Release Date: Friday, October 29th 2010
First Night® Akron Unveils Button Art for New Year’s Eve Celebration
Button Art Created by Local Artist María Alejandra Zanetta Symbolizes Hope and Determination
Downtown Akron Partnership is pleased to unveil the First Night Akron 2011 artwork that thousands of revelers will wear as their admission button to the event on New Year’s Eve.
The First Night Akron 2011 button artist, chosen by a committee of previous button artists, is María Alejandra Zanetta, a professor at The University of Akron. Zanetta, who was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and now lives in West Akron, teaches courses in Hispanic literature, language and culture as well as graduate seminars that focus on the interrelations between the different manifestations of Spanish culture.
Celebration of the Button Art Unveiling and Button Artist Reception
Past button artists will join Zanetta to celebrate 15 Years of creative First Night button art during the Artwalk in Downtown. Zanetta’s original First Night 2011 button art, as well as the button art from the past 14 years will be on display at the First Night Button Artist Reception at Summit Artspace on Saturday, November 6, 7-8 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the local artists who’ve designed First Night buttons through the years. The event is open to 15 Year Celebration button holders. These admission buttons can be purchased for $15 at Summit Artspace the evening of the event. 15 Year Celebration admission buttons may also be purchased online at www.firstnightakron.org and at a variety of locations throughout the community. These admission buttons also give entry to a total of 15 arts and culture events in the community, including First Night, through April 2011.
Story Behind The Button
The button art reflects the feelings people often have on the last day of the year. “We ponder the past year and promise to ourselves that this brand new year will be better, and that we will make time to nurture the dreams that are always overwhelmed by our ‘to do list,’” Zanetta stated.
Zannetta, who credits artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and André Derain as artistic influences, has always been interested in experimenting with different textures and mediums. Her love of color and texture can be seen in the many elements of her First Night Akron button art. The main character symbolizes hope and determination. “The color green, closely associated with nature and the process of renewal that occurs every spring after a long winter, points to the desire to grow individually and as a community embarking on the same goal – to leave this world in better shape than we found it,” Zanetta stated about the color of the woman in the artwork.
The star in the upper left corner of the button evokes the idea of new beginnings and hope. The number “15” in its interior honors the 15th Year of First Night Akron. The peace symbol on the character’s “New Year’s Resolution List” points to the desire to find inner peace and make decisions that help transform the world around us in 2011. The musical notes encourage us to nurture our creative side. The heart stands for openness, understanding and compassion toward oneself and others, and the flowers symbolize respect and love for nature.
Zanetta studied Fine Arts at the National School for the Arts “Prilidiano Pueyrredón” in Buenos Aires and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. She moved to the United States to pursue doctorate studies in comparative literature and art at The Ohio State University, where she focused on interdisciplinary studies and the relationship between painting and literature. She has been a professor at The University of Akron since 1995. Her work is on display at Summit Artspace in the exhibition Making Visible through Saturday, November 6.
About First Night Akron
Downtown Akron’s family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts is celebrating its 15th Year! First Night admission buttons give access to 13 venues filled with more than 90 music, dance, theater, interactive and visual art performances and projects for all ages! For a complete schedule of events, visit www.firstnightakron.org.
First Night Akron 2011 admission buttons are $10 and children under 10 are admitted free when accompanied by a button-wearing adult. Buttons go on sale Friday, November 26 at Acme Fresh Markets, participating FirstMerit Bank branches, Actors’ Summit Theater, Akron Beacon Journal Customer Service Desk, Borders Books & Music at Chapel Hill, Carolyn’s Cupboard in Wadsworth, The Library Shop on Main, Lock 3 and Stage Left Boutique at the Akron Civic Theatre. Buttons may also be purchased online at www.firstnightakron.org.
First Night Akron is a program of the Downtown Akron Partnership. Founding partners are the City of Akron and the Akron Beacon Journal.