ARTworks – Profile on Sarah Curry


Sarah Curry was born and raised in Cleveland. She received her B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Illustration. Soon after graduating, she returned to Cleveland and is currently living in Cleveland Heights. Her love of teaching both children and adults at The Cleveland Museum of Art inspired her to attain her Master’s degree in Art Education from Case Western Reserve University. She has since been teaching art to high school students for sixteen years.

Sarah works in a wide variety of styles ranging from realism to abstraction. Among many endeavors, she has established herself as a portrait artist as well as a freelance illustrator and muralist. She has spearheaded several public art installations in the Cleveland area collaborating with local artists, students and community members. Her personal work narrative revolves around storytelling that addresses women’s roles in society. This series of work revisits old stories and reinterprets the themes,imagery, and lessons through the contemporary eyes of friends and family. Each piece refers to a story from the past and is also biographical to the subjects depicted. She sees these works to be collaborative storytelling.

Her most recent work will be on display this summer: “Face Value” Opening July 15th from 5-9pm at The HEDGE Gallery, 1300 W 78th Street, suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44102.
Her work can also be seen on her website: www.pinchofcurry.com.

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
Do I have to choose just one?! Maybe it’s the fact that I can throw paint around and destroy the floor with no apologizes! And the homasote walls that allow me to tack up images and work directly on the walls. The view is pretty awesome as well. Its on the second floor of my house with tall windows that allow me to see the yard and the cats running around outside.

Is your studio a place to relax, get down to business, find inspiration, or something else altogether?
I think your studio must be a place for all of the above. Devoting your time to working in your studio is imperative so it must feel like a second home. We can all get down to business, find inspiration and relax in our homes so the studio must be an extension of your house.

If you could describe your studio in ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Filthy, but organized, crowded but plenty of room to make more messes. 

How or why did you decide to pursue your art?
I don’t think I had another option. It’s the only thing in my life that held my attention and became a tool to work out and explore my passions.  I began teaching art soon after graduating from art school because I wanted to share all the secrets I learned. Teaching
art makes you a stronger artist because you learn how to break down information it its simplest language. This forces you to investigate your own practices and hone your approach to art making.

Currently, what medium are you working in?
I’m a bit all over the place right now. I’m really enjoying the immediacy of working on paper with charcoal. My default button will always be thick, gooey oil paint on panels. The work in my series right now is figurative but incorporating symbolism and various aspects of storytelling.  I’d love to do a residency at Zygote Press and experiment with inking up objects, running them through a press and then work back into the image incorporating figures. Maybe next summer…

What is your process?
All my processes begin with an idea. The idea will usually tell me where it wants to go or at least hint at the media I need to use. If not, I have to coax the idea out with sketches before it dies on the vine. Sometimes that’s OK as well. Maybe it didn’t need to come to fruition, maybe it will lead me to another place eventually. Working on art is never a waste of time. Even if you make crappy work, it’s important to put in the time and pay your dues because there is ALWAYS a pay off.

How do you find inspiration? Or what resources do you take advantage of to assist you in the creation of your art?
I am honestly most inspired by the people in my life. I’m a pretty social creature and surround myself with amazing people. I love to listen to stories and explore imagery inspired by the stories and those telling them. When I saw Saul Williams speak a few months back I wept through his spoken word poetry because I knew I would never be able to paint anything as beautiful as the images he described. Traveling and going to countless galleries and museums also play a big role in my work. Seeing the work of both young artists as well as the old masters keeps my “well” full so I can dip in for some fresh water when I need it.

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to your art?
Time is my ultimate challenge. Making art requires so much time. It truly is a job. It is not relaxing or a hobby. It is hard work and requires time to fail and grow. All that being said,
I really suck at throwing pots and despite the fact that I am a painter I am most
challenged by clay!

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would that be?
Make mistakes! Make as many as you can by experimenting and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Play with new, unfamiliar materials and techniques because that’s when the leaning happens. If it comes easy, you don’t learn as much. When you destroy things or make mistakes, you remember that experience much more.

Do you feel your community is supportive of the arts and/or how can your community better support the arts?
Living in Cleveland Heights is pretty dreamy. Not just for artists but for all open-minded people. We all love seeing art everywhere. I don’t know anyone adverse to art. The best way to support the arts is to BUY ART!!! It’s an addiction but it is never an expendable cost. Living with art pays off everyday, both spiritually and emotionally. Who cares if the artist is well known, do you love it? Then buy it. You wont regret it.  I am fortunate enough to be represented by Hilary Gent of HEDGE Gallery in the W. 78th Street Studios so she personally supports me by doing the legwork involved in displaying, selling and promoting my work.

PHOTOS COURTESY STEPHEN CUTRI.

The artists are coming… THE ARTISTS ARE COMING!!

We are so excited to announce that we have secured a space for ARTFUL.

We have leased approximately 5,300 square feet of space in the Coventry School Building, located in the heart of Cleveland Heights in Coventry Village, a well known and loved business and arts community. The Coventry School building is home to many established area non-profits, and offers a large value allowing our donation dollars to go even further. Our prime location will be an invaluable tool that will aid us in creating powerFUL relationships within the local business and non-profit community, and is a central and accessible for those living in and around the Heights.

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In just under a year and a half, we hatched an idea, developed it, and are now making it a reality. We could not have made it to this exciting juncture without the continued support, enthusiasm and encouragement of our community. It has been a wonderful evolution with invaluable input from local artists, businesses, non-profits and the city of Cleveland Heights.

We now enter Phase II, thankFUL for all of the help and guidance we have received, ready and excited to move forward and create an ARTFUL space. We are thrilled to announce that John Williams of Process Creative is our architect, and he is currently applying his vast knowledge of working artist studios to our project.

Our space will house apx. 20 artist studios of various sizes and price ranges. All of which will rent for below-market prices. By giving artists affordable access to studio space and a creative environment, our community will benefit from their contributions to our local culture.

For more in-depth details on our plans, please download and read our prospectus.

Programs like ours only exist with the help and kindness of those in our community.

Without your steady, consistent donations we are nothing. 

Your immediate donation will help us cover the costs of the build-out for our artists studios and our lease for the first year, as well as initial programs to support our artists and engage the community.

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We have set a goal of $50,000, which will enable us to win a $25,000 challenge grant!

Founding donors will receive future benefits once our membership program has been developed and established.

In honor of your generosity, we are working with local artist, Steve Manka, to create a public sculpture that will reflect your kindness. Each donation will be represented in the final piece, and those giving at specific levels will have a say in the final design. This is our special way of saying thank you and making our community even more ARTFUL.

We are happy to be able to offer several donation optionsIf you would like to make a larger donation, but would like to spread your payments out over several installments, please consider choosing a monthly, quarterly, or yearly recurring donation.

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If you would prefer to make a donation by check, please see instructions on our donation page.

We look forward to the continued growth of ARTFUL and will continue to work diligently and intelligently to deliver programs that our community can be proud of. Over the next several weeks we will finalize our lease application process and update you via our website and social media. If you are an artist who is interested in renting studio space, please be sure to fill out our online form so that you can receive direct emails with pertinent information.

From the bottom of hearts, the entire ARTFUL board thanks you.

Below you will find a map showing our location and some rough photos of our new space. We look forward to sharing more photos as we clean up the space and begin the process of building the studios. For more information, or to join our mailing list, please be sure to fill out our contact form.

 

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Progress Update


Hey Everybody!  Thanks for being patient with us as we navigate our way through the Non-Profit maze.

Building Search Update

Sorry to be secretive, but we have been asked by the building owner to keep the plans quiet for a bit longer as we hammer out the details and propose our plans to the city.  I can tell you that it will be a fantastic first step and allow us to get started bringing affordable studio space and artist support to the community. As soon as we are allowed to announce we will be starting our first official fundraising campaign.

In the mean time….

We have been asked to be a part of LaurelLive. It is a special event filled with great musicians from all over. check it out here www.laurelive.com.  Much of our board will be out of town that weekend so Shannon will need extra hands to pull this off.  We are reaching out to all of you for your thoughts, ideas and assistance. The deadline is VERY tight – as the event is being held June 11 & 12. We have been given a lot of freedom, and have been told there are areas of fencing we could decorate, host live art projects, and play! If anyone has any clever ideas, would like to help or can offer any assistance, please email Shannon@artfulclevelnd.org, or comment below. This is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this event that will garner state and national attention.

Upcoming Events. Get these on your calendar ASAP

There are many sponsorship opportunities for these events so please get in touch if you are interested becoming an ARTFUL partner.

LaurelLive*
June 11th & 12th

playFUL: Kickball Tournament
September 18th

stART: Heights Music Hop
September 24th

Gods and Monsters (annual costume party)
October 29th

 

*This is an event we are a part of, but not directly hosting.


 

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.