UA alumnus’ public art will reflect people, places and events of the region



In June, the Akron-Canton Airport revealed the winning artist and design for an iconic centerpiece in its atrium for the traveling public to enjoy, and it was none other than Lenny Spengler, local artist, UA alumnus and special lecturer at UA. Born and raised in Akron, Spengler will lead the effort to preserve and advance the area’s diverse culture and creative community through this public art piece.

Since graduating from UA in 1996 with a BFA in Graphic Design, Spengler has worked at various area agencies. In 2014, began his own design agency, Where's Squiggy Creative, and a metalsmithing company, Studio Lené. He has also been teaching various design courses at the Myers School of Art since 2017.

“I love helping students learn the basics of art and design and am thrilled to see them flourish as artists,” Spengler remarked. “I'm helping to teach a whole new generation of artists that are adorning our communities with their creativity. That makes me very proud.”

The commissioned art depicts a tree full of history and culture spanning the full size of the airport’s terminal atrium.


This artist rendering and the one above illustrate Lenny Spengler's vision for the finished project.

“A tree rooted in the Akron-Canton area can attribute its flourishing to the diverse collection of people, places and events that have shaped it,” said Spengler when CAK announced his winning design. “The people who have helped establish it as a city, the places that have helped define its purpose, and the events that have helped illustrate its image, are all leaves on the tree.“

With this piece, it is hoped travelers will enjoy a visual reprieve; a feeling of home for returning travelers and a sense of discovery for visitors.

More than 25 artist submissions were reviewed by a panel of representatives from Arts Now, ArtsInStark and CAK. Other parties involved in the creation include Spengler, SOL Harris Day Architecture, The Knoch Corporation and Youngstown Tile and Terrazzo Company.

“The Akron Canton Airport atrium floor project is a bit of a departure from my normal day-to-day operations,” said Spengler. “However, combining my skills as a graphic designer and a metalsmith seemed to be a good fit for this project. I thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself and contribute to the beauty of a community landmark by creating artwork that will be lasting and seen by countless people from all over the world.”

The project is anticipated to be complete by November 2020.

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Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or