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