top of page

Akron Soul Train is an artist residency program connecting and empowering the community and artists by granting residencies that provide resources for all creative disciplines to foster a more vibrant downtown Akron.

2024 Artists in Residence Announced! 

Akron Soul Train is thrilled to reveal the talented cohort of artists selected for its 2024 Artist Residency program. Now in its eighth year, the residency program will take place at the Akron Soul Train Gallery, situated at 191 S. Main Street, Akron, OH 44308, spanning from January to December 2024.


Matt Kurtz, Wind Piano, sculpture

Matthew B. Kurtz Rolls Out Prelude Exhibit Before Total Solar Eclipse Performance


Drumroll for a Total Eclipse: A Preliminary Exhibition

The exhibit is free and open to the public from February 21 - March 23, 2024, in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery.

Opening Reception is February 22, 2024, from 5:00 - 7:30 pm


Performance artist Matthew B. Kurtz presents “Drumroll for a Total Eclipse: A Preliminary Exhibition,” a prelude to his upcoming live performance with this year’s solar eclipse. Kurtz’s work fuses place, nature, sound, rhythm, and movement to question the mystery of existence. With humor, curiosity, and in tandem with his surroundings, “Drumroll” explores the process of trying to understand wonder.


For his upcoming performance on April 8, 2024, Kurtz will invite an audience to celebrate the total eclipse. Collaborating with the cosmos, he will perform a drumroll before “totality” passes over Northeast Ohio and creates the natural phenomenon known as “the blackout.”


“When I engage with a site for an art piece, I consider its history, recontextualize its objects, and insert my identity through intuitive gestures. I was raised to believe that humans are supposed to connect the lines between their innate feelings and the unknown. Making art is [my] attempt to reclaim this existential directive. These experiences are documented so outside viewers can participate in my examination of ambiguities, systems, and the sublime.” — Matthew B. Kurtz

About the artist Matthew B. Kurtz:

Matt Kurtz is an artist based in Akron, Ohio. His self-mythologizing artwork uses found objects, performance, and video documentation to reclaim identity in the ruins of industry and faith. Recent shows include a dual exhibition at Summit Art Space and an MFA thesis installation at Kent State University. His artwork strives to interact with the viewer through sound performance and site-specific observation. 

Emerging Sculptor Thomas Smith’s Exhibit “SUBARIUM II reprise” Explores the Illusion of Permanence

The exhibit is free and open to the public from February 21 - March 23, 2024, in the CapSOUL Gallery.

Opening Reception is February 22, 2024, from 5:00 - 7:30 pm


In “SUBARIUM II reprise,” Thomas Smith combines materials from big box stores with contained terrariums to generate a sense of security and quality. However, upon second look, the viewer may see past the façade of what may look safe to what is substandard. Perhaps it is even denying growth and positive change. Smith’s sculptures dare to ask questions about survival, public image, and the landscape of today.


“Akin to an ecosystem enclosed in a terrarium, my sculptures depict a vibrant but, ultimately, unsustainable artificial environment. As plants within the terrarium grow, competition for space intensifies, turning the once-comfortable space into a struggle for survival. The metaphor extends to suburban America, where curated living conditions prioritize aesthetics over functionality, reflecting an impermanent American Dream.”

— Thomas Smith


About the artist Thomas Smith: 

Thomas Smith is a Cleveland-based artist. He received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2023. His living sculptural works critique Midwestern suburbia through their use of cheap materials and faux finishing. His interest and subject is personally derived from his own experience of the 2008 housing crisis. 

Thomas Smith, (ECO-6)-SP1, 2023, pink foam and cedar wood
bottom of page