Tremont Art Walk: Defamiliarizing and Revitalizing Cleveland
I love our city. Having traveled, I’m curious as to why some residents don’t see the treasure we have in Cleveland. I’m reminded of the words my mother liked to quote: “Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars”.
I’ve always been a fan of Cleveland. I frequently promote it as the subject of my art. Starting my fourth decade as a Cleveland artist, it’s become my mission. I believe that happiness is based on how we perceive the world and not actual circumstances. Being a fourth generation Clevelander, I know that many have had their perception of our hometown distorted by negative “group think.” Negative thinking can be contagious and distorts our perceptions. The goal of my work is to provide an alternative perspective; a positive image of our beautiful city. Of course I don’t believe I can change the way others think. We’re all responsible for our own happiness. At least, though, I’d like to provide another view.
The method I’m currently attempting is called “Defamiliarization.” Defamiliarization is an artistic technique of presenting common subjects to the viewer in an unfamiliar way, to enhance or change the perception of those subjects. Ansel Adams said that “the power of photography stemmed from its ability not merely to reflect reality but to alter our perception of reality.” My goal is to capture images that allow the viewer to alter their perception and view our hometown in a totally new way. I like to think that my work reaffirms and reignites our love of the city in some meaningful and memorable way. —Paul Duda
HOÜSE TREMONT (HT) was established in 2003 and is a raw, urban, guerrilla style art space. It consists of a duplex with two apartments (upper and lower), a basement with two cellars, fenced in yard with a natural habitat and vegetable garden, and a two car garage with a separate storage area. The garage, located in the alley behind the house on W. 18th Place, is also used as installation space—as are the semi-vacant gas station and parking lot next door, and several neighboring buildings, houses, sheds, fences, and retaining walls.
HT specializes in contemporary art and ideas, and for over a decade has presented a rolling program of creative happenings. We work to nurture and support the creative endeavors of artists and artisans, and deepen public understanding of contemporary art. We strive to revitalize our block and strengthen our neighborhood through the promotion of art and the power it has on our everyday life.
HT is also the home studio of Cleveland artist and curator Patsy Coffey Kline. She purchased her house shortly after being influenced by a trip to The Mattress Factory (MF), a museum of contemporary art located in the historic Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh’s North Side. MF purchased a warehouse and surrounding homes for use as gallery space, making them an anchor tenant by transforming the neighborhood.
After several months of searching, Kline found a house in a blighted and poorly maintained area of Tremont on the corner of Scranton Road and Willey Avenue at the intersection of an underused and dangerous shortcut connecting Tremont with Ohio City and the Flats. She has created a safe gateway addressing stabilization and revitalization using the Mattress Factory as a model, purchasing vacant houses and warehouses, and engaging neighbors with thought provoking and site-specific, interactive art events.
2342 Professor Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
2338 Scranton Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Tremont Art Walk takes place 6 – 10 pm the second Friday of every month. Spring 2015 dates are: March 13, April 10, May 8, and June 12.