ArtsNow Patron Spotlight: Christel Silas

Art audiences, supporters, and patrons are all vital to a healthy arts and culture sector. This blog series will highlight some of the people who make the arts work in Summit County. Today we hear from Christel Silas. (Have somebody you want to nominate for the spotlight? Reach out to

You recently purchased your first piece by Akron artist Miyah Greenwood. What made you want to take it home with you?

I attended the opening reception of Emerge at the Mustard Seed Market to support a close friend’s daughter. I had no intention of purchasing art that night but all the stars aligned and I had to have it. I couldn’t stop going back to Miyah’s one particular piece. I liked the lines, how something could be simple yet complex. I was excited thinking about where it might hang in my home. Until that moment, I had never looked at a piece of art and thought I had to have it. I purchased it with the excitement of hanging it in my new home with the added benefit of supporting an artist and local art in general. It was a really good feeling.

What is your earliest memory of arts, culture, or environment and how did it impact you?

My earliest memory of art comes by way of my mother. She used to paint and write poetry. When I was younger, she would enter her artwork into museum exhibits and my sister and I would tag along with her. I remember her painting late at night – the smell of paint and 70’s music is very familiar and nostalgic for me. Once when I was in elementary school, she brought her favorite pieces to my art class for parent’s career day. It was a nerve-wracking time for me wondering what the other kids would think about this abstract art. After hearing my art teacher discuss the paintings and asking my mom questions, I realized it didn’t matter what others thought because it’s hers. It’s something she made, something she owns and it’s what she felt.  That is most likely the first time I understood that art is subjective. I have high regard for artists and musicians being bold enough to express themselves to the world.

You are one of the busiest people we know in Summit County. What are some of your favorite “can’t miss” arts/culture/environment experiences?

I’m truly not that busy. I make time to support a lot of local events that interest me. I do not like hearing “there’s nothing to do in Akron.” That is definitely a myth. Anyone who says that can hang out with me and try to attend 3 or 4 events in one day. My absolute favorites are Pechakucha Akron, Porchrokr in Highland Square, Operation Orange at the Akron Canton Foodbank, the Akron Marathon, Big Love (please come back), the Rubberducks games, the downtown ArtWalk, Elevate Akron Yoga at Lock 3 and any of the outdoor concerts that happen throughout the summer in neighborhood parks.