The Cleveland Foundation
The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion is an urban-based, community-engaged residency program for international artists created by the Cleveland Foundation. The program consists of two, three-month residencies in Cleveland in the spring and fall each year. Each residency period hosts up to six artists from cultures not well represented currently in Cleveland’s professional arts sector. The host provides the conditions to support new creative work, creative exchange with local artists and for engagement with the Cleveland community – in particular with young people. Host organizations receive a grant from the foundation that covers all major costs of the residency.
MEET PRZEMYSLAW JASIELSKI
The Sculpture Center is hosting our first artist-in-residence, Przemyslaw Jasielski of Poznan, Poland, through the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program. Przemyslaw is working with students and art professor Irina Koukhanova in the sculpture studio of Cleveland State University preparing a new installation, Analog Immigration, that will open at The Galleries at Cleveland State University on October 25 (on view through December 7). Jasielski has also been honored by the Polish Studies of Cleveland State University as the Visiting Polish Scholar and is addressing Polish American groups in northeast Ohio during his residency.
Jasielski, a graduate of Poznan Academy of Fine Arts, Poland (MA Sculpture 1994), creates installations, objects, drawings and photographs combining art with science and technology. His most recent piece, Leviathan, a huge object covered with a coating reactive to touch that emits various sounds and vibrations as a result of interaction with the audience, was commissioned by the Polish Minister of Culture for the Malta Festival Poznan (summer 2013). Other works have been presented at numerous domestic and international exhibitions, including Tokyo Wonder Site (a 2012 residency), Skolska 28 Gallery in Prague,the Czech Republic, Gyeonggi Creation Center in South Korea (a 2010 residency), Lucas Artists Residency in Montalvo, California, USA, Optica Gallery in Montreal, Canada and Le Guern Gallery in Warsaw, Poland.
Przemo says, “In the creative process I approach the work with the attitude of an engineer, adapting the precise planning and scientific research, while focusing on the conceptual content rather than using techniques or materials. Many of these works explore rituals of everyday reality, playing a specific game with the imagination and wisdom of the viewer, with his habits shaped by daily routine of contemporary world and his own presence in it. Most of them are in a close relation to the space and are interactive – the spectator is allowed to play with them or even to change their shape. My works confront, actually present reality with its transformation to allow the viewer to observe it in a new, fresh way. They usually contain a specific, critical sense of humor that is not irony or cynicism, but is in a way serious. They often try to take actions commonly seen as impossible, useless, ineffective or too difficult.”
Jasielski was invited to participate in Transnature Is Here: Art & Science Project (part of the New Situations Program – Malta Festival Poznan 2013) by the Ministry of Culture of Poland, leading to the creation of Leviathan. Przemo says of this work: “The Leviathan project combines the artist’s previous search in the realm of technology and sound with his fascination with the utopian visions of the world dominated by machines. It is an attempt to create an artificial electronic organism showing the features of a living creature. The object is covered with a coating reacting to touch and emits various sounds and vibrations as a result of interaction with the audience. Leviathan contradicts the privileged position of a human being as regards technology and the utilitarian use of the machine. It grants the machine its own subjective identity. This unique object takes up a game with the economics of desire too. Unlike devices and gadgets purchased on a mass scale, which are to improve our lives or provide entertainment, Leviathan remains non-assimilated and in its own way – passive. It is an “alien/other”, a thing coming from a different order of reality, unpredictable and self-controllable.”
Founded in 2010, by four regional institutions (the Cleveland Institute of Art, Edinboro University of PA, the Erie Art Museum, and The Sculpture Center) the mission of SculptureX is three-fold: to bring awareness to the work of college art faculty of the region; to share scarce resources; and to increase student interest and parent awareness of art programs in this region.
Through this partnership, The Sculpture Center has and will continue to serve as a venue for exhibitions of professors and students across the region. In conjunction with the Erie Art Museum, The Sculpture Center has exhibited work of six professors in the region in its exhibition SculptureX: 6 Sculptors of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Guest curated by David Carrier PhD, SculptureX: 6 Sculptors of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania highlights a curated selection of exceptional sculptors and installation artists teaching at the universities and colleges of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
Fall 2011, SculptureX.org will hold a second symposium, The State of the MFA, at The Cleveland Institute of Art on October 15.
Following on the success of the first symposium held in 2010 on The State of Sculpture, which was attended by 145 students, faculty, and artists of Ohio and western Pennsylvania, The State of the MFA will feature keynote speaker Ann Hamilton of Ohio State University. For more information on The State of the MFA and to preregister, visit SculptureX.
In conjunction with The State of the MFA, After The Pedestal for 2011 is exhibiting only the work of graduate students and recent MFA graduates in Ohio, contiguous states (Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia), and Ontario, Canada.
Through the partnership with SculptureX.org, The Sculpture Center facilitates the educational opportunities for sculptors and exhibition opportunities for early career sculptors and installation artists in the region of Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Parade the Circle
Photo courtesy of Downie Photography
Parade the Circle has been sponsored by The Cleveland Museum of Art for the past twenty-five years. Music and art combined as both national and international guests join Greater Cleveland artists and community groups to create spectacular costumes, puppets, masks, and colorful floats. The Parade takes place around Circle Village, which hosts activities, entertainment, and food, all of which is presented by University Circle Inc.
This is the third year that MOCA Cleveland and The Sculpture Center have collaborated by sharing a tent for Parade the Circle. Participants of all ages created their own design with yarn on hand-drawn maps on Foam Core. The maps ranged from areas as big as the state of Ohio down to Wade Oval. The activity let the participants be one of the many artists who created a web of routes on each of the maps. The project was based on exhibitions currently hosted by The Sculpture Center and MOCA Cleveland; these institutions opened their summer exhibitions, After the Pedestal and Tony Lewis: weight, power, pressure, free movement, nomenclature in the days leading up to Parade the Circle.
This project was headed by The Sculpture Center’s Curtorial Intern, Valerie Clark, who acted as parade coordinator. She was assisted by a group of dedicated volunteers: James Barker, Emily Rake, Rebecca Friedberg, Alyson Stock, Natalia Sikombe, Ashley Hendrickson, Hien Tran Nguyen, Dante Foley, and Grace.
FiveOne Experimental Orchestra, “a borderless force of sound,” is a Cleveland-based group of sixteen composers and performers with a ‘no-boundaries’ approach to music. Their vision is to create a diverse stream of fresh, new-perspective musical works and to bring an intriguing meld of genres, styles, and artistic disciplines to usual and unusual spaces. Toward that end, they often position players around or within the audience, blend art music with rock, digital sounds, or world music, and collaborate with other artists to produce innovative multimedia performances.
The heart of FiveOne’s mission is to challenge both traditional and non-traditional concert-goers to participate with open mind, eyes, ears, and hearts in a truly unique musical experience. Their audiences are as diverse as their music; yet, their music speaks to each listener on a personal level. FiveOne is about using the arts to communicate, to foster community, and to create cosmos in a world of chaos.
The Sculpture Center and FiveOne share a mission to facilitate cultural awareness and community enrichment through artistic means. As a not-for-profit arts institution The Sculpture Center seeks to support burgeoning artists who push the boundaries of “sculpture;” FiveOne strives to usher traditional orchestral music out of the conventional concert halls and into the vernacular and to assist and promote early career musicians.
Both organizations depart from the traditional relationship of artist and audience, in which the audience passively observes, as the artist remains aloof and removed. FiveOne performs amid the artwork itself, seamlessly bridging the visual and the aural. Our W2S (Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist series) artists also have the opportunity to have FiveOne compose and perform original music for their exhibitions. By composing pieces in tandem with the sculptures / installations at The Sculpture Center, these musicians provide a sensory dichotomy and a more immersive, and therefore heightened, experience for our audience.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland
The Sculpture Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland ended their partnership in 2013 because of changing priorities at the BGCC.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC), the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), first opened in Cleveland in 1954. Today, BGCC proudly serves over 5,800 children in five free-standing Club sites as well as four school sites in Cleveland. The Boys & Girls Clubs exist to provide children who are most in need a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Through a large and diverse collection of programs, the Clubs work locally to enrich the lives of the youngest members of our community and to enhance their potential to become well-rounded adults of good health and strong character.
The BGCC make a great effort to provide instruction in as many subjects as possible. Exposure to so many diverse topics not only results in greater awareness and understanding as global citizens, but gives students the opportunity to sample disciplines and discover talents and passions that may have otherwise gone untapped. The Sculpture Center holds the complementary opinion that children should be given the opportunity to access and explore methods of self-expression. To that end, The Sculpture Center has facilitated artists’ workshops for the young members of the BGCC since early 2008. The children are also invited to attend openings and to tour exhibitions both during installation to meet the artist at work and after completion. Since 2010, The Sculpture Center has been partnering with the BGCC to administer a program with artist Elizabeth Emery to teach sculpture classes in the BGCC’s after school programs in certain Cleveland elementary schools.
about Elizabeth Emery
Elizabeth Emery holds a MFA in ceramics from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a BA in art history and Italian studies from the University of Pennsylvania. For the ten years between studies for her degrees she was a professional bicycle racer. Her work has been selected for two recent juried exhibitions of After the Pedestal (2009, 2010) at The Sculpture Center, and she is developing new work for an upcoming 2012 W2S exhibition. Emery creates abstract, mixed-media sculptures that gently undermine the everyday and the familiar. Her pieces, carefully constructed collections of ceramics (predominately porcelain) and various disparate materials, address aesthetic issues of formal abstraction and serve as a “slice of the subconscious” to stimulate the viewer to attribute meaning to them from personal memories and beliefs. She often alters both the ceramics and the other materials to make their identity uncertain. Formal aspects of texture, color, weight, form, and the like are critical components of her work, yet a sense of humor slips in throughout.
about the participating W2S artists
Sarah Kabot is Head of the Drawing Department and Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She holds a BFA in Fiber and Ceramics from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has shown twice at The Sculpture Center with the solo W2S exhibition Enough (Apr – May 2009) and the installation Wearin’ It Out in SculptureX: 6 Sculptors of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania (Jun – Aug 2011). Sarah’s workshop incorporated themes from her own work, such as the exploration of structure and the secondary experience, as well as some guidance in the use of colors through a three dimensional self-portrait project in construction paper.
Jake Beckman, of Cleveland Heights, OH, who now holds a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2011), graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Art, focus in sculpture. Embodied (Feb – Apr 2009) transformed the very walls of the gallery. The artist used a plasticity of the fantastic to put before the viewer the critical interconnectedness between society and the most mundane aspects of its built environment. In Jake’s BGCC workshop, the students worked with a variety of media, including paper projects and found materials, to build miniature houses.
Susan McClelland, a long time Ohio resident, receives her MFA from Kent State University in 2011 and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kent State University, Kent, OH (2007) and BS from Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, OH (1998). Accumulations Retraced (Jan – Feb 2009) included sculptures with hand stitched, variously worked fabrics placed over recognizable household furniture or shaped metal wire as well as new hanging, enclosed shapes made of felt. Susan provided The BGCC students with sessions in the making of 3-D work using wool felting.
Charmaine Spencer’s artwork often carries themes of conservation and environmentalism. In A Place to Dwell (May 2008), she disassembled, reformed, and transformed materials into large abstract sculpture and accumulative installation with a subtle social message. While attending the Cleveland Institute of Art, Spencer received the William McVey Award for excellence in sculpture, and was one of two students selected to finish posthumously the last sculpture of David E. Davis, the founder of the Sculpture Center. Charmaine’s workshop emphasized collaboration and introduced the children to the concept of ‘green art.’ Her students worked in small groups to create organic, abstract structures. Currently, she continues to mentor young Clevelanders in artistic exploration through a program called Greener Sculpture, a class in environmentalism and sculpture offered by the BGCC.
Joseph Filak, III made sculpture that expressed outrage at the contemporary culture of consumerism and Americans’ seemingly unquestioning acceptance of the pervasive influence of the military in An Accumulated Blur (Feb – Mar 2008). He now holds a MFA from Notre Dame University (2010) and a BA from Cleveland State University (2007). Joseph worked with the BGCC to make large collages with an emphasis upon color, patterning, and surreal juxtapositions.
Lauren Kalman is a visual artist whose practice is invested in installation, video, photography, and performance. Through her work, including the W2S exhibit, A Pretty Little Trick (Jan – Feb 2008) she investigates perspectives of beauty, body image, value, and consumer culture. Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art at the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in metals from the Massachusetts College of Art. She exhibits and lectures internationally, and has been teaching as an adjunct professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Lauren’s workshop stepped away from traditional sculpture. She led BGCC students in drawing a series of images that was ultimately stitched together into a narrative video.
Thomas Grafton Lee graduated from Cleveland State University with a BA in Studio Art and received his Post-baccalaureate Certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2009 he completed his MFA work at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. His W2S exhibition Suspended (Apr – May 2007) predominately included sculptures suspended by intricate webs of thread and was intended to express the idea of the impossibility of social and community balance in torn urban neighborhoods. Grafton led a workshop in which the students made 3D collages.