The artists Laura Bidwell, Kristen Cliffel, Meng-Hsuan Wu, Claudio Orso, Arabella Proffer, Dante Rodriguez, Omid Tavakoli, and Antwoine Washington exhibiting in Fabulism: Meta fact and fictions, offer diverse outcomes of exploration for our own escape to dreamscapes, future worlds, revisionist fairy tales and heightened details of new realities.
Fabulism is a form of magic realism in which fantastical elements are placed into an everyday setting. As a reaction against the demands of mainstream verisimilar fiction, writers of “fabulism” or “magical realism” have sought to reinvent or reinvigorate or reconceive traditional realism by infusing it with the characteristics of older forms such as the fable (hence the name), the tale, the legend, the myth, as well as allegory and parable. All the artists in Fabulism: Meta Facts and Fictions share an existential questioning of reality in these surreal times where fact and fiction are intentionally confused to gain political advantage, for example. These artist offer a thought provoking response to how we consider truth and reality in these troubling times.
The Magical Realist painter, Henri Rousseau completed more than twenty-five jungle paintings in his career after never stepped out of France. Even with no direct experience to a jungle, he created one through his vast knowledge of literature, colonial expositions, and visits to the Paris Zoo. The lush jungle and the wild animals featured in his painting, The Dream, were inspired by Rousseau's visits to the city's natural history museum.
Fabulism speaks to things that appear real, but are simply not possible in reality. Art as an escape room resonates with these times more than ever, in an age where false news and the blurred lines of fact and fiction. And because of these things, Fabulism leans towards the exotic, the historical, the once-upon-a-time, and the hard-to-believe. There is horror and wonder, but it’s once upon a time.
Join us at Worthington Yards for some Big Mouth Donuts, and hear more about Claudio Orso’s work in the exhibition…then…we bike, ride or drive to the his home studio that he shares with his wife, filmmaker and artist Rian Brown and his son, Paulo Orso. All will show their process and their unique home space that they all share together. We will end the tour with a walk across the street to the Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park, a beautiful public space that everyone should see!
Come and meet the artists of Fabulism and mix it up with other artists bringing in the summer… Come hear about how you can be apart of the various arts district opportunities, independent “pay to show” galleries, and collective hive spaces…. Artful, 78th Street Studios, Lake Erie Screw, Hamilton Collective, Bostwick (Prospect Gallery), Gordon Square Arts District and Waterloo Arts District.
ArtVentures Linda and Keith Berr Studios
Join us at Keith Berr’s studio in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood and check out his amazing urban space he co-created with his partner Linda Barberic. Linda is the creative energy behind Soma Teas https://somatea.com and their beautiful urban space provides an amazing backdrop for both commercial, health and wellness and fine art production. Join us as Keith tells stories about his most adventurous commercial shoots and see one of the largest 'Cyc' studios (short for cyclorama) in the region. A must-see space in Cleveland.
digital image by Carolyn Ballou
Gadi Zamir, is an Israeli-born, Cleveland-based artist, community activist, and founder of Negative Space Gallery. He uses the process of carving and burning wood to bring his art alive. The wood which he scavenges reveals the knots and grains of the wood that informs his stories and images to surface. He uses a blowtorch to create the iconic drawings, and fabric dyes to achieve the bold color. He is a symbolist, using skulls, birds, and other images that are political and part of his everyday inventory. He magically transforms them to tableau-constructions like altar pieces, shrines, transportation vehicles (like motorcycles) and other functional elements that furnish his collective gallery. These objects signify escape, freedom, and transformation.
Saturday morning artist presentations that take people directly to studios and art venues to discover a more in-depth insider look into the artist process and ideas.
Art-Ventures will meet at YARDS Project Space to meet the artist(s) then we will head over to various locations in Cleveland for studio visit or gallery tour. These events are generally scheduled 10-noon. Coffee and bagels and BIG MOUTH donuts served.
We will head over to Gadi's studio at 11 to see more of his work and the Negative Space Gallery. It is located in the Asian Plaza on at 1541 E.38th Street, 2nd Floor Warehouse, Cleveland, OH
Martha Cliffel’s Catholic upbringing is reimagined through irreverent revolts and progressive looks forward. She truly ‘saves’ and creates shrines assembled by others discards from flea markets, bodegas and thrift stores. She praises, preaches, prods, pokes and throws punches through the hatching, catching, patching, matching and dispatching taking place in the Catholic’s life.
Kristen Cliffel is a graduate of Cleveland Institute of Art and a recipient of the Mid Career award by the Cleveland Arts Prize. My work is an exploration of “Domestic Mythologies”. Our culture surrounds us with pervasive archetypal myths and fairytales. When measured against these “Storybook” expectations, life appears daunting. “Happiness” and “Fulfillment” seem bloated and are almost punishing when viewed through fairytale lenses. I find myself at odds with prescribed routes to “Happily Ever After” and “Success”.
Creating artwork is the way I express my questions, concerns and hopes for the future. Being a wife and mother, I find myself wedged into roles that both trouble and delight me. The emotional concept of “Home”, belonging to someone and someplace, seem integral to human fulfillment. The perilous and circuitous routes to these goals are what I investigate in my sculpture. Connection, safety, security, hope and fear are some of the emotional triggers that crystalize ideas for me.
Martha and Kristen share a studio at the Lake Erie Screw Factory in Lakewood.
Works by Martha Cliffel, Gadi Zamir, Misty Lindsey & Reverend Albert Wagner
I SCARCE CAN TAKE IT IN is a lyric drawn from the gospel song How Great Thou Art, a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody. The line was later appropriated into a poem by the well-known 19th century Swedish poet, Carl Boberg. In Boberg’s poem, the line expresses the spiritual force that the reader/listener experiences from a story of inspiration and hope told by an ordinary man seeking solace and inspired by church bells ringing during a wild thunderstorm.
The work of Martha Cliffel, Gadi Zamir, Misty Lindsey and Reverend Albert Wagner possess a rawness and tactility that in each case conveys its own positive spiritual force. As self-taught artists, their work escapes the imprint of formal pedagogy or tradition. Instead, it conveys inspiration and an invigorating beauty, expressed through the lens of their personal and sometimes rebellious views of faith and mysticism. Utilizing cast-out, recycled and reclaimed materials, each weaves romantic narratives of everyday faith and foibles.
Martha Cliffel’s re-imagines her Catholic upbringing through both irreverent revolt and a progressive look forward. Cliffel “saves” and creates shrines, assembling them from debris discarded from flea markets, bodegas and thrift stores. She praises, preaches, prods, pokes and throws punches as she considers her complex relationship with Catholic life.
Cliffel is the mother of 7 children and a former school teacher. She splits her time, working at the Screw Factory in Lakewood, Ohio and tending 240 acres in Western New York.
Gadi Zamir, is an Israeli-born Cleveland-based artist, community activist, and founder of Negative Space Gallery. Zamir scavenges wood and then overlays its knots and grain structure with his own iconography, rendered through carving, marking with a blowtorch and applying fabric dyes. The birds, sculls and other symbols that he summons, magically transform these found forms into tableau constructions that may alternatively take the form of ordinary objects or altar pieces elevating the aura of his gallery. In all cases they signify escape, freedom and transformation.
Negative Space Gallery is a meeting ground for creative people who want to make a difference in the world by enacting their dreams with art. The gallery provides emerging visual and performing artists with resources to experiment, stretch, fail and transform. “It is a platform for all kinds of genres - music, film, etc.,” says Zamir. The gallery also provides a space for Zamir to create and showcase his own work. Zamir received a Community Partnership for Arts and Culture Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2013.
Misty Lindsey is a Chattanooga-based artist that has been represented at the Outsider Art Fair in NYC and exhibirted her work nationally. Her work is filled with expressive characters that comment on universal hopes and dreams, fears and worries. Her text based work is confessional and represents the voice of the last, the lost and those that have the least.
Reverend Albert Wagner was born in 1924 in Bassett, Arkansas. Wagner went to work in the cotton fields as a water carrier for the pickers when he was ten years old. In 1941 at the age of 17, he moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a dishwasher before starting his own furniture moving company. Years later, while cleaning his basement in preparation for his fiftieth birthday celebration, he noticed some paint spatters on a piece of wood and was suddenly overwhelmed with memories of his childhood and with inspiration for works of art. In the years that followed he made hundreds of paintings and sculptures to "get the Word out."
Turning his house on Cleveland's east side into an environment he called "The People-Love-People House of God," the Reverend Albert Wagner decorated the outside of the building with found objects. He crammed the interior with enormous sculptures around which he counseled members of his small, informal congregation, which met regularly at a nearby store-front church. Albert worked in his home studio creating over 3,000 paintings and sculptures for 32 years, until his death on September 1, 2006 at age 82.
Artists draw and paint LIVE in the yard-join Hilary Gent, Darius Steward, Dawn Tekler, Eileen Dorsey, Sarah Curry, David King and other fantastic Cleveland plein air artists creating work from the views and vistas of Worthington Yards.
Live Broadcast by OWOW! Summer tunes, Sangrias, and hotdogs on grill
Founded during America’s westward push in the late eighteenth century, Cleveland has traced the classic trajectory of American cities. A trading outpost, Cleveland ascended during the industrial revolution, playing host to John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, and Thomas Edison’s Neela Park. The city’s rise was epitomized by development of the 52-story Terminal Tower, the second tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1930, a title held until 1967. But slowing industrial growth triggered decline, and only two years later, in 1969, a burning oil slick on the Cuyahoga River providing a less vibrant symbol that would indelibly mark the City. Worthington Yards is a living lesson in Cleveland’s rise, decline and re-awakening today. Founded to equip workers constructing the Ohio and Erie Canal, the Geo Worthington Company grew to supply 1500 hardware stores. The company’s eventual decline paved the way for the redevelopment of its headquarters into a vibrant apartment building and our own Yards Project Space, together offering the perfect 360-degree view of a creative vision that is also shaping Cleveland. There is no better space in the city to take in these views and vistas then from our own (FRONT) yard.
Tim Callaghan, Hilary Gent, Sarah Paul and Darius Steward each apply a keen power of observation to reveal the authentic people, places and neighborhoods that comprise Cleveland. As FRONT (and the CAN Triennial) takes shape this summer around the theme ‘An American City,’ these Cleveland-based artists capture through their own street-level lens, a familiarity, pride, humor and perspective, the essence of what is essentially Cleveland. Each of these artists contributes to the Cleveland arts community and supports future generations of artists as full-time teachers, professors, community-engaged artists and advocates, while remaining fiercely dedicated to their own studio practices. ‘Cleveland Front and Seen’ profiles their collective response and reaction to this American City with a BE HERE NOW attitude, shared during one of the most exciting cultural times our city has ever SEEN.
Hilary Gent is a full-time artist, event planner, and owner of HEDGE Gallery at the 78th Street Studios. Hilary attended Kent State University, where she graduated with a BFA, concentrating in painting. HEDGE Gallery is a contemporary art space dedicated to exhibiting local emerging and professional artists, and it represents the work of 12 Northeast Ohio based artists. Regarding her work in Cleveland Front and Seen, Gent explains that “Studying water in its many states has inspired me to further abstract brushwork, color and form. ‘Properties of Water’ is an exploration back to nature, and by focusing on water I've been able to step away from painting literal structures in the urban landscape, which has influenced so much of my past work.” http://hedgeartgallery.com
Darius Steward is a visual artist and educator. Steward graduated from the University of Delaware, obtaining a Master of Fine Art degree in 2010. His undergraduate work was completed at the Cleveland Institute of Art where he had a concentration in Drawing and Painting. Steward has shown paintings at the William Busta Gallery, Zygote Press, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. His work has been the subject of numerous articles and he is represented in the collections of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Delaware, in addition to the two paintings on display in the Dalad Group collection at Worthington Yards. Darius teaches art at Saint Ignatius High School. His paintings are drawn from his experience growing up in Cleveland and metaphorically reference the unique struggles faced by black urban youth working to build successful lives.
Sarah Paul is a Cleveland-based artist. She received her BS in Mathematics from the University at Albany and her MFA in Fine Art from the University at Buffalo. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions and performances include SPACES Gallery, Sculpture Center Cleveland, MOCA Cleveland, Albright-Knox Gallery, UB Art Gallery, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art. Her video work has been screened around the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, Sarah was generously supported by a Creative Workforce Fellowship granted from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture in Cleveland, Ohio. Sarah is presently an Associate Professor and Chair of Sculpture and Expanded Media at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Sarah fell in love and lust with smokestacks, the city, and the lake. Adopting the persona of Little Miss Cleveland, she escorts you through these iconic spaces and places with her narrative storytelling and adventures, embracing and celebrating our lush rusty belt. http://sarahpaul.org
Meet the most exciting designers working in Cleveland. Drinks and light appetizers will be provided. (this event runs concurrent with Meg Harris Stanton Gallery)
This Months Designers:
Nolan Beck https://www.heyheystudio.com
Jamal Collins http://jayworking.com
Kevin “Mr. Soul” Harp http://mistersoul216.com
Jacinda Walker http://designexplorr.com
Jordan Wong http://www.wongface.com
Snakes and Aceys Hannah Manocchio & Anthony Zart http://www.snakesandaceys.com
ART/venture Saturday, April 21st 10-noon Meet at Worthington YARDS for bagels and coffee and hear more about the new commission of Jeff Chiplis' argon and neon installation at the Johnson Court entrance. We will walk over to Meg Harris Stanton Gallery on West 9th and hear more about the art and artists represented by the gallery. We welcome Khehla Chepape Makgato who is a visiting artist in residency at Zygote Press from Johannesburg, South Africa. Bagels and coffee will be served. https://www.facebook.com/events/159552761400665/
Thursday, Mar 29th, 6-9pm
Free and open to the public
Show runs through May 26th.
2017 was a year deeply rooted in the destruction of our institutions, policies, and political process. It was tough for most everyone. We took a hit in our healthcare, national parks, and arts programs. How do we struggle towards renewal? Can artists provide the perspective and wisdom needed to recover?
The Japanese have a method of repairing broken ceramics with gold called “kintsugi”. Kintsugi is when the cracks, the fissures, and the damage, are all a part of its history and are kept visible. It's the art of embracing damage while making something else altogether compelling, reassessed, and possibly even more remarkable then before, in spite of its flawed past.
Adrienne Slane, MARTINEZ E-B, and Rian Brown shed light on these cracks. Their exquisite and beautiful works of contemporary art repair and recalculate the past. They refuse to downplay or ignore the violent and desperate annihilation of our histories. Destruction of Species is a transformative experience that illuminates a thoughtful and contemplative pause, long enough for us to see what has been and what could be again.