ARTworks – Profile on Mallorie Freeman


Mallorie Freeman was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Her mother was a pop singer in the 1960’s, owner of a modeling agency, television producer, and a makeup artist. The prominence of femininity, creativity, and entrepreneurship greatly influenced Mallorie from a young age.

Mallorie attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She has participated in a number of regional and national exhibitions, and residencies.

On May 21st and 22nd Mallorie will participate in Rooms To Let, which seeks to re-envision one of Cleveland’s most diverse and authentic neighborhoods, as it illuminates a passionate community in the midst of recovery.  Dozens of artists and makers will create works in vacant homes– some of which are slated for demolition as well as in those that will be rehabilitated. The event is free and open to the public.

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What is your favorite thing about your studio?
The lighting is probably my favorite thing about my studio. One of the walls has large north-facing windows and the light is pretty consistent throughout the day. The view of nearby rooftops and train tracks is also one of my favorite things.

Is your studio a place to relax, get down to business, find inspiration, or something else altogether?
My studio is also my home and is a combination of relaxation, getting down to business, inspiration, and many other things. For some projects I use chocolate as the medium. It is helpful to have a stove to melt the chocolate and a refrigerator to cool the molds. There are downsides to having a studio in my home. On more than one occasion, I have burnt dinner due to cooking and painting at the same time.

If you could describe your studio in ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Peaceful, city, loft, art, fortress, with kitty and passing trains.

How or why did you decide to pursue your art?
I don’t think there was ever a time I wanted to pursue something else. I decided to apply for art school after receiving a number of awards for shows and competitions in high school. I received a scholarship from the Solon FIne Arts Council and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago upon graduation.

Currently, what medium are you working in?
I am currently working on a project called “Rooms to Let”. Artists were invited to create installations inside of abandoned/foreclosed homes in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland. I am using colored chocolate and paint as the medium to transform an upstairs landing/hallway/sink/vanity. This is the second year I have participated in “Rooms to Let” and I love the challenge of creating site specific work in a unique environment. The house I am working in is set to be demolished after the event. The project is bitter-sweet and I think chocolate is a perfect medium.

What is your process?
I work in various media and approach each project in different ways. For the “Rooms to Let” installation, I started by measuring all the surfaces to be covered in chocolate. I hand-cast the chocolate pieces from molds in my studio. The cast pieces were laid out to fit the exact sizes of the surfaces and photographed for reference. The walls, floors and surfaces were painted in similar colors as the chocolate. The cast pieces were then transported and adhered to the walls and surfaces with melted chocolate using a hot plate and double boiler.

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How do you find inspiration? Or what resources do you take advantage of to assist you in the creation of your art?
I find inspiration everywhere: travelling, watching movies, vintage magazines, walks in the park, candy wrappers, county fairs, conversations with friends, thrift stores, etc. For a past printing project, I found inspiration in my neighborhood while riding my bicycle. I discovered hair weaves on the side of the road, in alleys, and on sidewalks. I took them to Zygote Press, rolled ink on the hair and ran them through the press to create impressions on paper.

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to your art?
The business aspect to making art can be a challenge for me at times. Artists have to wear many hats. Not only do we create the work, we have to promote, network, and market it as well. Speaking and writing about my art in a clear and concise manner is something I continue to work on over the years.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would that be?
Make mistakes, challenge yourself, practice discipline, and step outside your comfort zone. I have made some of my best work when I was not really sure that I could accomplish it.

Do you feel your community is supportive of the arts and/or how can your community better support the arts?
Moving art outside of a gallery setting makes art more tangible for the community. As we were working on our pieces for “Rooms to Let”, we invited the neighbors in to the house to look around. Most might never go to a gallery, but because an art event is happening in their neighborhood, it raises curiosity. A couple of the neighbors we met were/are artists and were excited to see the houses come alive with colorful exteriors and lots of activity. The art community is relatively small in Cleveland. Events and projects that make art more accessible allow those who are outside of the art community to become more supportive.

Mallorie Freeman and her handmade chocolate art for Rooms To Let.
Mallorie Freeman and her handmade chocolate art for Rooms To Let.

PHOTOS COURTESY STEPHEN CUTRI.


 

ARTFUL and LaureLive – Music With A Mission!

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After a detailed conversation with organizers from Elevation Group yesterday, we are excited to say that ARTFUL will be an active participant in this inaugural event, and we’re VERY excited.

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There are two opportunities for artists to participate – as an ARTFUL artist/maker or as a vendor.

 

As part of our stART program, ARTFUL has been asked to provide artists for the day/s who will create on site and offer an interactive and/or educational element for attendees. We are reaching out to other local non-profits involved in the arts, but we’d love it if any of our supporters were willing to participate as well. The key is that what you make/produce must be viewable to passer-byes and ideally encourage them to participate as well. If you are chosen to be one of our ARTFUL artists/makers you will receive a free wristband allowing you access to the concerts for the weekend, as well as 1 wristband for your assistant. Additionally, you may also have an opportunity to sell your wares on a fairly limited basis. If you are interested in participating as an ARTFUL artist/maker, please email shannon@artfulcleveland.org and we will provide you with more information.

The other way in which you can participate is as a vendor. Since this is the inaugural year for this festival, they are offering vendor opportunities at a very discounted price. Their website lists all the details, and we encourage you to take a look.

ARTFUL is excited about this new event and hope to grow our participation over the next several years. The festival is coming up quickly, so please email Shannon ASAP if you are interested, or if you have any questions.


 

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.

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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.

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PHOTOS COURTESY STEPHEN CUTRI.


 

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@artfulcleveland.org.

 

 

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Concerned Parent in Regard to the CH-UH Reduction in Force


As an avid supporter of CHUH schools, as a mother and as an artist I feel that it is important to comment on the current art staff reduction at Cleveland Heights High School. The public statement  says that it is reducing the art staff by 1 positionThe reality is that two art teachers would be losing their jobs. Outside of elementary education, each aspiring teacher is qualified to teach specific kinds of art.  Ms. Raack is a ceramics teacher.  Ms. Skehan is a drawing and painting instructor.  
To the school board all the studio arts are lumped together, but I ask you, would you want to learn calculus from a english teacher? Or violin from a drummer? 
Some kids find their voice with a paintbrush, some on the pottery wheel, some with metal, others with wood.  As a budding artist myself, I sought refuge in the photography darkroom and behind a lens.
The tactile art forms help to shape a young persons view of their own world. Finding confidence in an art keeps kids interested in learning, and coming back to school.  I know for many young people the art room becomes a safe place to be different while still fitting in.
Cleveland Heights is the “Home of the Arts.” We must keep arts education strong so we can compete with other systems and keep the Arts here.
I encourage future parents, current parents and community members to engage in this conversation. Research the impact of the arts on young minds and learn more about the plans to continue to educate our children in the future.
Sincerely,

Shannon