Our First Artists Are Moving In!

Hello all… Happy Friday!

Sorry we haven’t posted in a while, we have been SUPER busy. We are in the final stages of construction of our studios and several artists will begin moving in on Sunday. We also just found out we are going to be covered in next weeks edition of Scene Magazine! I wanted to share with you some pictures of the space as it was being worked on. Thanks to Entropic Light for the beautiful photos! And if you haven’t seen it already, scroll down to see our fun little time-lapse from our big weekend of cleaning and construction.

We are now renting the remaining studios on a first-come first-served basis. Please email Shannon to set up a tour.

We hope you can join us for our Grand Opening party on March 11. It’s an informal gathering and you can come and go as you please. We will be hosting a small thank you ceremony around 6:30 or 7:00 to acknowledge the wonderful people who got us to this point. So please come celebrate with us!

 

Construction Photos by Entropic Light

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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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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.