ARTworks – Profile on David King

David King is a retired art teacher.  He taught for 30 years, recently retiring as head of the Art Department at Chagrin Falls High School. He currently serves on the Board of ARTFUL, and sat down with us to answer a few questions about his work, his studio and the process he uses to create his ARTwork.

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
I like that my studio is in my home – it has everything I need with inspiration everywhere. Finally, a studio that is ground level with natural light!

Is your studio a place to relax, get down to business, find inspiration, or something else altogether?
My studio is all of those things and more. It is also a music studio. When I get stuck on a painting, I can escape through music and when I come back to painting, I have a fresh eye and hopefully will be able to resolve things. Most importantly, it’s my space to clutter or clean.


If you could describe your studio in ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Stimulating, warm, inspirational, full, eclectic.

How or why did you decide to pursue your art?
I had no choice. I got a lot of attention for my drawings when I was younger and I liked it, so I kept doing it. Eventually it grew into becoming an inseparable part of my life. Combine art with my love for show and tell and I was destined to become an art teacher. I think most serious artists have to make something. If I’m not making something, I get crabby. 

Currently, what medium are you working in?
I work in oil paint mostly but I also use oil stick, chalk pastel and acrylic. It just depends on what I am doing. I have been playing with printing on canvas and collaging paper scraps, I have been finding objects on the ground and collaging them on old wood scraps. I’ve been frottaging objects and painting on the results. I wish I didn’t have to sleep, that way I could get more done.

What is your process?
My current body of work has me gleaning images from family movies (transferred to DVD’s) and re-configuring them to create images to paint.

How do you find inspiration? Or what resources do you take advantage of to assist you in the creation of your art?
As stated previously, my current process is using old family movies to find images that evoke some wonder for me. I use the computer to help me freeze the movies and capture screenshots for references. Inspiration can come from anywhere, other artists’ work, museums, found objects, everyday surroundings.

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to your art?
The greatest challenge is to be a “contemporary” artist. I try to push myself to be uncomfortable. Remain consistent and grow. I want to utilize time efficiently. To keep reminding myself that it’s about the process.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would that be?
Find a good doctor so you can be cloned. That way, you can have more than one life and do all the things you want. If that doesn’t work out, make art everyday. Go to as many shows/museums as possible. Read about art. Write about art. Talk to artists. You don’t make it to the Olympics by doing one push up.

Do you feel your community is supportive of the arts and/or how can your community better support the arts?
Yes, Cleveland Heights is “Home to the Arts” but we can always use more support. The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the finest museums in the world. I’ve been to quite a few museums all over the globe. I’m proud of Cleveland. The art scene is happening here. We have a very strong art family and it’s growing. It’s an exciting time to be an artist in Cleveland.




meaningFUL People :: Vivian interview with Ida Bergson :: ARTFUL March 2016

ARTFUL is excited to introduce our first installment of meaningFUL People! Art education plays a key role in the education and development of children. meaningFUL People is an opportunity for children, of all ages, to sit down with the teachers who help them express themselves through creativity and to show the world how their art education is an important facet of their lives.

Our first video features Vivian, a third grader at Canterbury Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. Vivian sat down with her art teacher, Ida Bergson, to ask her some questions about being a teacher.

Every Friday, students at Canterbury Elementary School practice “Creative Arts Fridays”. A unique collaboration between teachers allows students to learn in new and interesting ways. For more info, please read the article on the CHUH website.

If you are a student, or have a child that would be interested in making a video for meaningFUL people, please email us at



meaningFUL people MAIN IMG 2016


ARTFUL just turned ONE!

As we close out the month of March, we wanted to look back on all that we accomplished in our first year. We’ve made great strides for a young organization and are excited about what’s to come as we look towards year two. We wouldn’t have made the strides we have without the incredible help and support of so many of you. Your time, advice and generosity means the world to us. For everything, all of you have done to help, we thank you. Here’s to an exciting year two!



Hello ARTFUL supporters!

Sorry it’s been so long since we posted a progress update, but I assure you that we have been busy behind the scenes. We have been exploring a number of options in regard to buildings, developing a series of classes, organizing our fundraising plan, among other things!

Let’s start with where we are in our search for a building to house ARTFUL. We have toured a few sites, all of which have their own pros and cons. We know that each site brings its own characteristics to our project and we will have to adapt accordingly. But each of them also fits our main objectives – a welcoming space that will allow us to rent affordable studio spaces to local artists, space in which we can host classes and events for the community at large, and all located in spaces/areas where we can take advantage of the support of area non-profits and businesses, as well as lend our support to them. We encourage you to provide us with your thoughts and feedback regarding any of these spaces.

We continue to have open discussions with the owners of the Medusa building. Earlier last month Shannon, Dave and our architect, John Williams, sat down with the owners to discuss the potential of a lease. We all have the love affair going on with this spot, but it is in dire need of some pretty major repairs and for it to work we will need to come to a lease agreement that makes sense in terms of length and cost. We are currently running some numbers back and forth and look forward to further exploring the possibility of this site. But we also feel we need to explore other options available within our community.

We recently found out that Grace Lutheran has sold to a commercial venture. From what we hear, this is great news but I do not know the details. So we have had to scratch that from our list of potential sites. But we are very enthusiastic about a space we toured at the old Coventry Elementary School.

Coventry School Building
This space has several advantages – affordability being a huge plus. Utilities, maintenance, internet, and taxes are included in our rent price which, so far, is unique to this space. John Williams accompanied us on our third walk-through and encouraged us to explore this possibility further. We feel the space is large enough for us to meet our objectives and could be a perfect space for us to start out in and grow over the next several years. While there is nothing set in stone, we are also aware of the CHUH school districts potential plans over the next number of years regarding their school buildings, and see that there is at least some potential for us to grow into a larger space over time. The space already includes several sinks and built in storage units (almost like dressers with wide flat drawers – perfect for art supplies), and wonderfully high ceilings. We are moving forward with discussions regarding rent/lease details and will keep you posted.

Coventry School Space Collage A

The Old Rite Aid Building
The other space that we toured was the old Rite Aid building by Zagara’s on Lee Rd. This was also a great space – very raw and utilitarian, larger than the Coventry School space, but smaller than Medusa. We truly feel that we could adapt this building to fit our needs, as well. We like the location and the ample parking – both big plusses. The con to this one is the price. No utilities, taxes or maintenance are included in the lease price. But we are keeping this on our list of potential sites.

Old Rite Aid Collage A

Center-Mayfield Building
Another site that we have been encouraged to take a look at is the Center-Mayfield building (the old movie theater). We have yet to tour this site and we are aware that is currently under contract for sale. But we hope to still be able to get in to see it.

If anyone has any other leads on spaces in our area that may be worth exploring, please let us know. Another one we’d love to find out more about is 2150 Lee Rd. (the old Abrash store). If anyone knows if this space is available, please let us know. We are also wondering if the old Lemon Grass building is moving forward as a new restaurant, or what the status is with that space? We are going to have our Realtor, Judy Jeavons, look into these spaces further, but if anyone has any direct knowledge, please feel free to let us know.

OK – on to other business…

Classes!! Several members of our team are working on developing some great classes for you to take advantage of. As we move forward with this, we will provide you with more details, but the idea is to create art classes which will be hosted at local businesses and venues. Each class will later be featured in beautiful instruction book we will create and use to help raise funds for ARTFUL. We will also be featuring some videos on our website.

We are also very excited about a couple new projects we will be featuring on our blog. The first is a series we are calling “meaningFUL People”. This will be a video spotlight where the youth in our community interview their art teachers, or someone who influences their creativity. We want the world to know that our arts are important to the overall education and development of our youth, and hope that these videos will inspire and entertain you. If you have a child who would be interested in conducting an interview, or know of an art educator who deserves to be features, please let us know.

meaningFUL people MAIN IMG 2016    David King ARTworks March 2016

The other feature we are starting is appropriately named “ARTworks”. This is a photo feature of someone who has chosen to create art as a regular part of their lives at work in their “studio”. We hope this will help introduce our community to the wealth of talented people we are surrounded by. Again, if you are an artist/creator, or know of a deserving person who wouldn’t mind being featured in “ARTworks”, then please email us.

And lastly… March marks our 1 year anniversary since we formally organized ARTFUL, so it’s time to celebrate! We’re looking into hosting a 1 Year Anniversary Happy Hour at Colony in a couple of weeks. We’d like this to be an opportunity for you to come out and celebrate with us, but to also take some time to answer any questions you may have about or venture, or for you to share your thoughts and ideas. So we will be posting details about this as we work them out over the next few days.

As always, thanks for your continued encouragement and support!



The gift of a creative heart…

We wanted to find a way to say Happy Valentine’s Day to our supporters that reflects our creativity and could easily be passed on. So we reached out to one of our biggest supporters, Adam Bruma. As always, Adam accepted our challenge and created a fantastic little video showing you how to make an origami heart. Watch the video and make your own. And please feel free to share your creations with us by posting a photo or video of your own. Be sure to use the hashtag #ARTFULheart.

If you like what you see and origami looks like something you want to explore further, then be sure to sign up for one of Adam’s upcoming classes at the Coventry Branch of the Cleveland Heights Library on either March 26th or April 9th.

Also keep your eyes open for Adam’s work at MIX at CMA in the fall. We will have more details regarding this event in the months to come.

THANKS ADAM! And happy Valentine’s Day to all of our creative supporters.