Gift Akron Soul Train

Akron Soul Train Has Gifts For Artist Saturday and Beyond
The artist residency program features a gift shop with work from local artist will offer various shopping opportunities between now and the holidays.

By Erin Farmer

Pita Brooks is the executive director of Akron Soul Train and a practicing artist. Photo courtesy of Pita Brooks via LinkedIn.

Anyone looking to gift a one-of-a-kind artistic gem, can find plenty of options at Akron Soul Train, an artist residency program located in downtown Akron. 

Run by executive director, Pita Brooks,  Akron Soul Train (AST) awards 12-15 artists with residencies each year. Artists spend about a month in residency and receive $1,000 and resources to complete a project they propose in their application.

According to its website, "Akron Soul Train was founded in 2016 with the vision of creating a supportive and inclusive space for artists to grow, connect, and engage with the local community. Inspired by the rich history of Akron as an industrial powerhouse and the diverse voices that shape our city, we sought to establish a platform that would celebrate and amplify artistic expression."


As an artist residency, Akron Soul Train is a non-collecting agency, where the art never stays longer than eight weeks.


“We are always changing shows," Brooks said. "We are only a presenting institution, meaning we are presenting work and about every eight weeks we have a new show come up.” 

With shows swapping in and out quickly, Akron art enthusiasts can always see something new.

“And because we are selecting artists from different styles and mediums; visual, literary, performing, you never know what kind of artwork is gonna be in this space.”

Akron Soul Train is also the home of a gift shop filled with art, jewelry, trinkets, watches, and more. Akronites interested in encouraging the art community in Akron will find it to be the perfect spot for shopping and making a difference this holiday season.


This Artists Sunday, Brooks hopes to see everyone walk through the gift shop's doors.


“We are going to be part of artist Sunday, which is the Sunday after Thanksgiving," Brooks said. "Everybody knows Black Friday, everybody knows Small Business Saturday, well Sunday is now Artist Sunday," she said.

Artist Sunday isn't just an Akron-based day. The day is emerging as the next big holiday shopping day where communities come together and support their artists.

In addition to their typical shop offerings, AST has invited community-based and regional vendors to sell handmade gifts at their Artists Sunday at Akron Soul Train Event on Nov. 26 from noon to 5 p.m. at their location at 191 S Main St. in Akron.

On Friday, Dec. 1, AST's gift shop will be open late again for another shopping event.  Artisan Treasures: Unwind With Unique Finds will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"We will be doing some late last minute shopping evenings," Brooks said. 

The complete schedule of shopping events hasn't been released yet, but the business anticipates that it will be in the near future. For announcements about happenings in the gallery, visit them on Facebook or at their

Another unique part of Akron Soul Train is that its executive director is currently a practicing artist. 


“So I am a practicing artist, I am a multi-media or mixed media artist, I work with Encaustic painting, I like sculpture, and im starting to get more into digital and audio work," Brooks said. 

Brooks finds that staying active as an artist makes it easier to connect with and support the the artists in residence.

“I do have a special place in my heart for art,” she said.

Those who find the Akron Soul Train mission resonates with them or someone they are seeking a gift for can purchase an AST membership. Member benefits include a Member's Show, a shop discount, member's only events and at higher membership levels a 10% discount on artwork and free tickets to speical events.

Visit the Akron Soul Train residency at 191 S Main St. in Akron on Artists Sunday, or visit their website,, to learn more.

(left middle and bottom) Images of Akron Soul Train's gift shop and gallery space. Photos by Erin Farmer.

To reach content author Erin Farmer,  email her here.

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