JWT Action and UA artists unveil 'The Shopper Dreams'


The public is invited to visit the downtown Akron offices of JWT Action, 388 S. Main St., Suite 410, at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, to watch as artist Mark Soppeland and students from The University of Akron's Mary Schiller Myers School of Art put the finishing touches on "The Shopper Dreams," an art installation commissioned by the advertising agency for its Akron headquarters.

One of more than 100 collages created during the past year for "The Shopper Dreams."

Spanning more than a year in production, "The Shopper Dreams" is a 30' by 12' unified installation of more than 100 individual collages produced by art students at the Myers School of Art at The University of Akron, students in Junior Leadership Akron, and community residents who attended workshops at the Akron Area Arts Alliance's Summit Artspace under the direction of Soppeland, a UA distinguished professor of art.  

"As a company, we are committed to creativity and innovation in all that we do," said Fred Bidwell, executive chairman of JWT Action. "That's why we are excited about our collaboration with the students of the Myers School of Art to create art that expresses our mission through our office environment."

Art reflects inner mind

Soppeland explains that each collaged artwork could be seen as a psychological portrait of a single shopper: their conscience and unconscious, passions and desires, the dichotomy between the logical and emotional. When viewed as a whole, says Soppeland, the installation can also be seen as the reflection of the many yearnings and moods of a single shopper.

Throughout the artwork are discarded shopping lists produced by a remarkable cross-section of people: an 8-year-old child's recorded desire to find Harry Potter trading cards, a family list divided between the needs of several generations, and an inventory mixing brand name products with generic categories.    

"The Shopper Dreams” is unified by the use of a collage variant of the technique of hinterglasmalerei, or reverse painting on glass. The technique was used in many 19th-century advertising products that incorporated the use of typography, icons and symbols with foils, glitter and mirrors.  The visual effect creates an interactive illusion: images that shift and change as the viewer moves.

JWT Action is the largest advertising agency in Ohio and one of the leading innovators in Shopper Marketing strategies for major national brands. For more information, contact Ellen Wise at 330-376-6148.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or cyndee@uakron.edu.