Longtime arts/artists advocate and peace activist, Betty Taylor, died on April 10, 2017. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of Thanks, Betty! This One’s for You, an exhibit of artwork by artists who had a connection to Betty alongside a display of Betty’s own work, some dating back to the late 1930s.
gallery view – artists’ work
gallery view – work by Betty Taylor
left to right: ink drawing and watercolors, Central High School, Akron, Ohio c. 1939/1940; gallery design drawings, University of Akron; various prints, Central High School
Read about the tribute exhibition in this cleveland.com article along with the following excerpt from the press release:
“Summit Artspace is proud to honor this champion for the arts and local artists with a tribute exhibition. Betty was a unique individual. She loved the arts and wanted to make sure there was a support network to nurture artists and also to give the community ways to appreciate the talent that resides here,” said Kamelia Fisher, executive director of Summit Artspace and a co-curator of the exhibit.
Artist Joan Colbert, a long-time friend of Taylor, is also curating the show. “In 1978 there were few venues or opportunities for area artists to connect with the public. Betty felt that was something she and the newly-formed Artists of Rubber City could change. For nearly four decades that remained the mission. Throughout years of only incremental progress Betty’s enthusiasm seldom waned. Her persistence and encouragement are evidenced in the existence of both Summit Artspace and The BOX Gallery,” Colbert explained.
Taylor passed away at 93 years old in April of this year. Her connection, vision and persistence are linked to Summit Artspace’s history and success. Her dream for a gallery for all local artists was realized when she helped found Summit Artspace in 2002.
She was also one of the original members of Artists of Rubber City, founded in 1978, and the Alliance for the Visual Arts, founded in 2001. Artists of Rubber City remains housed in Summit Artspace and operates The BOX Gallery and The Small BOX Gallery. AVA hosts the highly- anticipated annual Kaleidoscope show which draws work from AORC, Cuyahoga Valley Art Center and historic Akron art organizations, the Women’s Art League of Akron and Akron Society of Artists.
Taylor and her late husband, Howard, were honored with the “Arts Alive!” Volunteer Award by the Akron Area Arts Alliance (now Summit Artspace) in 2003. She had degrees in Biology and Sculpture and a certification in Interior Design, all from The University of Akron.