Arts & Culture Patron: Arnold Tunstall

Arnold Tunstall worked for the Akron Art Museum in various curatorial positions beginning in 1985 and served as the Collections Manager and Registrar from 1994 to 2016, prior to becoming Director of University Galleries at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. Select museum projects included curating exhibitions (Proof, Danny Lyons’ Bikeriders), managing a national tour of the work of sculptor El Anatsui, and managing a multi-year project to digitize the museum collection and to make it available online. Arnold is also on the board of directors of SPACES in Cleveland and the Akron Soul Train.

He earned his B.F.A. from The University of Akron, majoring in Graphic Design and Photography, and his M.F.A. in Photography from Ohio University. Arnold has also taught as an adjunct professor at The University of Akron, in the Myers School of Art, preceding his current work with the Arts Administration graduate program. Arnold is active throughout the northeast Ohio region with curatorial projects and continues to create and exhibit his own artwork.

Have you ever volunteered or contributed to local arts and cultural organizations in Summit County? If yes, how?

Well…I would say since my career has been in arts organizations, that itself has been a deep contribution. Additionally, choosing the local arts organizations I’ve volunteered for has been especially fulfilling. In the past I’ve served as juror, curator, board member, panelist, teacher, and other roles I am sure I am forgetting!

Describe a work of art or cultural experience that deeply resonated with you and why it had such a powerful effect.

A recent piece that had a strong effect on me was the performance of “Aftermath” by choreographer Dominic Moore-Dunson at the CATAC theater space in 2023–it is an incredibly powerful work. The combined talent of Moore-Dunson, with musicians Chris Coles and Floco Torres, created a work that speaks to the most difficult divisions in our society and intense grief and pain–a difficult but necessary thing to witness.

How do you think exposure to arts and culture at a young age can shape a person’s development and worldview?

Exposure to arts and culture at all ages is critical to a full life. That said, exposure at a young age will introduce empathy and a curiosity in young audiences that can make for a lifelong desire to seek out arts and culture which will often result in an open mind and heart.