's more to artistic life than tulips.

ald said...

I also highly recommend Ohio Mart and three cheers for all the volunteers! I don't know about the people that actually run Stan Hywet. But many (non-stuffy) volunteers give a lot of time and energy to keep Stan Hywet an asset to the community.

sab said...

Sorry ald. Your point is well taken. I used to be a Stan Hywet OhioMart volunteer myself, and a certainly have nothing against the place. I know how hard you all work. I'm not particularly fond of the new landscaping, and I deeply resent the way the new guy is scoring points by criticizing Bill Snyder's work.