Placemaking and Presentation: 78th Street Studios Launches Weekly Open House
As an artist and designer, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of environment. Not the broad, obvious view of a scene, but the subtle impressions of my immediate surroundings. Textures that welcomed my touch, rhythms that challenged my sense of order, and hues that hid from the headlines have all been inspirational to me.
I see it as a stroke of good fortune, then, that three years ago I managed to plant my creative roots in a modest but magical building called 78th Street Studios, where the people around me have been just as welcoming, challenging, and inspirational. Our 36 plus venues are different in our back-stories and our business models, but we’re alike in our instinctive understanding that growth doesn’t happen just because we present art.
It happens because we produce an experience.
What began ten years ago as a quarterly art exhibit, attracting a few hundred people, has expanded into a monthly, multisensory event attracting thousands. Besides being a magnet for art lovers, THIRD FRIDAYS is now an attraction for foodies thanks to the on-site offerings presented by our friends from Touch Supper Club, Spice Kitchen, and Battery Park Wine Bar. Even music fans know this is a place where they can get their fix. Whether it’s the live performances presented through Survival Kit Gallery or the downtempo club tunes curated through my gallery, our building presents a vibe where people want to be.
Starting on September 13, that vibe will continue every Friday from 11 am to 4 pm, when at least ten galleries and studios will be open to the public. During that time visitors will be able to wander through exhibits, sample food from a neighborhood restaurant, enjoy casual seating with cool music, and access free Wi-Fi. With the build-out of my new gallery near the main entrance, the arrival of additional tenants, and other renovations to the property’s common areas, this fall seemed fit for offering the public a weekly art adventure that’s fun, accessible, and free. Not only does this daytime open house create more options for residents in the area, but it also allows our building to better accommodate national and regional tour operators looking for an authentic Cleveland experience.
As planners and promoters continue to reference NE Ohio’s amazing cultural assets, let’s remember it’s not just big attractions that shape the perception of this place. It’s also indigenous tourism like ours that allows visitors to genuinely connect with the art scene and be transformed by their interactions with living artists. And when you’re in the business of leaving lasting impressions, interpersonal measures count.