Although The Canal Fulton Glassworks opened in 2009, the timber-framed structure that it inhabits was built nearly two centuries ago. Inside, the business has transformed its historic dwelling into a modern-day showcase of Ohio-based artists, with more than 3,000 handmade works on display, from glass and ceramics to furniture and paintings. The gallery also shares its artistic prowess with the community during hands-on classes, including glass-making workshops that focus on paperweights, pendants, and beads.
Founded in 1934, the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center is a self-supporting nonprofit that offers classes led by experienced artists to pupils of any skill level. Aspiring sculptors can jump hands first into the beginning pottery class, which includes a kiln-firing fee and a half block of clay ready to be deftly shaped into a bowl, mug, or more shapely block of clay. A sketchbook and drawing pencils are bestowed upon all who enter either drawing class, where former tracers will learn the fundamentals of elevating a flat image to realistic three-dimensionality. Classes take place at the center itself, which also contains a first-floor gallery where student and instructor work is proudly displayed–increasing your changes of being romanced by every sexy art thief in the greater Akron area. Check out a complete description of classes before registering.
Located in the FirstEnergy Powerhouse, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium houses 10 different galleries and 35 tanks with fresh- and saltwater creatures ranging from local trout to sand tiger sharks and piranhas. Regional exhibits demonstrate the native life of Ohio's lakes and rivers with catfish and bass, exotic freshwater landscapes with an interactive African tortoise exhibit, and coastal waterways with octopus and jellyfish.
In the Coastal gallery, visitors can engage another sense at the 11,000-gallon touch pool, where crustaceans and three species of stingrays line up for a kick line at the first sight of an audience. In the main Shark gallery, visitors can immerse themselves in the aquatic environment as they gaze through the transparent ceiling and walls of the 150-foot underwater SeaTube as stingrays, colorful fish, and more than 4 species of sharks swim overhead.
An accredited world-conservation zoo, Akron Zoo houses more than 700 animals across 50 acres of exhibits. Visitors can gaze upon african lions, chilean flamingos, and other creatures from across the globe or shake hands with local flora in a garden dedicated to native Ohio plants. The zoo also participates in breeding programs for endangered species, such as jaguars, lemurs, snow leopards, and humboldt penguins, all of which welcome visitors to their zoo homes, as long as you wipe your feet first. Guests who choose the second option can stop and snack on a pepperoni or cheese pizza for added fuel to explore exhibits.
Earning a nod as Best Art Gallery in the Akron-Canton area from Fox 8’s Hot List in 2009 and a nomination for the Wooster 2010 Small Business Award, the custom framers at Gallery in the Vault apply an artist’s eye and an aesthetician’s touch to every project, spiffing up everything from reality-TV-star posters to their specialty, illuminated manuscripts. Employing local artists and visiting talent from around the world, Gallery in the Vault has earned a reputation for framing illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, dating as far back as 1200 AD. Their artisans developed a unique technique to make both sides of the hand-calligraphied pages visible and capable of lively conversation. Print-owners with other framing needs can choose from an array of techniques, materials, and artist accents. Prices vary based on print sizes and customer preferences. For example, the Vault’s technicians can enhance an 11"x14" print of a ferret in a floppy hat with a 17"x20" gold frame ($150), gold fillet molding ($45), and a green cotton mat ($25). Along with the glass front ($22), fitting ($20), and other mounting materials ($10), the project would run about $272.