Kent State Alumni and Faculty Artwork Chosen for Summa’s New Patient Tower in Akron

Alumna Diana Al-Hadid in front of her artwork installed at Summa Health Systems
Twelve Kent State University School of Art alumni and one faculty member have been selected for acquisitions and commissions for the art collection located at Summa Health System’s new patient tower in Akron.  According to Summa’s website, the new patient tower on the Summa Health System - Akron Campus embraces Summa's commitment to promoting a healthcare environment that surrounds and connects patients, visitors and staff with the healing powers of the arts.  The building has over 50 artworks displayed throughout, created by 41 different artists, all with connections to Northeast Ohio. 

Kent State alumni included in the newly-established collection are: Diana Al-Hadid, Don Drumm, Scott Goss, Diane Pribojan, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Tara Lynn, Marianne Hite, Ibojka Maria Friedman, Nancy Seibert, Ned Seibert, Stephen Tornero and Meaghan Reed. Taryn McMahon, Assistant Professor of Print Media, created a commissioned piece titled “Shadows.” The artwork is made up of three glass panels that separate a heavily trafficked zone from a lobby area.  The images, which are based on photos taken of plant life located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, are created by digitally printing ceramic frit onto the surface of the glass. McMahon purposely chose to print on glass, since its translucence permits natural light from lobby windows to penetrate deep into interior spaces.

Alumna Diana Al-Hadid was awarded a commission for the main lobby of the new building via a juried competition open to artists with an Ohio connection.  Al-Hadid, who grew up in Canton, was inspired by the opportunity to celebrate the natural and man-made environments of Akron.  The commission artwork, a large, mixed-media 3-D “painting” called “A Way with Words” is based on a photo she took in Lock 3, a section of the Ohio and Erie Canalway, located in the heart of Akron’s downtown. Read more about her process and watch a video interview with the artist on Summa’s website.

Don Drumm, Kent State alumnus and an icon of the Akron art community, has three artworks located throughout the campus.  His large-scale metal sculptures, including one that is two stories high, can be found in the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Center for Breast Health and in the Jean and Milton Cooper Pavilion in ground floor lobby.  

There will be a community grand opening celebration on Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Learn more about the collection and the artists on their website.

Images: Diana Al-Hadid speaking about her recent installation at Summa Health System's new patient tower (video still, top), (image right) From left: Cliff Deveny, M.D., Diana Al-Hadid and David Custodio, M.D., during Al-Hadid's art installation in the new tower on the Summa Health System — Akron Campus.